When the Detroit Lions made the playoffs in 2011, quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson both seemingly established themselves as future MVP candidates. They put up big numbers, and they were part of a team that finally ended its playoff drought.
Although Stafford and Johnson continued to put up big numbers in 2012 and 2013, the Lions took a step in the wrong direction. They followed up their trip to the playoffs by going 4-12 and 7-9, and the offense was quite inconsistent at times during those two seasons. Stafford in particular dealt with a lot of struggles, and thanks in part to injuries, Johnson had a lot of drops.
Going into the 2014 season, you might not think of Stafford and Johnson as potential MVP candidates, but they are both fairly high up on Bovada's list of odds for the award. Stafford is tied for sixth with Jay Cutler at 20/1, and Johnson is just behind them at 25/1. Take a look:
|Robert Griffin III||25/1|
It remains to be seen if Stafford will perform at a high enough level to even be in the conversation for the MVP award, and it remains to be seen how his play will affect Johnson's chances. Based on what we've seen the last couple years, it's hard to believe Stafford is as high as he is on this list, but then again, the potential is there. If he's able to live up to that potential on a consistent basis, Stafford could certainly elevate himself to an MVP type of level, especially when you consider that the Lions offense is built for him to put up some impressive numbers.