Stafford, re-invigorated by Darrell Bevell’s offense, has a confidence and a swagger about him unlike ever seen before. He’s playing under control and making every single throw on the field. The stats tell the tale of a player who is enjoying a career resurgence in every sense of the word, and remaining amongst one of the most valuable players in the game as a result.
This season, Stafford has thrown 16 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions and has thrown for 2,093 yards, which is one of the highest totals in the league. His touchdown total is also amongst the league’s elite as well. While Stafford doesn’t have a big win to his credit this season, you’d be hard pressed to find someone more valuable to his team completely.
Simply, without Stafford, the Lions would be one of the worst teams in the league. That’s usually the case, but it looks to be even more the case this season. He’s saved the Lions with his ability to make plenty of throws, and has been the reason the team has been in position to win most of the games they have played thus far.
Truthfully, there’s no better definition of an MVP than that.
Stafford as a potential MVP candidate isn’t simply a local opinion. Folks across the nation are starting to take note of what the quarterback has done. Recently, Gary Gramling of The MMQB explained why on a podcast he thinks Stafford should be considered for the highest award the league can offer.
“I continue to campaign for Matthew Stafford for MVP. I think he’s right firmly in the conversation. I don’t know if it would be Stafford, Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson at this point. But Stafford was spectacular again in this one (against the New York Giants) and they finally threw the knockout punch in one of these games which the Lions haven’t been able to do and that’s why they’re sitting there at .500 instead of like two games over .500 right now.”
Gramling’s co-host agreed.
“It’s totally insane to me they have the record that they do, because that Monday night game in Green Bay is still horrible that they didn’t win that game,” she said. “Like, that was their game, and the officials gave it to the Packers essentially with the questionable calls. So they’re a team which I think is much better than their record reflects. Like you said Matt Stafford is having the best start to a season that he’s ever had for himself.”
Even NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw agrees that Stafford is playing at an insane level thus far this season.
More campaigning and recognition like this and Stafford might just be able to get over the hump when all is said and done for the award.
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Throw the Records Out
Of course names like Aaron Rodgers and Wilson will generate the most love. Rodgers is treated as if the MVP is a birthright, and Watson will generate the most hype given the noisy nature of what he does on the field. As long as those teams win and continue to have the gaudy record they do, Stafford might not get much of the buzz or love for the award by season’s end that he’s earned, but that doesn’t change how deserving he is and how much he has passed the eye test in terms of his play in 2019.
For once, though, folks should look past the big name teams and records of the other candidates and to the overall importance of Stafford to the Lions. The quarterback is literally the only reason the team remains in the playoff hunt most years. Now that he is starting to pile up the nice statistics, it’s becoming harder and harder to ignore his elite talents.
If the Lions can score a big win or two down the stretch and claw back into playoff contention, Stafford might end up having the best case of all the quarterbacks to take home the award. That could remain especially true if the Lions don’t fix their leaky defense, fix their discipline issues nor get any type of a consistent running game to help their quarterback out.
Once again, it might all be on Stafford’s back. This season more than most, the quarterback looks prepared to deliver.
That’s the true mark of a league MVP.