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2018 NFL preview: Predicting the Detroit Lions offensive player of the year

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Our staff gives their predictions for Offensive Player of the Year.

Cleveland Browns v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Now that it’s officially Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season, it’s time to start our preview series for the Detroit Lions. Throughout this entire week, our staff will be giving you our predictions for the 2018 season.

Today, we start with probably the most obvious question facing the Lions:

Who will be the team’s Offensive Player of the Year?

Chris Perfett

Matthew Stafford. You all made fun of me trying to pick anyone but him last year but to say his name is just unsporting. I wanted to list Golden Tate or something. I don’t think Stafford will be as good as past years though.

Mike Payton

It will easily once again be Matthew Stafford. The Lions quarterback is in his prime and only seems to be getting better. With a run game, a healthy offensive line and those receivers, we could be talking about more than just the Lions MVP. We could be talking about a dark-horse league MVP.

Ryan Mathews

Matthew Stafford

While the 2018 offseason will be remembered for Bob Quinn’s commitment to establishing a running game in Detroit, no one is better set up for success than the Lions franchise quarterback, Matthew Stafford.

Should the Lions offensive line manage to stay healthy, they have one of the top units in the league on paper, and for the second-most sacked quarterback a year ago, keeping Stafford upright and with time to look downfield and throw, Stafford and this offense should finally be able to realize the potential so many see in both Stafford and the offense on a macro level.

Mansur Shaheen

Matthew Stafford. We are going to go as far as Stafford takes us. He is the most talented player on this team overall, and possibly the most talented player to ever play for the Detroit Lions. Expect him to continue to put up amazing passing stats and drag this team to victories in games that we have no business winning.

John Whiticar

Matthew Stafford.

It’s a safe pick, but an easy one to make. This team rides-or-dies on the arm of Stafford. We’ve seen him carry this team to incredible comebacks. Some will criticize him for “padding stats,” but in the end, he keeps this team competitive. Will a rejuvenated run game help ease the burden? Perhaps. But this has been and will be Stafford’s team.

Hamza Baccouche

This is an easy one: if the Lions offense is a machine, Stafford is the gasoline. While there have been a lot of resources invested in revamping the running game and giving Stafford a supporting cast, I won’t believe it until I see it. Stafford’s importance to this team is only amplified now by the fact that nobody won the backup quarterback job, Matt Cassel was the lesser of two losers between him and Jake Rudock. If Stafford goes down, so does the Lions offense and in essence, the entire team, as playing Cassel or Rudock at quarterback is like fueling the machine with liquid glue and expecting it to run as normal.

Kyle Yost

Matthew Stafford. He is not the most interesting answer, but sometimes the obvious choice is the right one. At this point in his career, Stafford is who he is. The national media may sleep on him a bit, and his overall stat line is often boosted by volume, but the Lions’ undisputed leader is set for another solid season. With questions still remaining on the offensive line, the running game will be better but not amazing. This will require Stafford to throw the Lions into wins as he has done so many times in his career.

Jerry Mallory

Let’s just name this the Matthew Stafford MVP award. That way, we can include our actual MVP in the name but give the award to someone else (the second most value guy on offense). In other words, my non Stafford MVP goes to Golden Tate. It’s potentially his swan song in Detroit, and he has been eyeing his fellow NFL receiver’s new contracts. Tate will play like a guy looking to get paid after this season.

Kent Lee Platte

The cop out for this is always going to be Matthew Stafford. He’s been carrying the team for so long, it’s almost a joke. In 2018, however, there’s a legitimate challenger emerging, and it’s one I can’t believe I am going to be predicting. The Lions run game has been garbage the entirety of my time covering the Lions, but I sense a completely different feel with the team this season and specifically with rookie running back Kerryon Johnson. My RB6 in the draft (though I shuffled 5 and 6 back and forth a bunch of times), I won’t pretend I was hyping him up from the get, but I always loved his game and even predicted that by the end of the draft, he would be a Detroit Lion because of how good he fit.

Johnson exceeded every expectation I have, and has looked not only like a perfect fit in the offense, but the kind of player who could completely legitimize an offense. Considering Stafford has already made this offense a threat, having a running back that can take it to another level would push this team into uncharted territory, which is why I’m choosing him for offensive MVP.

Justin Simon

It’s got to be Matthew Stafford. I think Marvin Jones Jr. could have another great year, but outside of him I don’t see another viable option on offense. This team will live and die by Stafford even with an improved running game. If everything clicks, the Lions could push for a top five offense and Stafford will be the reason.

Jeremy Reisman

I’d like to write something witty or bold here, but why waste your time and mine. We both know it’s Stafford, so click the little thing at the bottom and we’ll both go along with our day.

Levi Blue

Matthew Stafford. I know this is the obvious pick but when a team shells out $135 million, everybody (myself included) should expect nothing less. We know that Stafford has good vision, a great arm and an increasing intelligence for the game. He has passion and toughness that this team will lean on during the season, and those are invaluable intangibles.

Stafford’s stat sheets show that he has the skills that could possibly take us to the promised land. Now that he (hopefully) has a solid line and running game in place, opposing defenses will stay honest, opening up opportunities for him to exploit. If he’s able to do that, there’s no reason why he couldn’t make a case for being one of the best QBs in the league.

Poll

Who will be the Lions’ offensive MVP in 2018?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Matthew Stafford
    (336 votes)
  • 15%
    Kerryon Johnson
    (66 votes)
  • 1%
    Marvin Jones Jr.
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Golden Tate
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    Other
    (9 votes)
421 votes total Vote Now