The Detroit Lions held onto a small lead for nearly the entire second half and managed to pull of their first divisional win of the year over the Minnesota Vikings.
Throughout the game there were some exceptional individual performances, so, like every week, it’s time to pick the Player of the Game and hand out Week 4’s Game Ball. Here are the standings after three games.
Game Ball standings through three weeks:
Darius Slay - 4
Matthew Stafford - 3
Ezekiel Ansah - 3
Jamal Agnew - 2
Glover Quin - 2
Kenny Golladay - 2
Matt Prater - 2
Here’s a look at this week’s candidates:
Stats: 20 rushes, 94 yards, 1 TD; 3 catches, 15 yards
Here’s what I said about the Lions’ chances to run the ball against the Vikings in my On Paper preview:
There is no hope for the Lions’ running game this week. None. Detroit’s only success this year has come on long runs, and the Vikings haven’t given up a single one of those yet this year.
I’ve never been more wrong. Ameer Abdullah ran hard, and ran consistently. This wasn’t just about long runs—even though Abdullah did have a 29-yard run. Ameer was consistently picking up positive yards and with the lead, the Lions were able to milk a little clock.
Had Abdullah not suffered a minor injury, Detroit very well could have run out the clock without Minnesota getting another extra shot at tying the game.
Stats: 4 tackles, 1 FF
This wasn’t Glover Quin’s best statistical game, but he is still the leader of this defense and is still coming up with the biggest plays in the biggest moments. His forced fumble sealed the game for Detroit and was just a perfectly formed tackle.
Stats: 3 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 4 QB hits, 1 fumble recovery
The defensive line didn’t provide a ton of pressure all day, but when they did, it came from Anthony Zettel.
Another game where Anthony Zettel made a huge impact pic.twitter.com/gIqEfF0DRy— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 1, 2017
Zettel had a big fumble recovery on a blow Wildcat play. He had a huge sack on third-and-goal when Minnesota was yards away from tying the game late. When the Lions needed a defensive play, Zettel was their guy.
Stats: 7 punts, 46.4 yards per punt, 3 inside 20-yard line
Yeah, I’m giving some punter love on Game Ball. In a low-scoring game, the field position battle is drastically important, and the Lions often relied on their punter to maintain good field position on both sides of the ball.
Locke, a former Vikings, absolutely did his job in Minnesota, averaging over 46 yards per punt, while putting enough air under the ball to prevent any long punt returns. For the Lions’ third choice at punter, Locke played well above expectations.
Stats: 5 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries
On a day in which the Lions when desperately short of linebacker talent, Tahir Whitehead looked like a god among men. It wasn’t Whitehead’s best game, but he took advantage of every opportunity given to him. He recovered two fumbles on Sunday and led the team with five tackles on the day.
Who gets the Week 4 Detroit Lions Game Ball?
This poll is closed