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2017 Detroit Lions POD awards: Most Valuable Player

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Who was the most valuable player on the 2017 Detroit Lions team?

Cleveland Browns v Detroit Lions

We’ve come to the end of our 2017 Pride of Detroit awards. If you missed out on any voting for the previous nine, catch up here:

Now it’s time for the biggest award of the year. Most Valuable Player. Here are this year’s nominees.

Matthew Stafford

There’s a reason a quarterback has won the AP NFL Most Valuable Player award in every year going back to 2006. The quarterback is quite literally the most valuable player on the field at all times.

But Stafford’s value goes well beyond just being a quarterback, because he’s a heck of a good one. This year, he finished in the top six in passer rating, yards per attempt, completion percentage, and passing touchdowns. It was arguably the best season in his career, and the Lions were nearly unstoppable when he was on his game.

Stafford in 9 wins: 72.0 comp.%, 8.6 Y/A, 19 TDs, 4 INTs, 113.9 passer rating
Stafford in 7 losses: 59.1 comp.%, 7.2 Y/A, 10 TDs, 6 INTs, 84.1 passer rating

As goes Stafford, so does the team. That’s the definition of value.

Darius Slay

On the other side of the ball, it’s hard to imagine a player more valuable that Darius Slay. Turnovers are one of the biggest factors in winning a football game, and no Detroit Lion was responsible for creating more turnovers than Slay. His eight interceptions led the entire NFL, and he added a fumble recovery, too.

But Slay was also impactful in shutting down the opposition’s No. 1 receiver. For the first half of the season, Slay was regularly shadowing some of the best receivers in the game, and he was blanketing them.

Unlike Stafford, Slay’s play in 2017 earned himself a spot in the Pro Bowl and AP’s All Pro team.

Marvin Jones Jr.

Whenever the Lions needed a big play, Marvin Jones seemed to be there to make it. Whether it be his fantastic catch in double coverage that kept the Lions in the game on Thanksgiving against the Vikings, or his one-handed snag that sparked the comeback in New Orleans, Jones was always fighting.

Jones finished first among all receivers with a whopping 18.0 yards per catch, thanks, in part to his 20 catches of 20 or more yards (fifth most). Amazingly, of his 61 catches, 44 of them earned first downs, good for the eighth-highest percentage among receivers with at least 50 catches.

Big plays? Check.
Moving the chains? Check.
Touchdowns? Nine of them (fourth-most in NFL).

Value.

Glover Quin

Though Darius Slay stole all headlines for the Detroit Lions defense, Quin was hot on his tail. Again, turnovers were a big theme for Quin. He forced four fumbles, one fumble recovery and had three interceptions. He also managed to do something that Slay hasn’t in his entire career: get in the endzone.

Tag on the fact that Quin had 84 tackles (third on the team) and five tackles for loss (second on the team), and you’ve got perhaps the biggest playmaker on defense.

Golden Tate

Aside from Stafford and a couple running backs, no Detroit Lions player had the ball in his hands more than Golden Tate. The Lions receiver was targeted just 14 more times than Marvin Jones, but he had 31 more receptions.

Tate has been a key figure in the Lions’ offensive gameplan ever since joining Detroit in 2014. In fact, he’s very clearly the centerpiece of Detroit’s passing game. And as a result, he has had at least 90 catches in every season in Detroit, and has crossed over 1,000 yards in three of those years.

Poll

Who was the Detroit Lions’ Most Valuable Player in 2017?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Matthew Stafford
    (322 votes)
  • 11%
    Darius Slay
    (47 votes)
  • 1%
    Marvin Jones Jr.
    (7 votes)
  • 5%
    Glover Quin
    (22 votes)
  • 1%
    Golden Tate
    (5 votes)
403 votes total Vote Now