The final category for the 2015 POD Awards is the Detroit Lions' Most Valuable Player. Here are the nominees:
Perhaps the best argument for Stafford as the Lions' MVP is how the entire outlook of the team changed after Stafford turned his game around in the second half of the season. When Stafford struggled, the team lost. When Stafford lit up the league in the last eight weeks of the season, the Lions went 6-2.
Despite the slow start, Stafford finished in the top ten in passing yards, passer rating, completion percentage and passing touchdowns.
Ansah had arguably the most impressive season of any Lions player. Much has been made of his third-most 14.5 sacks on the year, but his impact went beyond that. He also led the team with four forced fumbles and landed fifth in the league in quarterback hits. Ansah's constant pressure of the opposing quarterback helped the Lions finish with a +4 turnover margin for the final eight weeks of the season.
Slay doesn't have the shiny stats that Stafford and Ansah boast, but his impact is easily seen by the lack of statistics for the receivers lined up opposite Slay. During a nine game stretch in the middle of the season, Slay allowed just 18 catches for 217 yards, or an average of 2 receptions for 24.1 yards per game. Slay's performance essentially shut down half of the field for the opposing offense and allowed Detroit to see a complete rebound on defense during the final half of the season.