Matthew Stafford has rarely knocked on the door of winning the NFL MVP for the Detroit Lions , but 2020 could end up being different if the team is able to have more success than they have in years past.
Recently, the cast of Good Morning Football took a look at projecting their dark horse MVP candidates. When it came to the answer for Peter Schrager, a familiar face was the easy answer and it was Stafford in the end.
Schrager admitted he figures the Lions will have a much better season this year, and that could push Stafford higher into the consciousness of the league come next year in terms of the MVP race.
“It’s an annual tradition at this point, but here I am in early August hyping up Matt Stafford as a dark horse MVP candidate. He was fantastic before the injury last season and I think the @Lions will be considerably better than years past.” — @PSchrags pic.twitter.com/JFLcx9xlRh
— GMFB (@gmfb) August 11, 2020
“In all honesty, Stafford last year started the season great. They tied a game to Arizona that they were winning big. They Lost a couple weird ones. Look at Stafford’s first 8 games before injury last year. In his first 8 games, he was first in the league in a lot of different statistical categories cruising along to a huge statistical category season. MVP talk? Probably not at that point because the team wasn’t winning. You add in some victories for the Lions and suddenly you’re talking about a guy who has taken a team who is in desperate needs of wins and desperate need of positive attention, threw them on his back and got there. There’s so many reasons Stafford can win the MVP. He just has to win some games. I think the Lions are much better this year than they were a year ago.”
Winning games has always been the problem for Stafford in Detroit, but an improved defense and more offensive weapons could get the team over the hump this season. It seems simple to say, but Stafford has always put up numbers. If he’s able to win big games, that could be the difference in him getting over the hump and contending for a huge award.
It might also be what gets the Lions relevant nationally as well, which could prove to be a win-win for Stafford.
Matthew Stafford Called Elite Quarterback
Stafford is clearly valued by folks in the NFL community in a big way. Recently, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com revealed a list of his top 5 quarterbacks who are transcendent in the league right now. Stafford was included, and was included amongst some true luminaries right now at the position.
Top 5 Transcendent QB Talents
1. Patrick Mahomes, KC
2. Russell Wilson, Seattle
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
4. DeShaun Watson, Houston
5. Matt Stafford, Detroit
— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) April 4, 2020
It’s likely to be controversial for many that Stafford is on the list given his lack of big success in the NFL in terms of wins and losses at this point, but there is little doubting the fact that Stafford has some major talent to rely on at this point. He’s got a great arm and all the tools to dominate.
The hope is Stafford’s talent shines through and he starts to win bigger on the big stage in the future. For now, though, he still makes the cut in terms of elite players at his position in the mind of Brooks and likely plenty of others.
Matthew Stafford Named Potential 2020 NFL MVP by ESPN
A back injury ended up costing Stafford the rest of the 2019 season, but now that he has healed up, the sky could be the limit for the quarterback during the 2020 season. In fact, some already see Stafford as being in the mix for a major award for his play during next season.
ESPN recently put together an Insider piece predicting some outcomes for the 2020 season. When it came to league MVP, there were scant votes for Stafford, but one insider was bold enough to say he thinks the Detroit quarterback could be the league MVP.
In a piece by MLive.com’s Benjamin Raven, the thoughts of ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler from the piece are presented . Here’s a look at what was written by Raven that Fowler shared in the piece:
“The Lions quarterback was playing some of the best ball of his career before going down with fractured bones in his back, though, and his level of play was reason enough for one ESPN analyst to pencil him in as the 2020 NFL MVP.
“Mahomes is still the game’s best player, but Stafford was playing really good football before his midseason back issues,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler writes (ESPN Insider). “If he leads Detroit to contention, which isn’t so farfetched considering the talent around him, he’ll be in the MVP mix because he puts up numbers and the NFC North is as open as Kenny Golladay.”
The Lions were arguably getting MVP level play out of Stafford before he got hurt, and the numbers proved that he was acclimating just fine to Darrell Bevell’s new offense in Detroit. Last season, Stafford was cruising along to the tune of 19 touchdowns, 5 interceptions and 2,499 yards. Clearly, he was the most valuable player for the Lions considering what happened to the team when he went down.
The hope is that next season, Stafford can put together just as elite of a year and dominate on the field in similar fashion. If he does that and the team scores some big wins, it could be all that’s needed to get him into the MVP race.