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Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots: Game Ball

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Which Lions player deserves the game ball after Detroit’s dress rehearsal game?

New England Patriots v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Things got ugly for the Detroit Lions early on. But after falling behind 24-0 in the first quarter the team actually rebounded. Though the team has a lot to work on in the two weeks before the regular season, there were some quality individual performances. Let’s pick out the top five.

But before we do, here are the Game Ball standings through two weeks of the preseason:

Kenny Golladay - 3
Roland Milligan - 3 (???)
Akeem Spence - 2
A’Shawn Robinson - 2
Jake Rudock - 1
Marvin Jones Jr. - 1

Let’s take a look at this week’s Game Ball candidates:

Jake Rudock

The backup quarterback competition is probably over, if there was ever a competition to begin with. Rudock had complete command of the offense in the third and fourth quarters. In three series, Rudock led the team on two touchdown drives and finished with an impressive statline: 10/13 for 113 yards, one touchdown and no picks. His 128.0 passer rating was even better than Tom Brady’s in this game (126.8). And Rudock added a 16-yard rush, too.

Ameer Abdullah

Earlier in the week, head coach Jim Caldwell said how different the Lions’ running game is when Abdullah is in the game. If Friday was any sign, he is absolutely right. Detroit didn’t get much of any running game going in the first two preseason games, but Abdullah provided a spark.

Ameer finished with 13 carries for 60 yards (4.6 YPC) and added another three receptions for 39 yards.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin

With the news that Tahir Whitehead was injured, the Lions may need a linebacker to emerge from their depth. Reeves-Maybin made a case for himself on Friday, making several plays on defense. He absolutely blew up one screen play for a big tackle for loss and looked impressive out there. The most promising thing, however, was that Reeves-Maybin was doing this in the first half of the game against good Patriots competition.

Marvin Jones Jr.

Last week, we wondered if Marvin Jones’ performance was a one-off, or if he and Matthew Stafford were in-sync again. Jones did everything he could to prove he was back on Friday. In total, Jones hauled in four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown. He also had an impressive sideline grab that would have gone for another 20-30 yards, but the ball jarred loose when he hit the ground.

Chris Spielman

The first quarter of the game was extremely frustrating, and no one displayed that frustration as much as Lions color commentator Chris Spielman. Spielman was grunting and screaming like he was right there in the faces of his teammates on the sideline.

It provided some levity in an extremely dark first quarter, which I am forever grateful for.


Who should get the game ball for the Lions?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Jake Rudock
    (137 votes)
  • 18%
    Ameer Abdullah
    (104 votes)
  • 12%
    Jalen Reeves-Maybin
    (67 votes)
  • 6%
    Marvin Jones Jr.
    (34 votes)
  • 37%
    Chris Spielman
    (209 votes)
551 votes total Vote Now