The Detroit Lions defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-21, and there were actually some impressive individual performances to go with it. After a couple weeks of poor play, there are several players worthy of this week’s Game Ball, so let’s get into it.
But before we do, here are the Game Ball standings through 13 games.
Matthew Stafford - 14
Glover Quin - 7
Matt Prater - 7
Marvin Jones Jr. - 7
Darius Slay - 5
Golden Tate - 5
A’Shawn Robinson - 4
Ezekiel Ansah - 3
Anthony Zettel - 3
Jarrad Davis - 3
Jamal Agnew - 3
Tion Green - 3
Darren Fells - 2
Kenny Golladay - 2
Ameer Abdullah - 2
Akeem Spence- 1
Onto this week’s candidates:
Stats: 10 catches (11 targets), 94 yards
Ebron did have a devastating fumble and a crucial drop in this game, but for the other 60 offensive plays, he was a force to be reckoned with.
Ebron was constantly getting opened, catching nearly everything in his path and doing a good job getting some yards after the catch. He has really upped his game since the bye week and is starting to be a focus of this offense.
Stats: 8 catches (9 targets), 85 yards, 1 TD
After a quiet start, Golden Tate was much of the reason the Lions were able to hold on late. 63 of his 85 yards came in the second half and his final 14-yard catch put the Lions in position for the game-winning field goal.
Also, here’s the strangest stat you’ll see about Tate. Sunday’s touchdown in Tampa was his first outdoor touchdown on American soil since joining the Detroit Lions.
Stats: 7 tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble
After a lackluster performance at safety last week, Diggs redeemed himself against the Buccaneers. He’s proven to be a solid run defender from the strong safety position, but it was his plays in the passing game that turned heads on Sunday.
Diggs made another huge hit in this game, forcing the ball loose from O.J. Howard and giving the Lions the ball back. He later picked off a pass for the first time in his career, and intercepted another. The second was called back, but since I don’t agree with the call, Diggs has two INTs, in my opinion.
Stats: 1/1 FGs, 3/3 XPs
Prater added to his collection of game-winning field goals, prompting this stat to be dug up.
I feel like this stat doesn’t get brought up enough. Prater is truly amazing.
Stats: 36/44, 381 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
I know Stafford had two very bad interceptions and both likely took points off the board, and that can’t be washed over.
But for the rest of the game, Stafford was masterful in how he managed the game. For the second straight week, he completed over 80 percent of his passes. He’s never done that before:
Matthew Stafford has completed 80% of his passes in a single game just 4 times in his career.— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) December 11, 2017
He's done it in back-to-back weeks now.
And when it came down to crunch time, Stafford was on point. In his game-winning drive, Stafford went 6-6 for 53 yards.
Stafford is a well-oiled machine at this point, and what seemed like a serious hand injury didn’t seem to have any effect on him.
Which Lions player gets the Week 14 Game Ball?
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