With a performance like Saturday’s, it’s a little tough to pick out one individual performance after an impressive team game. The Detroit Lions were firing on all cylinders against the Chicago Bears, and for the first time in at least a month, the Lions played as a fully-functioning team.
But the allure of tradition compels us to pick out a few individual performances from Saturday’s game and honor them with the traditional Game Ball.
Before we get into this week’s candidates, here are the Game Ball standings after 14 weeks. Remember, first place in voting gets three points, second place gets two, and third place gets one.
Matthew Stafford - 15
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
Eric Ebron - 3
Quandre Diggs - 2
Darren Fells - 2
Kenny Golladay - 2
Ameer Abdullah - 2
Akeem Spence- 1
Stats: 25-33, 237 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 115.3 passer rating
For the third straight game, Matthew Stafford completed over 75 percent of his passes and for the fifth time in seven games he finished with a passer rating over 100.
Stafford started a little slow on Saturday, overthrowing Eric Ebron in the end zone and missing a few other throws along the way. But from the second quarter on, Stafford was locked in and nearly perfect, despite shaky pass protection from a beat-up offensive line.
Stats: 5 tackles, 2 INTs, 3 passes defended
In the opening player introductions, Slay referred to himself as “Darius ‘Big Play’ Slay” and the talented cornerback lived up to the name. While neither of his two interceptions were exactly great reads or beautiful plays, he was in the right position at the right time. Slay now leads in the NFL in interceptions, so it’s not like those plays were all that fluky.
Stats: 6 tackles (5 solo)
The biggest key to a Lions victory was stopping Jordan Howard and the Bears’ running game. The Lions won that matchup with flying colors on Saturday, holding Chicago to just 43 rushing yards and 2.9 yards per carry. Much of that was due to the play of Jarrad Davis.
Though he finished with a modest box score, Davis stayed strong in his gap assignments and was seen shedding blocks with ease against the Bears. Davis’ play earned himself an impressive 83.2 grade from Pro Football Focus thanks to three run stops. Davis was the second-highest rated Lion on the day, but perhaps the most important.
Stats: 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 2 passes defended
Quandre Diggs did it all on Saturday, capping off yet another solid performance at his new safety position. He blitzed, he provided good run support, he made a crucial interception in the red zone, and best of all, he continues to lay huge hits like this, jarring the ball loose:
Diggs pic.twitter.com/wye8wziH3n— Detroit Videos (@DetroitVideos) December 16, 2017
That happened on third down, right at the first down line. That is a game-changing play, something Quandre Diggs is starting to make a normal part of his play.
Marvin Jones Jr.
Stats: 3 catches, 85 yards
It was actually a pretty modest day for Jones Jr., but when you make a play like this, you get a Game Ball nomination:
MATTHEW STAFFORD.— NFL (@NFL) December 16, 2017
INCREDIBLE. #CHIvsDET #OnePride pic.twitter.com/UYnR5vAymO
Who gets the Week 15 Game Ball?
This poll is closed
Marvin Jones Jr.