Does Stafford Deserve Spot On Lions' Mount Rushmore?


You may have heard this before, but the Lions haven't won a playoff game since 1991. Matter of fact, that's their only playoff win in the Super Bowl era. 

So it's not a franchise bursting with all-time greats. 

Still, we've seen some pretty legendary players come through Detroit, led by Barry Sanders. He's the first face on any Mount Rushmore of the best players in franchise history. 

After that? 

Well, CBS Sports tackled that task, listing a 'Franchise Five' for each team in the NFL: one head coach, one quarterback and three players of any position. 

"Lions fans owe their franchise's rich history to these five men," so the story says. I double- and triple-checked to make sure they actually used the words 'rich history.' 

For head coach, they tabbed Buddy Parker, who led the Lions to NFL Championships in 1952 and 1953, so you won't hear an argument from me. 

Which brings us to the players. 

Naturally, Sanders was No. 1. And WR Calvin Johnson was another no-doubter. The third, and the only defensive player on the list, was LB Joe Schmidt. It's hard to argue with his accomplishments, including eight All-Pro selections and two Defensive Player of the Year awards.

On the outside looking in are Hall-of-Famers Lem Barney, Charlie Sanders and Doak Walker. But you have to draw the line somewhere. 

Speaking of Hall-of-Famers, Bobby Layne, a three-time NFL champ, should get the nod at quarterback, right? 

Nope. Matthew Stafford was the pick:

It is pretty remarkable that Stafford has only been selected to the Pro Bowl once in his career considering he was the quickest NFL quarterback to reach 15,000, 20,000, 25,000, 30,000 and 40,000 career passing yards. He holds countless other NFL records and even more franchise records. ...
Despite playing in just three playoff games, Stafford has been a consistent leader for the NFC North franchise. He has led Detroit on 28 comebacks and 34 game-winning drives, according to Pro Football Reference. He has amassed 41,025 passing yards, 256 passing touchdowns and 134 interceptions throughout his career. 

Did CBS Sports get it right? As they mentioned, Stafford only has one Pro Bowl selection to his name. Layne had six, plus two All-Pro selections. There's no doubt Stafford's the most prolific passer in franchise history, but Layne played in a completely different era. 

Moreover, Layne has the one thing that's missing from Stafford's resume, and he has it in spades.