We’re now at Week 15 of the NFL season, which means the playoffs are close and the MVP race is starting to heat up. Matthew Stafford’s name is still being tossed around in most MVP conversations, but he’s usually resting outside the top three and there’s a good reason for it.
Matthew Stafford is still not putting up MVP numbers.
He’s currently 10th in the NFL in passing yards with only 3,447. He’s not even in the top 10 for touchdowns thrown (he’s thrown 22; only one ahead of Blake Bortles) and he’s still sitting at 10th for total QBR. All Stafford has going for him in the MVP race is his ability to lead late game comeback drives.
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) December 11, 2016
He has eight of them, the most in a single season since 1950. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but there’s another argument to be made here.
Why should the NFL be rewarding Stafford because his teams can’t hold a lead? It’s fun to watch Matthew Stafford lead these drives, but wouldn’t a better quarterback give his team a lead in the game and hold it throughout rather than needing the late game dramatics? Tom Brady doesn’t need to lead eight 4th quarter comebacks because he plays four quarters of dominant football so it doesn’t come down to a single drive. The same could be said for the latest stretch of games put together by Aaron Rodgers. These are two players who are so dominant on the football field that 4th quarter comebacks aren’t necessary. Brady also has the same amount of touchdown passes as Stafford despite playing four games less than Stafford.
So call Matthew Stafford “the comeback kid” if you want, but no one can point at Matthew Stafford and declare him MVP material unless he starts playing more consistently dominant football.