AP names Matthew Stafford Comeback Player of Year

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The Associated Press announced Saturday evening that Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was its 2011 selection for Comeback Player of the Year.

Stafford edged out Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who received 15 votes to Stafford’s 21. 49ers quarterback Alex Smith came in third. Also receiving votes: Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith, Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil, and Patriots defensive end Andre Carter.

Stafford was a logical choice for Comeback Player of the Year honors. Still not quite 24 years old (he turns on February 7), Stafford was limited to three games by injuries in 2010. In 2011, Stafford returned to start all 16 games and directed the Lions to a long-awaited playoff berth while posting borderline video game stats.

Among those who received 2011 AP votes for Comeback Player of the Year, Stafford stood out as easily the highest-impact player on his team and in the league.

60 responses to “AP names Matthew Stafford Comeback Player of Year

  1. Congrats Matt. You were a flame thrower this year and this is well deserved. That’s the last time I’m gonna get HIM in the 6th fantasy round lol.

  2. Why was eli even considered? I thought this award went mostly to players that suffered injuries and came back and played well…not played crappy without missing time and then finally starting to play up to their hype.

  3. They should put a definition on comeback player at some point. Eli Manning and Alex Smith in the running? I always worked under the assumption that an Injury or at least some time off were the requirements of being Comeback player, being terrible for a year doesn’t seem like an injury.

  4. Congrats to Stafford but IMO DQ was hosed. For me, to be Comeback POY you had to have been playing at a high level prior (hence the name of the award, COMEBACK). Stafford never did because he was hurt the minute he got in the league. DQ was playing at a high level, went through two back to back years of torn pecs, and then came back to have a stellar year.

  5. Matthew StafFORD … only the 4th QB to ever throw for over 5,000 yards in a season. And it’s a close vote? Man, the Lions players get no love out there.

  6. I would have liked to see Steve Smith get it. Stafford played well no question but like someone previously said…Don’t you have to be good previously in your career, then come back, to get that award?

  7. so dquell came back from some injuries, but did he really accomplish anything overly special? he had a good year, but he didnt have a historical year. stafford came outta nowhere when everyone thought his career was over to have a HISTORICALLY good year! 4th player to have throw for 5000 yards. and 41 TDs isnt too shabby either. personally, i think eli’s near 5000 yard year is sorta junk considering he only 26tds. every 5000 yard passer has thrown for at least 40 yds. seems like eli had garbage yards.

  8. snoilog,

    Don’t do that…..I am a lil dyslexic…….so I thought Millen was back……lol.


    Didn’t Eli also have like (I’m too lazy to look up stats) a 10 TD / INT difference?

    Anyways, congrats Matt!!!!!…..and, I agree with you, please don’t be up for this award again.

  9. liontomyself says:
    Feb 4, 2012 9:21 PM

    Don’t do that…..I am a lil dyslexic…….so I thought Millen was back

    I don’t joke about that mess

  10. Comeback implies that you were of a certain status, lost it, and then, ahem, came BACK to where you were… there was certainly something to come back FROM, but absolutely nothing to come back TO. Some years, they ought to just pass on this award, no one was really deserving this year, as it seems to me is true many years.

  11. dracko19 says:Feb 4, 2012 7:37 PM

    He also should have been in the pro-bowl. Wonder if that screw job cost him any bonuses??

    Actually it did cost him…a free trip to Hawaii and a minimum of $25K bucks for participating. And most likely the $50K bucks for the winning team because the outcome surely would have been different had he played the second half rather than that turd Newton.

  12. Alex Smith got robbed.

    Did we already forget where his career was in 2010?

    Being boo’d mercilessly by the home crowd at Candlestick. Fans shouting for David Carr. Getting chewed out by Mike Singletary on the sideline and about ready to get run out of town.

  13. The kid is a stud and in 1 year proved that he was well deserving of the #1 pick! He has quite a few records already; most comebacks in a season, most 5td games to start his career and 4th qb to pass for 5g plus ever etc. etc. The lions r superbowl bound!!! Roar restored. Go lions

  14. To goldfish4949
    Alex had pretty much the same stats as last year. The team improved yes, but Alex, not enough for the award. He came back down to a tebow type level in the championship game. He won’t ever be as good as #9 and will be considered a bust again next year. U guys should go after peyton.

  15. For those complaining about stafford not “coming back” from anything he came back from two years of injury and threw for over 5,000 yards…plus look at his stats before his injuries. And I know most of you don’t watch the lions but if you get the chance, you can tell stafford is gonna be something special for a long time

  16. This award is dumb. The guy has a full 16 game season for the first time and wins this award? Seems like it should go to someone that actually had a good season, then a down season, then back to a good season. I wouldn’t say stafford came back. It’s more like he finally arrived.

  17. zinn22 says:
    Feb 4, 2012 7:11 PM
    Didn’t he need to have a good year 1st before he could be a comeback player?


    Came back from injury, dingleberry.
    Congrats, to Matthew, and those feisty, fighting Lions.


  18. goldrush4949 says:
    Feb 4, 2012 10:21 PM
    Alex Smith got robbed.

    Did we already forget where his career was in 2010?

    Being boo’d mercilessly by the home crowd at Candlestick. Fans shouting for David Carr. Getting chewed out by Mike Singletary on the sideline and about ready to get run out of town.
    Ordinarily, i’d agree. But five super bowls v. a team that never one a Super Bowl and came back from 0-16?

    Nah, riding with the Staff on this award. Well done. Those fourth quarter comebacks didn’t hurt, either …but Smith had a hell of a season as well.

  19. Hey wildduece03 and ezwriter69 this is the definition of comeback player of the year used by the NFL…..

    The player named Comeback Player of the Year shows perseverance in overcoming adversity, in the form of not being in the NFL the previous year, a severe injury, or simply poor performance.

    I’d say Stafford deserved it.

  20. What in the hell did Alex Smith come back from? He sucked for 6 years and then he finally had an average season. That’s not a come back. That’s a late bloomer.

    Stafford should have been the only vote.

  21. Generally you have to have ascended to a certain status, gotten hurt, and then “come back” to reach or exceed that level again. He never got any higher than “he’s got a lot of potential” in his rookie year. So yeah, come back player of the year…..he might has well have been a rookie. He didn’t have to go very far to get back to where he’d been the year before, which was nowhere. Jackson was his teams best linebacker and led his team in tackles before missing two years with torn pectoral muscles then comes back to have an awesome season when a lot of people thought he could very well be done. I disagree with the choice.

  22. Not only can’t “White Guys Jump”; This goes to show that “White Guys” don’t know how to dress up!

  23. Hats off to Stafford, this guy is a winner.

    A blind man could see he was going to be something special if he could just stay healthy.

  24. latenightroach says:Feb 4, 2012 8:46 PM

    Awesome job for Stafford.

    HE should have been at the Pro Bowl instead of Cam Newton.
    Yeah, let’s push Cam aside so this kid can get his shine in the Pro-bowl. I wonder if Andrew Luck was playing like Cam and got choosen over Matt would you have felt the same way?

    Please grow up. Matt came back when two rookie QBs and nothing less than 6 Vet QBs were on their game also this season. Be glad that he got an award for simply being able to finally play a for a full season without injuries since he was drafted and let the negative ranting go.

  25. He was something to watch when he played at Georgia, I’m glad he won, he is a tough kid and never seems to give up. He has some great players around him, we should see a lot in the future. Maybe when he turns 24 is when he will get rid of the bed head haircut. 🙂

  26. How is it that Alex Smith was even in the vote for comeback player? It was the 49ers defense that got them into the playoffs – not Alex Smith.
    All Smith did was improve his play from being lousy to an average quarterback.

  27. Dan Marino 2.0…..Dan Marino had the swag the arm and the greatest white man fro in sports history. Oh and threw for 5k just a few months younger than stafford is.

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