“Most Valuable Player” is a term whose definition is hotly debated every time it’s thrown around. For some, they take it literally, meaning the player that added the most value to their team or the league. In football, that almost always places the award in the hands of the quarterback.
However, some argue that MVP belongs to simply the most talented player. If there’s a wide receiver or defensive end who is far and away better than anyone else at that position, he’s just as deserving of the award.
That debate will be at the crux of award the 2020 Detroit Lions Most Valuable player debate. Because while Matthew Stafford had another solid season, it’s hard to argue he was the best player when compared to the rest of the league’s quarterbacks.
Here are your four nominees for the 2020 Detroit Lions MVP.
While this feels a bit like giving an Academy Award to a legacy actor for a mediocre movie, it’s still hard to argue that there was a more valuable Lions player in 2020 than Matthew Stafford, even if it wasn’t his best year.
Through another injury-riddled season, Stafford gave the Lions a shot to win nearly every single week due to some ridiculous throws, his unmatched competitiveness, and just pure talent.
And while Stafford started all 16 games this season, we were given another stark reminder of what this team looks like without him behind center. After suffering a leg injury against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the first drive of the game, the Lions went to Chase Daniel, and proceeded to find themselves in a 34-point hole... by halftime.
Plus, even a mediocre season by Stafford is still pretty darn good. He finished the year 14th in passer rating (96.3), ninth in yards per attempt (7.7) and 13th in PFF grade (82.0).
When you’re the only player on defense playing well, you tend to stand out, but Okwara’s play on its own is certainly worthy of being a 2020 MVP candidate. A 10-sack season is hard to come back. A 10-sack season in which the team struggles in coverage and no one else on the defensive front is drawing extra attention is extremely impressive.
Okwara was a top-10 NFL edge defender by just about any pass-rushing metric in existence, and his play resulted in a couple of game-changing moments, including a strip-sack against the Falcons and Bears in the final six minutes of each game that were instrumental in both comeback victories.
For Lions fans looking for that face of the franchise going forward, look no further than Frank Ragnow. Compared to everyone else at their position, there may not be a better Detroit Lion than their center. Ragnow took a huge step in 2020, and he further endeared himself to fans by playing through a fricken fractured throat.
At just 24 years old, Ragnow is the foundation of this team’s future, and one of the biggest sources of hope that this thing will eventually get turned around.
Like any rational fan, I’m not exactly crazy about giving a season-long MVP award to a punter, but there’s honestly a legitimate case to be made here. Every week, we handed out “Game Balls” to the most valuable Lions player during the season, and by Week 17 Fox was actually tied with Matthew Stafford atop our standings. Though Stafford pulled away due to his impressive Lions finale, Fox clearly established himself as one of Detroit’s most consistent performers, albeit as a punter. The Pro Bowl and All Pro designations in his first real NFL season are wildly impressive.
Who was the Lions’ MVP in 2020?
This poll is closed