| The Detroit News
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has thrown 264 touchdown passes. That’s more than double anyone else in franchise history, and he continues to climb the NFL’s all-time ranks, where he’ll likely vault past Joe Montana sometime next month.
As part of those 264 scoring strikes, Stafford has thrown a touchdown against 30 of the league’s teams. The only two he hasn’t crossed off the list being the Lions, obviously, and this week’s opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
When Stafford was informed he’s failed to accomplish the feat against the Jaguars, the quarterback was initially surprised before recalling, in detail, what happened in those two games, both wins.
“I did not know that,” Stafford said. “That needs to happen for sure. Golly, Calvin (Johnson) had 100 the one week where he couldn’t practice and he could only turn right. That was when we played at their place, he had a bad knee and could only turn right. The other game was at home, I think we had 21 rushes for 14 yards or something like that. (Jaguars quarterback Blake) Bortles kind of turned it over a couple times on us. But, yeah, I need to make that happen.”
To no one’s surprise, Stafford was spot on with the details. Johnson caught seven balls for 129 yards in a 31-14 victory in 2012, getting a pain-killing injection in his knee before the game. All four of Detroit’s touchdowns came on the ground that day, including three by running back Mikel Leshoure.
And when the franchises met again in 2016 — a 26-19 win for the Lions — the team got a touchdown on both special teams and defense. Detroit’s only offensive score came via a handoff to tight end Eric Ebron, which was his only carry he recorded in four seasons with the Lions.
And yes, Stafford had the rushing total correct; 21 carries, 14 yards.
In those two victories against Jacksonville, Stafford completed 46 of his 66 throws for 563 yards and no interceptions. Yet somehow, no touchdowns. Throwing one this Sunday, against a defense that’s allowed 11 through five games, would be another milestone of many in Stafford’s prolific career.
“I would love to have that on the tombstone one day or something,” he quipped.