Matthew Stafford led the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl victory last week. In doing so, he inadvertently opened himself up to a lot of attention, both positive and negative.
One of the byproducts of Stafford’s win has been a reassessment of his NFL career. That in turn has led to an intriguing debate centered around one primary question.
Does he have a Hall of Fame-worthy resume?
Legendary cornerback Richard Sherman caught a lot of flak this past week for saying that he didn’t.
“I’m gonna talk about it on the podcast but the HOF bar is incredibly low now,” he tweeted regarding Stafford. “Like a participation trophy. No all decade team. No All pro. No MVP. 1 Pro bowl. Not even MVP of the SB.
That earned a strong reaction from Matthew’s wife, Kelly.
This week, ESPN broadcaster Laura Rutledge offered her honest thoughts on the matter.
.@ESPN‘s @LauraRutledge joined the Thursday edition of @MacandCube to give her input on the Matthew Stafford/Hall of Fame conversation following the @RamsNFL‘s Super Bowl win. pic.twitter.com/RGdG3WlUxP
— WJOX 94.5 FM (@WJOX945) February 17, 2022
“Hall of Fame? I don’t know yet,” she said. “We’ll see what he does in the next few years.”
That said, Rutledge did take a moment to commend Stafford on all he accomplished in 2021-22.
“To look at what he did this year, to make the gamble, or however you want to put it, to go to L.A., to better himself, to be surrounded by really good players and you can still do all that stuff and it doesn’t work out,” she said.
“So I do think there’s something to be said for executing in the biggest moments and getting there, even with some lulls during the season. There were some times when we said, ‘Man, this team is not going to be a threat at all to win the Super Bowl, they may not even be a postseason threat.’ There were all kinds of reasons why. So I think when you look at that part of it, it is a one season situation and it is worthy of a lot of praise.”
Rutledge is a very respected voice in the NFL community, so her take on this matter means a lot and carries a ton of weight. Don’t forget, there’s a reason why this seemingly simple photo of her went mega-viral. She’s a big deal.
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/OVL3ubaoDq
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 18, 2022
As far as Stafford, it will be interesting to see where his legacy goes from here. One more Super Bowl win and his Hall of Fame status will likely be secured.
Should this year’s title be a one-off, though – then this debate will suddenly get far murkier than it even is now.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.