2. Matthew Stafford was getting some MVP buzz earlier in the season – what’s different this year?
"The biggest change in the perception of Stafford is coming from his improved play, despite the Lions losing arguably their best player in Calvin Johnson. Most people assumed Stafford would regress without Megatron, but when he improved, people started to pay attention. Stafford was a lot like a Bortles earlier in his career. He had the talent but he also threw a lot of interceptions. He’s significantly cut back on those interceptions, and has led five comeback wins this season. All of these factors have brought the national spotlight to the former first-overall pick."
If you had asked before the season began if I would rather have Stafford or Blake Bortles, I wouldn’t have hesitated before saying Bortles. Things change mighty fast, as Bortles is arguably one of the worst quarterbacks in the league right now and Stafford generated some legitimate MVP talk after the first several weeks. Bortles and Stafford are comparable in some respects, but Stafford has always had an unbelievable arm and he had the good fortune of one of the best wide receivers in league history early in his career. He’s now grown into a good quarterback on his own merits, something Bortles is going to have to do to establish viability as a starter.
Next: Filling big shoes