The Detroit Lions came up just short in mounting another fourth quarter comeback and taking their stake as one of the best teams in the NFL. In fact, had the Lions earned one half more yard on the final play of the game, Detroit would be the only undefeated team remaining in the NFC. Instead, those honors belong to the Atlanta Falcons.
Self-pity aside, the Lions had a few impressive individual performances on Sunday. Let’s take a look at five players who played well against the Falcons and hand out this week’s Game Ball.
Game Ball standings through two weeks
Matthew Stafford - 3
Ezekiel Ansah - 3
Jamal Agnew - 2
Kenny Golladay - 2
Darius Slay - 1
Matt Prater - 1
Here’s a look at this week’s candidates:
Stats: 5 tackles, 3 passes defended, 2 INTs
Big Play Slay morphed into Big Plays Slay on Sunday. Just as it appeared the Falcons were ready to push this game into a two or even three-score contest, Slay picked up two game-changing interceptions.
Though both of Slay’s interceptions were off tipped passes, he found himself in the right place at the right time. Slay was also somewhat effective in holding Julio Jones without any huge plays.
Stats: 8 tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 INT, 1 TD
Glover Quin’s pick-six in the final two minutes of the first half put the Lions within a possession at halftime. It was a phenomenal read by Quin and an impressive return.
But Quin’s contributions went well beyond that pick-six. He was an extremely solid tackler all game, and his third-down stop on Julio Jones in the fourth quarter gave Detroit one last opportunity to win the game.
Stats: 4/4 on FGs (2/2 on 50+ yarders); 2-2 on XPs
Have you ever felt more comfortable in a Lions kicker from longer than 50 yards? Even counting Jason Hanson, I think the answer is no.
3 catches (3 targets), 63 receiving yards
Jones has been the Lions’ long-forgotten receiver once the Kenny Golladay hype train pulled into the station at Detroit, but Jones was fantastic against the Falcons.
He may have only pulled in three catches, but they all seemed to come at key times. His 29-yard catch on Detroit’s final drive of the game was a perfect display of concentration and strength. Mortal receivers would have had that ball jarred loose after a big hit like that, but Jones held on like a pro.
Stats: 25-45, 264 yards, 1 TD; 2 rushes, 19 yards
It wasn’t Stafford’s best day, and although he looked masterful on the Lions’ final drive of the game, he was also partially responsible for the Lions going three-and-out on the previous two fourth quarter drives.
That being said, Stafford was still the team’s best offensive player, and his accuracy—especially on touch passes—was impeccable.
Which Lions player gets the game ball vs. Falcons?
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