June 24, 2024

Matthew Stafford is excited for his big comeback after spending the first 12 years of his career with the Detroit Lions and has a message for his former team.

The Los Angeles Rams quarterback will return home after his team clinched the No. 6 seed in the playoffs, setting up a game against the No. 3 Lions on January 14. Stafford stated this week that he is excited to be back in the playoffs and to face the team that chose him with the No. 1 overall pick in 2019.

“The opportunity just so happens to be in Detroit, which is fun for me on a personal level,” Stafford told ESPN. “I’m sure it’ll be rocking there.” There hasn’t been a playoff game there in maybe 30 years or so. As a result, the atmosphere will be fantastic. It will be a difficult assignment for us, but we are quite excited.”

BREAKING NEWS: Matthew Stafford Sends Message to Lions on instagram Ahead of Playoff Return to Detroit
BREAKING NEWS: Matthew Stafford Sends Message to Lions on instagram Ahead of Playoff Return to Detroit

Matthew Stafford: ‘It Will Be Fun’

After the 2021 deal that moved him to Los Angeles in exchange for quarterback Jared Goff and a package of draft picks, Stafford maintained a close relationship with the Lions and the team’s fans. He said “thank you, not goodbye” in a farewell video, reviewing his career and wonderful times with the squad.

Stafford told reporters this week that he wants to express his gratitude to the franchise and its fans.

“It will be fun to see some of the people that I haven’t seen in a while, that I know are still around the building,” remarked Stafford. “Obviously, it will be a different scenario, and they will not be wearing their colors.” But I still thank so many of the people who gave me my start in this league and looked after me for 12 years.”

Stafford said that, notwithstanding the goodwill that still remains between the two sides, a football game will be played.

“Really, to be honest with you, a football game is a football game once the ball is snapped,” Stafford told The Athletic. “There will be a lot of stuff beforehand that I’m sure I’ll have to answer questions about, and they will as well.” But after the ball is snapped, it’s time to go play football.

Sean McVay, Jared Goff’s former coach, is fond of him.

The Lions had modest success under Stafford, making the playoffs only three times in his 12 seasons and losing all three times in the first round. He had rapid success in Los Angeles, guiding the team to a Super Bowl victory in his first season.

Goff has also seen a career resurgence in Detroit as well, turning in two of the best statistical years of his career in 2022 and 2023.

Rams head coach Sean McVay shared some love for Goff ahead of the game, saying he is looking forward to facing him in the playoffs.

“I think if there’s anything, I have more appreciation for him as time goes on,” McVay said, via The Athletic. “He’s nothing but a class act, and man did he do a lot of really good things here for us, and he’s done great stuff for them. There’s a reason why they are in this position. We’re gonna go do the best we can to go try to play a good, clean game and try to come away with a win. They’ve been an excellent offense, and he’s done a great job orchestrating it, he and coach Johnson. Obviously, coach (Dan) Campbell.”

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