Quarterback Matthew Stafford‘s assault on the Lions’ records book this season has earned him the Pro Football Weekly/Professional Football Writers Association 2011 Comeback Player of the Year award.
The award has been given out since 1972 (except 1985) and the last Lions’ player to win Comeback Player of the Year was Greg Landry in 1976. In 1992, PFW and PFWA joined together for annual awards.
Stafford is also up for the Associated Press’ Comeback Player award to be announced on Super Bowl eve.
Stafford set Lions’ single-season records for passing yards (5,038), touchdowns (41), completions (421), attempts (663) and quarterback rating (97.2).
“I see him as one of the top quarterbacks in the league,” said Lions general manager Martin Mayhew. “I don’t think anybody’s holding out and still evaluating that. Five thousand yards, 41 touchdowns – he’s a great, young player. He’s 23 years old and he’s a franchise quarterback, so I was really thrilled to see what he did.”
Stafford missed 19 games due to injury his first two seasons in the NFL, 13 of those coming last year when he injured his throwing shoulder on two separate occasions.
With a healthy Stafford for 16 games this season, the Lions won 10 games for the first time since 1995 and qualified for their first playoffs in 12 years.
Stafford became the second youngest player behind Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino to throw for 5,000 yards in a season and was at his best when the season was on the line. Stafford threw for 1,511 yards and 14 touchdowns over the final four games of the regular season when the Lions were fighting for a playoff spot.
Receiver Calvin Johnson was named to the PFW/PFWA All-Pro team.
Tags: Calvin Johnson, Greg Landry, Martin Mayhew, Matthew Stafford
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 16 Comments »