Which Lions player deserves the game ball after Sunday’s win?
For the second week in a row, the Detroit Lions had a shaky team performance against an inferior opponent. Thankfully, however, it was a the play of a few individuals that pushed the game from a devastating loss to a relieving victory. As always, let’s honor some of those individual performances by handing out a game ball.
Before we get into that, here are the Game Ball standings through 10 weeks.
Matthew Stafford - 10
Glover Quin - 7
Darius Slay - 5
Golden Tate - 5
Matt Prater - 4
Ezekiel Ansah - 3
Anthony Zettel - 3
Jarrad Davis - 3
A’Shawn Robinson - 3
Jamal Agnew - 3
Marvin Jones Jr. - 2
Darren Fells - 2
Kenny Golladay - 2
Ameer Abdullah - 2
Here are this week’s candidates:
Stats: 21/31, 299 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 120.2 passer rating
Matthew Stafford had a pretty slow start to the game, and it looked like he was going to fall victim to the curse of Soldier Field again. However, the Lions’ quarterback completely turned it around in the second quarter:
Matthew Stafford's 2nd quarter:— Prater of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) November 19, 2017
9/11, 153 yards, 2 TDs, perfect 158.3 passer rating.
While Stafford wouldn’t lead the Lions on another touchdown drive the rest of the way, he remained extremely efficient and accurate in the second half.
We’re back to a point where Stafford has no running game and no defense to rely upon, yet the Lions are winning. No. 9 is living up to that contract by carrying the team into Decemeber.
Marvin Jones Jr.
Stats: 4 catches, 85 yards, 1 TD
Part of the reason Stafford has been so good out of the bye has been the return of the deep ball. Marvin Jones has played a big part in that. Jones’ double-move on his 28-yard touchdown catch was absolutely filthy.
Matthew Stafford hits Marvin Jones for a Lions touchdown. pic.twitter.com/TtJ4ees1hJ— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) November 19, 2017
In the past five games, Jone has 24 catches for 438 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Stats: 2/2 FGs, 3/3 XPs, Game-winning 52-yard FG with 1:35 remaining
It’s #MattPraterAppreciateWeek, because I’m not sure if people realize just how impressive Matt Prater’s game-winning 52-yard field goal was. Just read this:
After warmups, Prater usually has a field-goal distance he tells head coach Jim Caldwell he's comfortable making from. It's usually in the 50s, but Sunday was different.
"Extra point or so," he said with a smile.
Prater came into the game, after having a horrible round of warmups, and nailed the game-winning kick from a distance he couldn’t make during the pregame.
Connor Barth, on the other hand, did this:
Stats: 3 tackles, 2 passes defended
By Slay’s standards, this was a pretty hum-ho day. Two passes defended, three tackles, no interceptions. But, once again, he shut down his side of the field:
Darius Slay had a day! pic.twitter.com/wPvchpNT0s— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 19, 2017
Slay did drop a game-ending interception, and he beat himself up for it, but overall, it was another dominant performance from Detroit’s lockdown corner.
Stats: 4 catches, 49 yards
Ebron has had himself a modestly good month so far. He added four catches to his yearly total against the Bears, including a huge 26-yard play that put Detroit in field goal position for what would be the game-winning score.
Ebron now has 35 or more yards in four straight games. And while those are nowhere near the statistics some expected of him, he’s now embraced a small, but important role on this offense.