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Detroit Lions at New York Giants: Who gets the game ball?

Who played best for the Lions during their 17-6 loss to the Giants?

NFL: Detroit Lions at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions dropped a key game to the New York Giants on Sunday, 17-6. The loss is particularly tough because the Packers defeated the Bears. Just one game separates the Lions and the Packers now, leaving a Week 17 showdown looming.

Before we get into playoff scenarios and overall thoughts on the game, let’s see if we can award a Lions player with a game ball.

Here’s a look at the game ball standings after 14 weeks:

23 - Matthew Stafford
7 - Matt Prater
6 - Theo Riddick
6 - Darius Slay
5 - Sam Martin
5 - Marvin Jones
5 - Eric Ebron
4 - Rafael Bush
4 - Golden Tate
3 - Andre Roberts
3 - Kerry Hyder
2 - Jeff Triplette
1 - Devin Taylor
1 - Ameer Abdullah
1 - Johnson Bademosi
1 - Miles Killebrew
1 - Anquan Boldin

This week’s candidates:

Golden Tate

The Lions offense struggled to get any points on the board, but it wasn’t because of Tate’s play. Tate was constantly getting open and ended the day well over 100 yards. His eight catches for 122 yards was one of his best performances of the year.

Tahir Whitehead

Whitehead was a tackling machine, especially early in the game. This tweet was from early in the second quarter:

Whitehead finished with 12 total tackles and one for a loss.

Matthew Stafford

Stafford wasn’t able to conjure up his late-game magic this time around, but considering all of the hubbub surrounding his finger, he played a normal game. His passes were accurate, his feet were active, but it just wasn’t enough to pull out the win. Stafford only truly missed on a few of his passes and he can’t really be blamed for the late-game interception, when he had to force the ball late.

Matt Prater

It’s tough to find solid performances in a game where your offense scores six points and your defense played only adequately. But Prater remains one player the Lions can rely on. Sunday he hit from 48 and 33 yards in the rainy mess. It’s not much, but it allowed the Lions to keep it close late.

Ezekiel Ansah

Ansah finally recorded his first sack of the season with an important play in the second half. Ansah finished with his best statistics of 2016, totaling five tackles. The Lions weren’t able to get pressure consistently again, but Ansah played well enough.