Lions QB Matthew Stafford Earns 2012 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Honors

Kyle Vassalo@VassaloBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 07:  Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions shouts out a play against the New Orleans Saints during their 2012 NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 7, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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.

With the incredible seasons Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers had, Stafford's 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns were somewhat overshadowed.

The Lions' 10-win season gives hope to Lions fans who have so desperately craved victory.

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.