Sadly, the traditions of the Turkey Leg Award or the Galloping Gobbler or the All-Iron Award have mostly been scrapped. NBC still had Drew Brees eating a big turkey leg after thrashing the Falcons, but those traditions seem to have disappeared from the classic Lions and Cowboys games.
However, we’re here to keep the tradition alive. Okay, not really. We do this every week. We’re here to lay out five Lions Game Ball candidates from their Thanksgiving Day loss to the Bears. Your vote will decide the winner—with the top vote-getter receiving three points, second place tallies two points, and third place gets one. Here are the standings prior to Thursday’s game.
Game Ball standings through Week 11:
Kenny Golladay - 13.5
Kerryon Johnson - 11
Damon Harrison Sr. - 8
Darius Slay - 3.5
Devon Kennard - 3
Golden Tate - 3
Da’Shawn Hand - 3
Matthew Stafford - 3
Marvin Jones Jr. - 3
Frank Ragnow - 2
Quandre Diggs - 2
Michael Roberts - 2
Romeo Okwara - 1
Matt Prater - 1
Sam Martin - 1
Here are this week’s candidates:
Damon Harrison Sr.
Stats: 3 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 0.5 tackles for loss
For the first time ever in his career, “Snacks” tallied at least 1.5 sacks in a game. For a player that came to Detroit with just 4.5 career sacks, Harrison has been a surprising force in rushing the passer from the interior.
That being said, Harrison is best when he’s stopping the run, and his arrival in Detroit has transformed the Lions’ ability to stop opposing running backs. Thursday was another example of Detroit completely shutting down the opposition’s running game.
Stats: 5 catches, 90 yards
In the first half, as the Lions struggled to mount any sort of successful offensive drives, Golladay was not part of the plan. He had just a single catch for three yards.
However, when the game turned over into the second half and the Lions got a little more desperate on offense, Golladay started to take over. All four of his second-half catches went for at least 10 yards, including a huge 43-yard catch that led to an third-quarter lead. Golladay was also instrumental in the drive that allowed the Lions to tie the game up with just under eight minutes remaining.
Stats: 19 rushes, 88 yards, 2 TDs; 1 catch, 15 yards
There is no doubt Blount deserves the “Most Surprising Performance” award for this game. In the previous four games, Blount earned just 16 rushing yards on 21 carries (0.8 YPC).
Against the best run defense in the league, Blount powered is way to 4.6 yards per carry and the Lions’ only two scores of the day. He silenced a lot of doubters (myself included), both on the field and on Twitter:
Stats: 3 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 2 QB hits
While Ansah’s box score isn’t all that impressive, this felt like a vintage performance from the Lions’ premier pass rusher. As he continues to get more playing time, Ansah is beginning to show why the Lions took the Franchise Tag risk on him. He was bringing somewhat consistent pressure and he probably could have had at least one more sack had he wrapped up on a play or two.
Still, the pressure he was bringing disrupted Chase Daniel enough to keep the Lions defense efficient on passing downs. Daniel averaged just 6.2 yards per attempt on the day (Lions’ average is 8.6).
Stats: 6 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass defended
Admittedly, the bar has been significantly lowered for Lions cornerbacks, but the undrafted rookie made Detroit’s decision to scratch a healthy Teez Tabor look like the right one. Ford was far from perfect on Thursday, but he played with a lot of confidence, broke up a pass and even made a solid tackle for loss in this game.
In two starts, Ford has already shown more promise than any other No. 2 cornerback on the roster. We’ll see if the Lions continue to give him more playing time or if waiver wire pickup Marcus Cooper will surpass him on the depth chart.
Who gets the Week 12 Thanksgiving Game Ball?
This poll is closed