Why Stafford could win MVP in 2022
By: Brock Wells
There’s a clear path for Matthew Stafford to win the NFL’s MVP award in 2022. Coming off the Super Bowl season of last year, he’s going to be more comfortable in his role as the Los Angeles Rams’ quarterback in year two. There’s also precedent for this as he was putting up MVP-caliber numbers last season up to a certain point in the year. He threw for 4,886 yards last season and 41 passing touchdowns, but the flipside of this was that his 17 interceptions led the NFL.
For Stafford, Cooper Kupp is key number one to getting himself in a position to win MVP in 2022. Kupp was arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL last season and figures to be so once again this season. His 145 receptions led the league last season, as did his 1,947 receiving yards, and his 114.5 receiving yards per game. To replicate these numbers is to ensure Stafford puts up similar numbers to last season.
Stafford and Kupp were one of the NFL’s most dangerous duos last season and a big part of the reason Stafford was getting early season looks for MVP.
Another key will be for Stafford to stay consistent throughout the season and cut down on the interceptions. He was an MVP-like trajectory last season early on before he started to throw a number of interceptions. Some of this may have come down to the fact that he was still a bit unsure in the Rams system after having spent the entirety of his career with the Detroit Lions. Leading the NFL in interceptions isn’t going to win you the MVP.
To help Stafford’s case for MVP, the Rams are also going to need to replicate the success they had last season, or even improve upon it in the regular season. The team went 12-5 last season, which was good enough to win the NFC West by a game over the Arizona Cardinals. But a decrease in interceptions likely translates to a similar 12-5 outing, if not a game or two better over the course of the season.
Can the Rams hold off a 49ers team that’s getting a lot of hype and a Cardinals team that’s likely better than people expect again this season?
Stafford vs. Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers has won the MVP the last two NFL seasons. Stafford had more passing yards and passing touchdowns than Rodgers last season, but Rodgers threw just four interceptions.
- Rodgers: 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns, 111.9 passer rating
- Stafford: 4,886 yards, 41 touchdowns, 102.9 passer rating
The Packers went 13-3 in the 16 games Rodgers started last season. If Stafford can cut down on interceptions, that increases his passer rating overall. In addition to this, he’s going to want to keep a consistent level of passing touchdowns throughout the season, maybe pushing that number up to 45. If he does this, and the Rams do well as a team again, he’s going to be right in the thick of things in the race for the NFL MVP award.