Now that we’re halfway into Week 9 in the NFL, we’ve officially hit the midway point of the 2017 NFL season. For the Detroit Lions, it has been a tale of two different halves. They got off to a hot 3-1 start in the first four weeks of the season, but have dropped the next three games to find themselves at a disappointing 3-4 record.
But let’s not focus on Detroit’s current down spiral and instead let’s look at which player has excelled the most through seven games.
Who has been the Lions’ midseason MVP?
After every game, we run a Game Ball post to honor the top three Lions players in each game. The top vote-getter earns three points, second place gets two and third place gets one. After seven games, here are the standings:
Glover Quin - 6
Matthew Stafford - 5
Darius Slay - 4
Matt Prater - 4
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
Ameer Abdullah - 2
Those standings look pretty accurate in telling the story of the 2017 Lions, especially at the top.
That’s because Glover Quin has been the Lions’ MVP and it isn’t all that close. Here’s why:
When the Lions started off with three wins in their first four games, the story of the season was their incredible turnover margin. Detroit was +9 through four games, and Glover Quin was a huge part of that. Through seven games, Quin already has three interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Sunday’s game against the Steelers was a perfect example of just how valuable he is to this team. Early in the game, when Pittsburgh had crossed over into Lions territory, Quin came up with a diving interception on a deep pass. Later in the half, Quin scooped up a Le’Veon Bell fumble that would have otherwise given Pittsburgh a first down in the red zone. Quin’s knack for being around the ball likely saved Detroit’s defense from giving up at least six more points on Sunday.
Despite suffering some rough injuries throughout his career, Glover Quin has still yet to miss a single game in a Lions uniform. His latest hurdle was a gruesome-looking concussion in New Orleans. Not many expected Quin to be back in the lineup two weeks later after Detroit’s bye, but he didn’t even miss a practice. In fact, Quin says he would have played if Detroit hadn’t had a bye after the Saints game.
That sort of reliability is completely rare, and it’s why his current 123-game starting streak is unmatched by any active safety in the NFL.
You know a player is loved and respected by his teammates when you hear something like this:
Several players talked after game about how hard it was to see Quin go down. Slay said he got teary-eyed. “He’s the soul of our defense.”— Tori Petry (@sportstori) October 15, 2017
Tavon Wilson on GQ, who left gm w/concussion: “As good a player he is, he’s a better person… Tough to watch your partner go down like that.”— Tori Petry (@sportstori) October 15, 2017
Quin has been an exemplar player and teammate since joining the Lions in 2013. His play has been invaluable to a secondary that is still young and coming together. His work in the community has been an example for all players—not just in Detroit—to look up to. And his humble attitude is incredibly endearing to a fanbase that is looking for someone to let their play do the talking.
And for someone who is known mostly for his coverage and ability to read quarterbacks, he is also completely unafraid to get his nose dirty. He is currently third on the team in tackles, despite playing mostly as a free safety.
Quin has not only been the Lions’ MVP in the 2017 season, but he has been perhaps their best free agent pickup in the history of the franchise, right up there with Dick LeBeau. The Lions are lucky to have him, and Detroit did the right thing by locking him up for another two years prior to the start of this season.