Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford’s First NFL Game Ever

Matthew Stafford has proven himself to be an exceptional NFL quarterback over the years. Even when not surrounded by the best talent in the world, you can clearly see the high level of play he is capable of. Then, when you do give him a stable of athletes to throw to, he is out of this world. He’s exhibited the leadership and athleticism that has made him a fan favorite too.

All great athletes start somewhere though. What was Matthew Stafford’s first NFL game like?

September 13, 2009 – Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints

The Detroit Lions selected quarterback Matthew Stafford with the first overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Stafford immediately became the starter and stepped onto an NFL field for a regular season game for the first time on September 13, 2009 as the Lions faced the New Orleans Saints on the road.

The Lions lost that game, by the score of 45-27, but how did Matthew Stafford do?

On the Lions’ first possession of the game, in Matthew Stafford’s first regular season action as an NFL quarterback, he handed the ball off to Kevin Smith who gained one yard. The next snap saw Stafford complete his first attempted pass in the NFL when Bryant Johnson caught one for a four yard game. After an incompletion to Kevin Smith, the Lions punted.

The game continued and the Drew Brees led Saints led 14-3 at the end of the first quarter and 28-10 at halftime.

On Detroit’s first possession of the second half, Matthew Stafford completed a pass to Calvin Johnson for a 64 yard gain down to the Saints’ three yard line. After a couple of failed rushing attempts, Stafford took the ball himself into the endzone on a one yard run for the first touchdown of his career.

The Lions would add another field goal and then scored another touchdown on a 65 yard fumble return. The Saints kept rolling though and the final score was 45-27.

Matthew Stafford finished the game completing 16 of 37 passes for 205 yards, no touchdowns, three interceptions. He was also sacked once, ran the ball twice for a total of one yard rushing and that one touchdown.

The player targeted most by Stafford that day was receiver Calvin Johnson who was thrown to 14 times and turned three of them into receptions.

You could tell right away that Matthew Stafford had a heck of an arm. This game didn’t work out the right way for him or the Lions but he built on this performance and has put together an outstanding NFL career.

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