Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford went from being viewed as an injury-prone liability, seemingly incapable of making it through a 16-game season, to putting together one of the most statistically sound seasons any quarterback has seen in NFL history.
According to Barry Wilner of the AP:
He received 21 votes, six more than Cleveland linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith finished third, followed by Carolina receiver Steve Smith, Denver defensive end Elvis Dumervil, New England defensive end Andre Carter and Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
The Lions' 10-win season gives hope to Lions fans who have so desperately craved victory.
Who deserved comeback player of the year?
With a hard-nosed defense with a talented young core and perhaps the best QB-WR connection in the NFL between Calvin Johnson and Stafford, the Lions are clearly heading in the right direction.
This may be an individual award, but it truly was a team effort in bringing it home. The Lions stepped their game up as a whole this season and it looks as though the rebuilding years and Stafford's injury woes are behind him.
In virtually any other year, Stafford would be an MVP candidate, if not the favorite.
This was a historic year for gun slingers, though, and well-deserved Comeback Player of the Year honors will have to serve as consolation for Stafford.