By NOAH TRISTER, AP Sports activities Author
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — For his first two NFL seasons, Matthew Stafford was held again by accidents.
Ever since, he’s been an image of sturdiness.
“Earlier than I arrived, I keep in mind visually simply watching him play in a pair ballgames the place he had issues that he needed to battle his approach by way of and also you knew he was a troublesome, exhausting-nosed man,” stated Jim Caldwell, who’s in his fourth season as Stafford’s coach in Detroit.
“He has numerous nice traits, that’s one among them. I imply he actually is a bit totally different in that regard, and I feel that advantages him.”
This week, Stafford’s ankle has been a priority, however he’s been working towards, and there’s been no indication that he’ll miss Sunday’s recreation at New Orleans.
Stafford has made a hundred and one consecutive begins for the Lions within the common season — plus three within the playoffs — and Detroit definitely hopes he’s near full power this weekend towards a workforce he’s had success towards prior to now.
The Lions have crushed the Saints in every of the previous three seasons, doing it on the street in 2015 and 2016.
“It’s a troublesome place to play, it truly is. That’s as loud a stadium as you play in within the NFL,” Stafford stated.
“A hostile surroundings, however an entire lot of enjoyable to go on the market and play. I feel we’ve simply performed properly as a workforce. Final yr our protection performed extraordinarily properly, received three turnovers I feel, and on offense, performed ok.”
Stafford’s streak of consecutive video games is in stark distinction to what he went by way of in his first two years after being drafted with the No. 1 general decide in 2009.
He was restricted to 10 video games his first season due to shoulder and knee accidents.
The next yr, he harm his proper shoulder in Detroit’s opener and missed greater than a month.
In his second recreation after returning, he injured the identical shoulder once more and was achieved for the season.
Since then, he’s suited up for each Lions recreation, though the previous couple of weekends have been robust for him. He was sacked six occasions by each Minnesotaand Carolina .
The safety has been a bit higher when Stafford has confronted New Orleans in recent times.
In 2011, the Lions misplaced twice at New Orleans, together with as soon as within the playoffs, however Stafford threw for 408 yards within the first recreation and 380 within the postseason matchup.
In a 2014 win over the Saints in Detroit, Stafford threw two landing passes within the ultimate three:38 to raise the Lions to a 24-23 victory.
In 2015, he went 22 of…