Detroit Lions: Making the Case for Matthew Stafford as MVP

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 04: Matthew Stafford
NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 04: Matthew Stafford /

Detroit Lions quarterback, Matthew Stafford, is a premier NFL talent. But what will it take for him to win the MVP award?

If you told me that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was going to be the MVP before the start of last season I would have called you crazy. Yet, the season came to a close and he took that award home. So, since Ryan shocked many last season, I decided to look into what I think it would take for Detroit Lions quarterback, Matthew Stafford, to win the award.

The first checkmark for Stafford’s case comes with his position. In the last 10 seasons, 9 winners have been quarterbacks. The only outlier is in 2012 when then-Minnesota Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson, came within single digits of breaking the NFL yards record.

Quarterbacks get the ball in their hands every play. More often than not, they are the leaders of their teams as well. If the team wins, they usually get a lot of the praise involved, and if they lose they carry much of the blame.

That quarterback and record connection is going to be the toughest egg for Stafford to crack. I think in order to win the MVP, he’s going to need to win at least 11 games this season. Last year the Lions ended up at 9-7, so a two-game jump doesn’t seem too crazy. Heck, had the Lions not lost their last three games of 2016 I think Stafford would have been a finalist.

I think where Stafford’s biggest trump card is the talent around him. Players that might find their names in the running during the last few weeks include quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr, Dak Prescott and Tom Brady. I’m sure there will be at least one other position player on the list, but much like Peterson, they probably have to flirt with a record to win it.

All those other quarterbacks named have some of the best talent surrounding them. It could be a stud running back, receiver, offensive line or in some cases, all three. Stafford, on the other hand, has a team filled with question marks at every position. The line is injured, the running backs haven’t put together a full season, and the receivers go missing way too often.

Stafford will earn a lot of praise of these positions get it together. Leadership is becoming a key component in quarterback evaluation, so taking a lesser group and doing more will look great. The best quarterbacks make other players look better. So that’s a must if Stafford wants the award.

I think Stafford is close. It’s a tough award to win, but I promise somebody will be winning it this year.

Next: What was the Detroit Lions’ true* record last year?

So what do you think? Does Matthew Stafford have a chance this season? Will he ever? Or does he need to win a division title or playoff game before he can even be placed into the conversation?