The latest documentary on Matthew Stafford depicts his comeback with the Detroit Lions and their playoff journey, including both victories and defeats.

Matthew Stafford was fully aware of what awaited him when he returned to face the Detroit Lions in the opening round of the 2023 playoffs.

In a documentary titled “Matthew Stafford: Locked In,” produced by the Los Angeles Rams, the quarterback who spent 12 seasons with the Lions acknowledged that he didn’t anticipate a warm reception upon his return to Detroit. He understood the fervor and hunger for playoff success among the fanbase. The documentary is set to be broadcast on Rams’ channels and the NFL Network on Thursday at 8 p.m.

Stafford shared in the documentary, “People are like, ‘Oh, they’ll give you a standing ovation or play a tribute video.’ But I knew what to expect from these fans. They’re passionate about their football, devoted to their Lions.”

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff hugs Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford after the Lions' 24-23 win in the NFC wild-card game at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Jan, 14, 2024.

The 43-minute film delves into Matthew Stafford’s life as an NFL quarterback, while also depicting his roles as a father of four and a husband. It chronicles the Rams’ impressive finish to the season, during which they won seven out of eight games in the final two months, securing a Wild Card spot and setting the stage for a showdown with the Lions and Jared Goff, the other quarterback involved in the 2021 trade.

The documentary primarily focuses on the Rams’ journey from Week 15 onwards, highlighting their surge towards the playoffs and the anticipation surrounding the impending matchup against the Lions.

The narrative builds towards the pivotal moment when the Stafford family returns to Detroit for the playoff game. Matthew and Kelly Stafford reflect on the significance of Detroit in their lives, having started a family there and actively participated in community endeavors, including philanthropic work with organizations like SAY Detroit.

Matthew Stafford remarked, “Our 12 years in Detroit allowed us to make a meaningful impact on the community. We’re proud of the contributions we’ve made, which continue to resonate.”

Kelly Stafford expressed the emotional complexity of returning to a place where they spent significant years of their lives, including her own surgery, which garnered immense support from the city.

The Lions-Rams playoff matchup marked Matthew Stafford and his family’s first return to Ford Field since his last game before the trade. Matthew described the surreal experience of entering the familiar stadium as a visitor, navigating through the visitor’s entrance and undergoing security checks typically reserved for the visiting team.

The documentary captures Matthew Stafford’s customary pre-game rituals and his walk through the tunnel, where he was met with a chorus of boos. Mic’d up during the game, Stafford acknowledged and anticipated the reaction from the crowd.

L.A. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford looks to throughout the ball in the first half against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024.

“Yeah, c’mon, bring it on,” Matthew Stafford exclaimed as he dashed out of the tunnel amidst the chorus of boos.

In a subsequent sit-down interview, he reflected, “They really gave it to me, which was pretty cool.”

Kelly mentioned that the boos served as a final confirmation of closure regarding the trade and relocation. Matthew, fueled by the negative reception, was determined to deliver a standout performance to silence the crowd.

“It got me fired up to go out there and aim for 400 yards and a slew of touchdowns, to remind them what they’re missing,” Matthew Stafford remarked.

The documentary briefly showcased Jared Goff while NBC commentators hyped up the matchup between the two former No. 1 overall picks who were traded for each other. Rams head coach Sam McVay expressed gratitude for Goff’s tenure in L.A. but emphasized his satisfaction with Matthew Stafford.

Following the anticipation, the game highlights unfolded. The Lions surged to a 14-3 lead in the first half and maintained a 21-17 advantage at halftime. They extended their lead with a field goal early in the second half but failed to score thereafter. Despite the Rams managing two late field goals, the Lions’ defense held firm, securing a narrow 24-23 victory, marking the franchise’s first playoff win in 32 years.

Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson closes in on L.A. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford after Stafford lost his footing during the first half of the wild-card round of the NFC playoffs at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024.

Matthew Stafford takes center stage in the documentary, showcasing his remarkable throws and enduring injuries throughout the game. He sustained a cut on his throwing hand from Alim McNeill’s helmet and aggravated his rib injury, a persistent issue, when he landed on the ball and absorbed a hit from Aidan Hutchinson. Despite the physical toll, cameras capture Kelly and the Stafford family’s reactions as Matthew perseveres, amassing 367 yards and two touchdowns.

In the documentary’s closing moments, Matthew Stafford exchanges handshakes with Jared Goff, acknowledging the Lions’ formidable team, before heading towards the Ford Field tunnel to embrace Frank Ragnow. They express mutual sentiments of missing each other. The former Lions quarterback concludes by expressing his determination to achieve further success, with winning another Super Bowl being his primary objective.

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