The Detroit Lions are heading into this season after earning a playoff birth last season, looking to further improve upon their success from last year. Some say last year was a fluke and that they will return to their former mediocrity.
Detroit has other plans in mind. They will look to build off last year and take over the NFC North. It will not be easy, especially with the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers still around.
If Detroit wants to find similar success, they will need their key players to step up once again. With that being said, Matthew Stafford is the key for Detroit. He had a great season last year, throwing for 4,372 yards and 24 touchdowns. But it was not even close to his best.
This year, Detroit will need more than Stafford’s best. If Stafford can outperform himself, he will be the most valuable player for the Lions. Not to say that he is not already the most valuable player for this team, but rather how well he performs this season compared to his teammates.
Another player who could potentially slide in as MVP for Detroit is Ameer Abdullah. He is entering his third season in the NFL after missing most of last year due to an injury. Detroit has never had much of a running game since Barry Sanders. Which puts loads of pressure on Matthew Stafford.
Stafford has done well, even with the constant use. But he can do even better with a solid running game helping him out. Abdullah has shown flashes of greatness during his first two seasons, when he was on the field and not resting with an injury.
Abdullah has struggled with fumbling the ball up to this point, but if he can improve upon his ball carrying, watch out.
A third possible candidate is a toss up between Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. Both receivers showed flashes of excellence last year, while going cold more often than not. If either of these guys can stay consistent the whole year, Stafford will have a field day.
Golden Tate is the obvious first option for Detroit, but Marvin Jones can take that title if he can stay consistent. Both receivers can do great things, especially with Matthew Stafford’s arm. Expect one of these receivers to have a break-out year.
MVP: Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford will be the most valuable player this year for the Detroit Lions. It is an obvious choice considering the fact that the other three players impact how Stafford will ultimately perform this year.
If Abdullah can catch fire, less pressure will be on Stafford. If Golden Tate or Marvin Jones stay consistent, Stafford has more options to throw to.
So, even if any of those three players breaks out and tear it up for Detroit, it will directly impact Stafford and how well he plays.
If all goes well, Detroit should expect another 5,000+ yard season out of Stafford. Stafford should also throw for over 40 touchdowns for the second time in his career.
Matthew Stafford has the tools and skills to lead this Detroit team, but will he unleash them?