Analyst: Matthew Stafford Undervalued NFL MVP Candidate

Matthew Stafford

Getty Matthew Stafford prior to a game in 2018.

The Detroit Lions got some solid play out of Matthew Stafford in 2019, and that leads many to believe that Stafford could be primed for a huge 2020 season.

Some early odds have Stafford as quite a long shot to take home the league MVP award, but according to some, Stafford could be a great value buy at this point in time as a guy who could be a dark horse to take home the award.

Recently, Pro Football Focus presented a take of the most overrated and underrated candidates for the award. Stafford falls into the underrated category.

“For me it’s Matthew Stafford at 60-1. He was having a pretty good season last year when he left. He’s to me the best best value,” the analyst says.

Indeed, Stafford was on his way to perhaps being an MVP candidate when his back injury struck. Without Stafford, the Detroit season fell off a cliff. Obviously, that only proves how valuable the quarterback is to his team. Stafford has willed the Lions to the playoffs before and if he has a good season, the team could be in great shape for 2020.

Matthew Stafford Named Potential MVP by ESPN

That back injury ended up costing Stafford the rest of the 2019 season, but now that he has presumably 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’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.

To become league MVP, the Lions will have to have an elite season on the field in terms of winning and also get great stats from Stafford. It might seem like a tall order, but it’s always possible if the Lions can finally play up to their potential.

Matthew Stafford Explains Feelings on 2019 Season

Stafford joined Tori Petry from for an exit interview following the completion of the 2019 season, and admitted to the frustration over not being able to reach goals and finish things off healthy as well as help his team to some more late season success.

“It’s been tough. Obviously, as a team, when you don’t win games, it’s difficult,” Stafford said in the interview. “I know the amount of hard work guys on our team and our coaching staff put into it and when the season doesn’t go the way you want it to, it’s not fun.”

For Stafford, the frustration was significantly over not being able to be on the field, even though he had a big role otherwise preparing the quarterbacks.

“For me personally, disappointed not being able to be out there. I love playing. I love playing with these guys. I love competing and not being able to do that was tough. I tried finding other ways to help us and stay involved as much as I possibly could, but nothing actually duplicates going out there and doing it.”

Stafford admitted his role didn’t change outside missing games, but the fact that he had to be a spectator wasn’t exactly something which made him happy. Easy to see, especially with how miserable the Lions finished.

All of that is now in the rear view mirror, and Stafford could be on the fast track to a big season in which.

READ NEXT: Lions Low Within NFL Power Rankings List

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