Football writers vote Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford comeback player of the year
By Philip Zaroo | MLive.com
It took Matthew Stafford until his third season to stay healthy enough to prove he was worth Detroit's No. 1 overall draft pick in 2009, but the quarterback came through in 2011, playing in all but a handful of snaps.
Stafford's efforts in leading the Lions to their first NFL playoff berth in 12 years – following two seasons in which injuries sidelined him for 19 of the team's 32 games – earned him the Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers Association's comeback player of the year award.
The NFL-recognized AP comeback player of the year award will be announced on February 4, the day before Super Bowl XLVI.
Stafford completed 421 of 663 passes for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns versus 16 interceptions. His single-season passing yards and touchdown passes set franchise records, as did his 97.2 passer rating. He joins Dan Marino, Tom Brady and Drew Brees as the only quarterbacks ever to eclipse 5,000 passing yards in a season.
He guided the Lions to a 10-6 record, though they lost, 45-28, to the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the playoffs.
The 23-year-old did not make PFW/PFWA all-NFL team, but his primary target, Calvin Johnson, did.
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