Our weekly Game Ball post has moved to a different timeslot. In an effort to let some of our other postgame coverage breathe a little bit, for the time being our Game Ball is going to be given out the day after games, rather than immediately after the game.
This works in my favor, as it gives me time to digest the game a little more and potentially recognize some performances that were not immediately noticeable while watching live.
So without further ado, here are our five Game Ball candidates for Lions vs. Cardinals.
Stats: 4 catches, 69 yards, 2 TDs
I don’t need to use words to convince you. Here are the moving pictures:
KENNY GOLLADAY!!!! pic.twitter.com/yNnnsvcdE5— In The Stands (@inthestandspc) September 10, 2017
¡Gran recepción de Golladay para poner 11 puntos de diferencia entre #OnePride y #BeRedSeeRed.pic.twitter.com/xvMHRo6RAY— Máximo Avance NFL (@NFL_MA) September 10, 2017
Stats: 29-41, 292 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 113.1 QB rating
Haters had a field day for a full half after Stafford’s day began with a bad-looking pick-six. The play wasn’t completely his fault, and even if it was (it wasn’t), Stafford’s play over the next three quarters was enough to completely redeem the error and then some.
Stafford was very accurate all day, and in true Stafford fashion, he made some plays with his feet, too:
Sliding into your DMs like... pic.twitter.com/0ZiIUqUVwP— Ty Finch (@Finchty) September 11, 2017
But Stafford truly shined when he always seems to shine: In the fourth quarter. Just look at these unbelievable stats from the final frame:
Just an insane 4th quarter for #Lions QB Stafford... But that's nothing new. #OnePride pic.twitter.com/P0WuV6qyvj— Logan Lamorandier (@LLamorandier) September 11, 2017
Stats: 3 tackles, 3 passes defended
I think Kent Lee Platte covered it all nicely, but it deserves to be repeated. Diggs forced as many incompletions in this game as he did during the entire 2016 season.
For a player that was on the outside of the roster looking in a month ago, Diggs has shown a tremendous amount of mental fortitude and hard work.
Oh, and Pro Football Focus loved him:
While covering Larry Fitzgerald today, Quandre Diggs shut him out not allowing a single catch. Palmer targeted the matchup four times.— Brett Whitefield (@PFF_Brett) September 11, 2017
Stats: 5 tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass breakup
The Lions’ leader of the secondary led by example on Sunday. Not only was Quin one of three Lions safeties with a pick on Sunday, but he also led all members of the secondary with five tackles and added an additional pass breakup to his crowded stat sheet.
Lions DBs graded very well today:— Brett Whitefield (@PFF_Brett) September 11, 2017
Glover Quinn - 87.7
Quandre Diggs - 84.4
Darius Slay - 83.2
Miles Killebrew - 82.6
Now in his fifth season with the Lions, Quin is 31 years old, but there is no sign that the veteran safety is declining in talent.
Stats: 1/1 FG (58-yards); 2/2 XPs; 34.8 yards per punt
Prater knocked in a 58-yard field goal with a holder he likely wasn’t comfortable with. He also admirably stepped in as the Lions’ punter for the final three quarters of the game. While he wasn’t very good as a punter, he managed to hold onto the snap properly, which was apparently too difficult of a task for both Kasey Redfern and Jake Rudock.
When a team relies upon an emergency punter, the best you can ask for is no horrible blunders, and Prater fit that bill.
Prater even got some locker room love from head coach Jim Caldwell:
Go inside the locker room and join the team celebration after #AZvsDET. #OnePride— Detroit Lions (@Lions) September 11, 2017
Which Lions player gets the Week 1 Game Ball?
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