Matthew Stafford will have an opportunity this year to show everyone how good he can be free of the stink of a Detroit Lions franchise, which was always going to waste his talents like it did Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson. No one has higher expectations for him than me. If he doesn't win a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams then this post will look even worse than my usual mediocre predictive fare. But oh well, it's not worth winning if you can't win big. Legendary Hawks coach Jack Reilly taught us that.
It's nice to know others have high hopes for the chronically under-appreciated quarterback. Like the NFL Network's Peter Schrager, who would not be surprised at all if Stafford emerged at the end of the year as league MVP.
All the elements are there. Stafford has upgraded his offensive weaponry, which includes a top-tier offensive line and some semblance of a running game. He has far superior receivers to throw to rely on and, most importantly, is joining forces with one of the most creative offensive minds in the sport. If Sean McVay could ride Jared Goff to a Super Bowl appearance and reliable winning, what can he do with someone who has routinely won despite his team and not because of it?
The thing, though, is that Stafford is not exactly a darkhorse. He has the fifth-best odds at 15-1 on WynnBET to take home the hardware. And betting against Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes not to put together an even more impressive MVP campaign doesn't really sit well.
Nevertheless, it's extremely exciting for Lions fans who want their former leader to succeed and show everyone else what's been on display for over a decade in Detroit. To even be mentioned as a non-surprise has to be an honor. Of course, Schrager had him pegged as a candidate last year and things, well, they didn't go well for Stafford in his Motor City swan song.