This post is sponsored by Sprint.
Two weeks ago after the Lions lost to Dallas, there were so few worthy candidates for the Sprint Game Ball that I gave it to punter Nick Harris for pinning the Cowboys inside the five a few times. It was a strange pick to have to make for sure, but one of the side effects of losses, naturally, is not having many players perform all that well.
Although Detroit lost on Sunday to Chicago, I'm happy to say that a few guys were in the running for the Sprint Game Ball this week. Drew Stanton, making only his second career start, completed 16 of 24 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown, and he also ran for a touchdown. Calvin Johnson caught three passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. Stefan Logan took a kick back 60 yards and averaged 38.7 yards per return (he also had a punt return for 19 yards). Also, Dave Rayner made both of the two field goals he attempted, including one from 50 yards out.
All of the guys listed above could have easily been given the Sprint Game Ball this week, but the obvious winner is someone else: Cliff Avril. Avril had a monster day for the Lions, recording four solo tackles, three sacks and three tackles for loss. He also was involved on the play where Turk McBride got a sack and forced a fumble. All in all, it was quite the game for Avril, who is having quite the season.
In 2010, despite missing three games, Avril has a total of 25 tackles and seven sacks. He had 10.5 total sacks in 2008 and 2009 combined, so he is already getting close to matching that mark in this season alone. He has really progressed as a player and is someone who will definitely be part of the Lions' talented defensive line for years to come.