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2016 Detroit Lions POD Awards: Most Valuable Player

Who was the Detroit Lions’ MVP in 2016?

NFL: Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Next up for the 2016 Detroit Lions POD Awards is the category for Detroit Lions Most Valuable Player. Here are the nominees:

Matthew Stafford

Stafford was put in the least enviable position on the entire team. Behind an offensive line that featured two rookies for most of the year, equipped with nothing resembling a running game and forced to keep pace with his opponents because of an awful defense, Stafford had to single-handedly carry this entire Lions team. And he did just that.

In what may have been his best season ever, Stafford led Detroit to eight fourth quarter comebacks, the most of any NFL quarterback in a single season. He did it while threading needles and trucking over defenders. If there was any doubt that he was the leader of this team, Stafford destroyed it with his 2016 campaign.

Darius Slay

Coming into the 2016 season, Slay’s primary goal was to create more turnovers. While he only managed two interceptions, the same total as he had in the 2015 and 2014 seasons, he still lived up to his moniker "Big Play Slay." He forced two turnovers against the Eagles to essentially win the game for Detroit in Week 5, and his stunning interception on Thanksgiving swept the Vikings off the field.

Matt Prater

The Lions only Pro Bowl player had his own hand in the Lions’ eight comebacks this season. Prater was perfect in all five game-winning or game-tying situation in the final two minutes of the game, something he has literally done for his entire 10-year career.

If Prater missed even two of the his late-game field goals, you’re looking at a 7-9 team that misses the playoffs and finishes third in the division. That’s the definition of value.