After a 2010 campaign that saw Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford throw for 535 yards and six touchdowns, the 5,038 yards and 41 TD’s this year was somewhat of an improvement.
Stafford missed 13 games last season due to injury, but this year showed critics what he can do when healthy for a full season. Stafford amassed the fifth most passing yards in league history this season, firmly establishing himself as one of the game’s elite.
While Stafford called the award “an honor,” he added that it is something he hopes to never win again.
“You come here and see these festivities and they’re fantastic and a bunch of fun, but, at the same time, two teams are still playing and it’s every team’s goal to be ending the season like these two teams,” Stafford said.
While the Lions’ signal caller downplayed the award and attributed his success to his teammates, he did say that he was happy that his hard work paid off and was honored. The work he put in to get himself from an injury-prone, unproven quarterback to an NFL star is something that had to be honored.
Stafford received 21 votes, 15 more than Cleveland linebacker D’Qwell Jackson who finished second. Also nominated for the award were Carolina wideout Steve Smith, Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, Patriots defensive end Andre Carter, and Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
All players were deserving in my mind, except maybe Manning (what did he “comeback” from again?), but Stafford won by a landslide. The big win represents just how good Stafford was this year, and finally someone is appreciating it. (Read about Stafford getting shafted out of the Pro Bowl)
With some hardware under his belt, Stafford now says he is looking forward to draft day, and getting the 53-man roster finalized for the 2012 season.
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