When your team is trailing by 28 points in the first half, you’re not going to find a ton of great individual performances. The Detroit Lions weren’t just bad on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, they were awful.
But, believe it or not, some players deserve a little bit of praise for their individual play. Before we get to those performances, let’s look at the Game Ball standings through two weeks.
Game Ball standings through two weeks:
5 - Matthew Stafford
3 - Sam Martin
2 - Theo Riddick
1 - Devin Taylor
1 - Ameer Abdullah
This week’s candidates:
When the game already felt over, Jones kept fighting. Just before the Lions and Packers went into the half, Jones fought for a contested ball, then wiggled off a tackler and took the catch for 73 yards and a touchdown. If there was any hope left for the Lions at halftime, it was single-handedly created by Jones.
He didn’t stop there. Jones brought the team within seven points late in the game with his second touchdown of the game and finished with 205 yards receiving total.
On a day in which Theo Riddick would finish on the wrong side of zero rushing yards, Washington provided a little hope in the post-Ameer Abdullah running game for the Lions.
His final stat line of 10 rushes for 38 isn’t all that inspiring, but against a good Packers defense, Washington ran hard and picked up a lot of yards after contact that Riddick just wasn’t getting.
The Lions defense doesn’t deserve any praise for their performance on Sunday, but Hyder did just about all the Lions could have expected from him in replacement for Ezekiel Ansah. Hyder picked up his fourth sack of the year, and did a good job moving Rodgers from the pocket all game.
Ebron had one of the worst plays of the game when he bobbled a ball that was eventually wrestled from him and returned for an interception.
That aside, Ebron was consistently getting open in the first half. Stafford found him four times in the first half alone for 48 yards. Ebron was especially valuable on third down. He converted two third-and-longs in the first half and finished with 69 yards total.
Stafford had a slow start to the game. He overshot receivers several times in the first half, and he even had a couple of passes go underthrown. But he absolutely turned his game around in the second half. Despite a 28-point deficit, Stafford actually kept the Lions in the game until the very end. Stafford finished 28 of 41 for 385 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.