The Detroit Lions had what most would describe as a miserable 2019 season on the field considering their record and statistical output.
Even in spite of that, there’s no reason not to hand out some key awards for what happened on the field. In spite of some of the worst performances by any team on the field, the Lions still had plenty of big time performers and solid moments to note.
What do the Lions awards for 2019 look like? Here’s a reveal of some awards and award winners for the team.
Lions 2019 MVP – Kenny Golladay, WR
It’s easy to name Golladay as the team’s top player this year. Golladay led the team in touchdowns with 11, and managed to lead the league in the stat as well. Arguably, the Lions would not have had the chance in any game without the wide receiver considering their other injuries that piled up. Golladay was snubbed for every major award and recognition in spite of his elite season, but that shouldn’t matter to the team. He was as elite as they came for the Lions, and the team MVP as a result.
Lions Most Improved Player – Tracy Walker, S
Detroit vaulted plenty of teams in 2018 to pick Walker, and he wasted little time getting his feet wet and making plays his rookie year. Without Quandre Diggs, the Lions are depending on Walker to step up and make some huge plays in the secondary and be the top leader at safety. He looked on track to do this until the injury bug bit, but late in the 2019 season, Walker came on and played arguably his best game in Week 17. There’s reason to think he could be one of the next up and coming defensive stars few people are talking about. At the very least, he’s a great piece for the Lions to have as they reshape their backfield for 2020. He’s shown a much better awareness on the field and is looking to be the next big thing at safety.
Lions Rookie of the Year – Jahlani Tavai, LB
The Lions seemed to have a shoo-in candidate with tight end T.J. Hockenson, but he struggled with consistency and was not able to stay healthy. Safety Will Harris didn’t come on until the end of the season, and cornerback Amani Oruwariye did the same. That left Tavai as the most impressive rookie start to finish for the team. He showed good instincts and played the type of role teams love to see a second round pick play right off the bat. Tavai will be able to grow more in 2020, perhaps within a new scheme. That will be fun to watch for a player who was already playing as the top rookie on the team.
Lions Most Important Offensive Player: Matthew Stafford, QB
While Golladay was the team’s MVP this season, there is no question who was the most important player on offense. Stafford was having an MVP level season when he went down with a back injury. While the Lions defense was miserable with or without him, there was no question that Stafford was driving the bus in a big way for the team. When Stafford disappeared, Detroit’s chances of winning went with him. That points to someone who is vital for the entire operation. Nobody should question how much Stafford matters to the Lions anymore.
Lions Most Important Defensive Player: Devon Kennard, DE
It’s perhaps an upset here over cornerback Darius Slay, who is no less important to the secondary and the defense, but the Lions simply couldn’t rush the passer this year. Outside of Kennard and Trey Flowers, the team had no consistent pass rush options to rely on anywhere, which is a big problem for this unit. Kennard was a big play machine again in 2019, forcing fumbles, generating sacks and even scoring a touchdown. He’s as good off the field as on it as well. Give him credit for playing a huge defensive role.
Lions Coach of the Year: Darrell Bevell, Offensive Coordinator
Bevell jump started the Detroit offense in a way that few others could and have recently. Detroit had a serviceable ground attack and a passing offense which could hit big plays. With the defense bottoming out, the offense was a major positive in their first season under Bevell’s leadership. The team finished as a top 20 offense in the league and the offense was popular with the team’s players. It would be easy to see them taking even more steps forward in 2020 with improvements. Bevell will be a big reason why the Lions will feel good about their offense moving forward, even as everything else is up in the air.
Lions Best Game of 2019: Win at Philadelphia Eagles
The Lions didn’t have many solid efforts from start to finish, but one of their best came on the road against the Eagles. Philadelphia isn’t an easy place to win, and the Lions did enough on offense, defense and special teams to frustrate the Eagles. The loss was a major reason Philadelphia had to sweat out whether or not they’d make the playoffs until late in the season. Detroit nearly blew the game at the end, but pulled it out. It was an exciting win, something that were few and far between in a miserable season. Lions fans need to remember this game.
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