For the second straight week, the Detroit Lions dropped an egg and looked just plain awful against good competition. As far as a team effort, it was a flat, uninspiring performance. But there were a few good individual performances against the New Orleans Saints worth praising, so let’s hand out a game ball like we always do.
Here are the Game Ball standings through five games:
Darius Slay - 4
Matthew Stafford - 4
Glover Quin - 3
Ezekiel Ansah - 3
Anthony Zettel - 3
Jarrad Davis - 3
Darren Fells - 2
Jamal Agnew - 2
Kenny Golladay - 2
Matt Prater - 2
Ameer Abdullah - 2
Here are the five candidates for the Saints game:
Stats: 7 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 INT, 1 TD
With Haloti Ngata out for the year, Detroit needed someone on the defensive line to stand up in a big way. And A’Shawn Robinson met that challenge. Not only did he have one of the most impressive interceptions you’ll see out of a 300-pound, 50-year-old, but he also set a career-high with his seven tackles. His previous high was four.
Stats: 4 punt returns, 106 yards, 1 TD; 1 kick return, 24 yards; 2 tackles
It was an up-and-down day for Agnew, with the ups being very up and the downs being very down. But let’s start with the good here:
Agnew. Gone. Waving goodbye! pic.twitter.com/85vcg2TsAs— Detroit Videos (@DetroitVideos) October 15, 2017
Agnew now has two punt return touchdowns on the year and is a clear weapon back there. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the league finds out.
Prior to this play he had a solid 25-yard punt return. But after this play, he had a catastrophic muffed punt that forced Detroit’s potential game-tying drive to start at their own 1-yard line. Still, it was a net-positive day for Agnew.
Stats: 7 catches, 96 yards, 1 TD
Let’s just watch this play one more time.
How, @showtimetate? HOW?— NFL (@NFL) October 15, 2017
Unbelievable TD for the @Lions. #OnePride pic.twitter.com/UUHCTtbOAp
When the Lions offense was struggling, but the team was still in the game, Tate was the only player on offense still contributing to the offense. Only 88 of his 96 yards came in the first half, while his cohort, Marvin Jones, only showed up after the game had essentially been decided.
Stats: 4 tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 INT
Slay held Michael Thomas in check. The Saints leading receiver pulled in just three catches for 11 yards on the day. Darius also added a nifty interception in the second half that could have sparked a comeback, had the Lions offense decided to do anything with the field position.
Stats: 6 tackles
Spence, like Robinson, had an impressive game in Ngata’s absence. Spence was a solid run-stuffer up the middle—according to Pro Football Focus he had three run stops—and even provided a pressure or two. Detroit’s defensive line was not good on Sunday, but Spence and Robinson were not part of the problem.
Who gets the game ball for the Saints game?
This poll is closed