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Detroit Lions Week 5 player of the game: 5 Game Ball candidates vs. Packers

Vote on this week’s winner.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions got a huge win on Sunday, pushing the team to 2-3 and 1-0 in the division. It took a lot of individual efforts for the Lions to pull off the upset over the Green Bay Packers, so that’s why we have our weekly Game Ball poll.

If you’re new to game ball, the concept is simple: I give you five candidates for player of the game and you vote on them. Winner gets three points, second place gets two points, and third place gets a single point. We keep track of the Game Ball standings throughout the season to see which Lions player has been performing the best on a week-to-week basis.

Here’s how the standings look now.

Game Ball standings through Week 4:
(Note: There was a tie between Golladay and Slay last week for third place, so they both got a half-point.)

Kenny Golladay - 6.5
Devon Kennard - 3
Kerryon Johnson - 3
Golden Tate - 3
Matthew Stafford - 2
Frank Ragnow - 2
Quandre Diggs - 2
Darius Slay - 1.5
Da’Shawn Hand - 1

Here are the Week 5 candidates:

Kenny Golladay

Stats: 4 catches, 98 yards, 1 TD, 1 savage stiff arm

Four catches on nine targets make it look like Golladay had a rough outing on Sunday, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Golladay was dominant; his play was physically imposing, running beautiful routes and creating big play after big play. Had a penalty not negated a 46-yard touchdown, Golladay would’ve finished the week with the second most receiving yards in the league, behind only DeAndre Hopkins.

Da’Shawn Hand

Stats: 4 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery

If Da’Shawn Hand hadn’t done anything else on the day, he still would’ve made this list, because this play is just... so... good.

Playing nose tackle(!!), facing a double team, Hand splits the offensive lineman, chases down Aaron Rodgers, forces the ball loose, and has the wherewithal to find the ball and flop on top of it.

The turnover quite possibly was a 10-point swing. The Packers were driving to get a field goal before the half ended, but Hand gave the Lions good field position and a few plays later, Matthew Stafford pushed the Lions lead to 24.

Matthew Stafford

Stats: 14-for-26, 183 yards, 7.0 Y/A, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 101.9 QB rating

As far as Stafford statlines go, this is an extremely underwhelming performance from the Lions quarterback. However, it is a very misleading box score. Stafford was very accurate all game, and would’ve had two big plays added to his statline had penalties not negated big plays from Stafford.

Even without those plays, Stafford was effective and efficient with the ball in his hands. Most importantly, Stafford was near perfect in the red zone, throwing touchdowns on two of his three passes inside the Packers’ 20-yard line.

Romeo Okwara

Stats: 3 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, 3 quarterback hits

Just watch this and try not to smile.

A lot of the Lions’ pressure on Aaron Rodgers was the result of good coverage from the secondary. Unfortunately, the Lions defensive backs really broke down in the second half, and no one played consistently good enough to make this list.

So, let’s honor the beneficiaries of that good coverage early. Any time you hit the quarterback three times in a game, it’s a pretty good day, regardless of the circumstances. Okwara was an unpopular pickup at the time, but in four games, he has 3.0 sacks and is racking up a ton of playing time while Detroit waits for Ezekiel Ansah to get back into the game. Those are big shoes to fill, and Okwara is doing a solid job.

LeGarrette Blount

Stats: 12 carries, 22 yards, 2 TDs

Haters will point to Blount’s 1.8 YPC and say he had a horrible game, but Blount did what was asked of him. He converted a huge third-and-1, and he single-handedly fixed the Lions’ red zone issues with two goal line touchdowns.

It’s also no minor accomplishment that when Kerryon Johnson went down late, Blount took over and didn’t turn the ball over late. It wasn’t a glamorous day for Blount, but he did exactly what the Lions wanted from him when they signed him this offseason.

(No, we’re not putting Mason Crosby on this week’s list... mostly because he’d probably win and I don’t want him on the standings all year. Also, don’t be a jerk.)


Who deserves the Week 5 game ball

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Kenny Golladay
    (318 votes)
  • 37%
    Da’Shawn Hand
    (291 votes)
  • 2%
    Matthew Stafford
    (23 votes)
  • 15%
    Romeo Okwara
    (119 votes)
  • 2%
    LeGarrette Blount
    (16 votes)
767 votes total Vote Now