Marty Smith Weighs In on If Matthew Stafford Has Hall of Fame Potential

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Outsider released another fantastic episode of The Marty Smith Podcast earlier today, and Marty and co-host Wes Blankenship dived into Sunday’s Big Game. The hosts talked late-game penalties, how they did with their Super Bowl bets, and the pair weighed in on Super Bowl champion Matthew Stafford‘s chances of making the Pro Football Hall of Fame now that he has his first Lombardi Trophy.

Super Bowl LVI gave NFL fans quite a show over the weekend. The back and forth matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals came down to the wire with L.A. coming out on top 23-20. The Rams trailed late in the game, but quarterback Matthew Stafford led the offense on what would be a game-winning touchdown drive. In only his first season in L.A., Stafford’s late heroics earned him his first Super Bowl.

After 12 years of great individual numbers without a single playoff win in Detroit, the former Georgia Bulldog can now call himself a Super Bowl champion. The QB basically sits in the Top 12 of every major statistical category for his position. That includes 11th in passes completed (4,302), 12th in passing yards (49,995), and 12th in passing touchdowns (323). But are his career statistics along with one championship enough to elevate his NFL resume to Hall of Fame status?

Co-host Wes Blankenship breached the subject in the latest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast. He says L.A.’s Super Bowl win isn’t confirmation that Stafford is a “shoe-in” for the Hall of Fame. He made sure to add that the 34-year-old could still make it, but he thinks Stafford has a little more work to do before he gets the nod. Smith had a different take on the matter.

Marty Smith Shares His Take On the Matthew Stafford Hall of Fame Debate

Marty Smith chimed in and made sure to remind listeners where Matthew Stafford stands on the all-time list of passers. By the numbers, the QB is surrounded by Hall of Famers who have had similar statistical NFL careers. That list includes legendary quarterbacks like John Elway, Warren Moon, and Fran Tarkenton.

Smith points out that Stafford sits at 12th on the all-time passing yards list. He trails Elway (11th), but is in front of both Moon (13th) and Tarkenton (14th). The latter two are Hall of Famers, but never won a Super Bowl.

“Warren Moon was a pioneer. Warren Moon never won a Super Bowl. Just behind Moon is Fran Tarkenton. He’s a Hall of Famer. He played in three Super Bowls with the Vikings and never won one,” Marty Smith explained on the podcast. “Matthew Stafford is going to continue to escalate up that list. I think he’s a couple thousand yards behind Elway. So I think he’s got the opportunity to pass John Elway.”

Wes countered saying that Stafford has never been an All-Pro in his career. Therefore the co-host thinks the quarterback still needs to prove himself a bit more before he’s a sure thing for the Hall of Fame.

“Look, I am all-in on the debate,” Marty Smith said. “But we’re a numbers world. I think the world championship is the kicker. If Matthew Stafford had stayed in Detroit and thrown for 75,00 yards, I don’t think he has the leverage that he has now.”

“He was brought to Los Angeles, California for one reason. That’s to get them over the top,” Smith added. “He along with the other gentlemen you mentioned – Odell Beckham, Von Miller, Jalen Ramsey – they all came there for that one reason. And they did it. Congratulations.”

If Stafford isn’t under consideration for the Hall of Fame yet, he’s on the verge of it. That much is for sure. If he plays 2 or 3 more years and keeps climbing up the lists of all-time great QBs, he might have a trip to Canton, Ohio in his future.