Believe it or not, the Detroit Lions had a bunch of pretty good performances on “Sunday Night Football” against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Unfortunately, the team couldn’t turn it into a win, but let’s take the time to focus on some of the positives and hand out a game ball.
Before we get into this week’s performances, here are the Game Ball standings through six games:
(First place in votes gets 3 points, second place gets 2, third place gets 1)
Darius Slay - 4
Matthew Stafford - 4
Glover Quin - 3
Ezekiel Ansah - 3
Anthony Zettel - 3
Jarrad Davis - 3
A’Shawn Robinson - 3
Jamal Agnew - 3
Darren Fells - 2
Golden Tate - 2
Kenny Golladay - 2
Matt Prater - 2
Ameer Abdullah - 2
Now onto this week’s players:
Stats: 2 tackles, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery
Whenever this defense needs a play, Glover Quin transforms to Johnny on the Spot. Quin’s interception and fumble recovery couldn’t have happened at better times. In both instances, the Steelers were driving into Lions territory. Without those two plays, the Lions may not have even had a chance at a comeback late in the game.
Marvin Jones Jr.
Stats: 6 catches, 128 yards
The biggest knock on Marvin Jones this entire season has been his inability to create separation and find open field. On Sunday, Jones was not only getting separation, but he was wide open at times.
Jones is now slowly turning his season around. He has six catches in three straight games, and his 128 receiving yards on Sunday night was his highest total since Week 3 in 2016.
Stats: 4 catches, 88 yards
In 2016, T.J. had 93 total receiving yards. He nearly beat that in just one game against the Steelers.
Jones enjoyed his best career day on Sunday night, hauling in four catches for 88 yards. T.J. has been particularly effective down the sidelines, and he deserves a lot of credit for snagging tough catches and absorbing huge hits while hanging onto the ball.
He has filled in admirably while Kenny Golladay continues to be on the mend, giving Detroit a tough roster decision when the rookie’s hamstring is finally healed up.
Stats: 5/5 on field goals
Lions fans have shown their appreciation for Matt Prater week in and week out and we still may not be giving him enough credit. Even during the days of Jason Hanson, I don’t think I’ve ever felt this at ease once the Lions bring on the kicking team.
Prater is now 15/17 on the year, with his only two misses coming from 56 and 59 yards.
Stats: 27/45, 423 yards, 91.3 passer rating
Against a top five pass defense, Stafford was able to move the Lions down field for the majority of the game. He was masterfully maneuvering around the pocket, finding open receivers and was mostly accurate all game.
The #Lions had 411 total passing yards against the Steelers--the highest allowed by Pittsburgh since Week 6 in 2015.— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) October 30, 2017
His performance will ultimately be defined by the Lions offense’s red zone failures, but between the 20s, Stafford was excellent for the majority of the game.
Stats: 2 tackles, 1 pass defended
Yes, I’m cheating this week and adding a sixth player, but I could make this list without giving Big Play Slay some love. While the rest of the secondary was having some coverage breakdowns, Slay was busy blanketing Antonio Brown. According to Pro Football Focus, Slay only allowed one catch for 9 yards when covering Brown, and also drew a key offensive pass interference call.
Unfortunately, his night ended with a defensive pass interference flag that essentially ended the game, but overall, this was another stellar performance from Slay.
Which Lions player deserves the game ball after their performance against the Steelers?
This poll is closed
Marvin Jones Jr.