It seems like every Detroit Lions victory produces three or four solid candidates for the game ball of the week. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are always in the running, and lately guys like Tony Scheffler, Brandon Pettigrew, Titus Young and Kyle Vanden Bosch have really stepped it up as well.
Sunday was no different, as you could pick a few different guys and still make a solid choice for the game ball of the week. Stafford, Johnson and Pettigrew were just some of the guys deserving of the award this week, for example. I went in a different direction, however, and decided to give the game ball for the victory over the Minnesota Vikings to Jason Hanson, the only player who was around for all of the losses at The Metrodome from 1998-2010.
Hanson played a big part in the Lions' comeback and eventual victory on Sunday. He helped cut the lead down to 10 points with a 28-yard field goal in the third quarter, and he later tied the game up by putting a 50-yard attempt right down the middle of the uprights. Hanson gave the Lions their first lead of the day a few minutes later by booting a 40-yarder right down the middle of the goal posts, and in overtime he gave the Lions the win by squeezing a 32-yarder inside the left upright.
Hanson has been Mr. Automatic for the Lions this season, making all eight of his field goal attempts and all 11 of his extra point attempts. He was especially Mr. Automatic on Sunday, and he played a crucial role in ending the road losing streak to the Vikings that amazingly began 14 years ago, which is when he was only in the sixth year of his career.