I know, I know. I don’t want to do it either. But we’ve done this tradition every single week since the beginning of the 2016 season, and even though the Detroit Lions lost, there are probably a few performances that we can find that were Game Ball worthy.
But before we get into this week’s candidates, here are the Game Ball standings through Week 12:
Matthew Stafford - 12
Glover Quin - 7
Matt Prater - 7
Marvin Jones Jr. - 6
Darius Slay - 5
Golden Tate - 5
A’Shawn Robinson - 4
Ezekiel Ansah - 3
Anthony Zettel - 3
Jarrad Davis - 3
Jamal Agnew - 3
Darren Fells - 2
Kenny Golladay - 2
Ameer Abdullah - 2
Akeem Spence- 1
Onto this week’s performances. Sadly, I could only come up with four candidates for the Game Ball this week.
Stats: 11 carries, 51 yards, TD
Even the biggest Tion Green slappies couldn’t have foreseen a debut like this for the rookie running back. In his very first carry, Green cut downfield for a huge 33-yard gain that would have led to an early field goal on any normal day.
Tion Green's first carry: 33 yards pic.twitter.com/B1o0LcTAf4— Detroit Videos (@DetroitVideos) December 3, 2017
A quarter later, he followed it up with his first career NFL touchdown. While his debut wasn’t as flashy as someone like Kareem Hunt, it was extremely impressive for a player who spent the first 12 weeks of the season as a healthy scratch.
Marvin Jones Jr.
Stats: 4 catches, 90 yards
Once again, Marvin Jones Jr. proved to be one of the biggest deep-ball threats in the league. When Matthew Stafford has a free play, you can pretty much guarantee he’ll be looking Marvin’s way. Jones pulled in a 42 and 46-yard catch against a pretty stout Ravens defense. Jones now has at least 85 receiving yards in six of his past seven games.
Stats: 24-29, 292 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 fumble lost
Stafford’s play on Sunday will likely be defined by his two fumbles early in the game, but that doesn’t really capture just how impressive he was for the majority of Sunday’s contest.
Against one of the most impressive defenses in the league, albeit shorthanded with injuries, Stafford completed a franchise-high 20 straight passes, some of which were deep bombs.
Matthew Stafford in the second half so far: 14 for 14, 201 yards, TD. (Plus six straight completions to end the first half.)— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) December 3, 2017
Stafford completed this feat despite being on the run all game. Even though he was responsible for two turnovers on Sunday, the Lions never would have been in the game without some of the big plays Stafford made.
Stats: 4 targets, 4 catches, 38 yards
For the second straight week, Eric Ebron caught all four passes thrown his way. Against the Ravens, three of those catches earned first downs, two of which came on crucial third downs.
At this point, it’s clear Ebron will never live up to his sky-high expectations, but he’s undeniably put together a few good weeks here, and the Lions have benefitted.
Who gets the Week 13 Game Ball?
This poll is closed
Marvin Jones Jr.
Other (list in comments)