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2020 Detroit Lions awards: Offensive Player of the Year

Who among these 6 candidates deserves the award?

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Detroit Lions’ highly disappointing 2020 season, there were a lot of things to like about their offense. The offensive line took a big step towards being a good—if not, great—unit. Their tight end took the Year 2 jump many were hoping for. And the Lions may have finally added the play-making running back they’ve been seeking for over two decades.

As a result, we have six nominees for Detroit Lions Offensive Player of the Year.

Matthew Stafford

Stats: 64.2 completion percentage, 4,084 yards (7.7 Y/A), 26 TDs, 10 INTs, 96.3 passer rating

In what would end up being his swan song in Detroit, Matthew Stafford had himself a solid season. Though he struggled early on and had turnovers in key moments in the first and second months of the season, he really turned it on down the stretch—especially with Darrell Bevell as the interim head coach.

In the final six games of the season, Stafford was ninth in passer rating (101.3), fifth in yards per attempt (8.17), and 10th in completion percentage (66.9).

And he managed to do all of that with a myriad of injuries that would have caused many other quarterbacks to simply sit out the final few meaningless games of the season. We know now that Stafford was likely motivated to play with several of his teammates for the very last time.

Marvin Jones Jr.

Stats: 76 catches, 978 yards, 8 TDs

Like Stafford, Jones really came on in the second half of the year. When Detroit needed him to step up after Kenny Golladay’s injury, Jones acted like the No. 1 receiver and thrived. In three of the final five games of his 2020 season, Jones surpassed the 100-yard mark, including one heck of a finale in which he pulled in eight catches for 180 yards and two scores—and he would have had over 200 if it not for a horrible call upon review.

T.J. Hockenson

Stats: 67 catches, 723 yards, 6 TDs

There weren’t any Lions skill position players who compared more favorably to the rest of the NFL’s players at the same position than T.J. Hockenson last year. His 2020 season nearly doubled his rookie year output, and he firmly placed himself among the top 10 tight ends in the league, if not top five.

Hockenson ranked third among all NFL tight ends in yards (723), t-ninth in receiving touchdowns (six), and fourth in receptions (67). His PFF grade of 75.4 also placed him in the top tier of tight ends (13th of 86).

For his solid year, Hockenson earned a Pro Bowl nod and was named to the All-NFC Team.

Frank Ragnow

Stats: 80.3 PFF grade (second among NFL centers)

Ragnow one-upped Hockenson in his postseason honors, earning a Pro Bowl nod and a second-team All Pro selection. Ragnow did not give up a single sack in 2020, and PFF only credited him with just nine pressures, the fourth fewest among NFL centers who played at least 50 percent of snaps.

Ragnow was even better as a run blocker, and was a big reason the Lions had 17 rushing touchdowns on the year. The last time the Lions had more than 17 rushing touchdowns in a season was 1997.

Taylor Decker

Stats: 82.0 PFF grade (12th among OTs

For one, Taylor Decker didn’t miss a single offensive snap in 2020. Even more impressive, however, is the fact that Decker didn’t allow a single sack in 15 out of 16 games this past season. Though he did allow two against the Carolina Panthers, Decker was amazingly consistent throughout the season, proving that a big offseason contract wasn’t going to stop him from continuing to get better.

D’Andre Swift

Stats: 114 rushes, 521 yards (4.6 YPC), 8 TDs; 46 catches, 357 yards, 2 TDs

No Lions player short of Matthew Stafford scored more touchdowns than D’Andre Swift in 2020. And when he started becoming a prominent figure in Detroit’s offense, suddenly the Lions had an extra dimension to their attack. His eight rushing touchdowns ranked 13th in the league and his 4.6 yards per carry was 20th among running backs with at least 100 rushes.

Throw in his value as a receiver (357 yards—11th among RBs), and Swift figures to be one of Detroit’s main offensive weapons in 2021.

Poll

Who was the Lions’ Offensive Player of the Year in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Matthew Stafford
    (324 votes)
  • 3%
    Marvin Jones Jr.
    (42 votes)
  • 15%
    T.J. Hockenson
    (167 votes)
  • 42%
    Frank Ragnow
    (453 votes)
  • 3%
    Taylor Decker
    (32 votes)
  • 4%
    D’Andre Swift
    (46 votes)
1064 votes total Vote Now