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Detroit Lions Week 9 player of the game: 5 Game Ball candidates vs. Vikings

Who was the Lions’ player of the game in an ugly loss to the Vikings?

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, yes, I know. Why are we giving away a Game Ball to a Detroit Lions team that looked lifeless for a second consecutive week? Well, we do this every week, so get over it.

Sure, it’s getting harder and harder to find five worthy candidates for these polls, but we managed to do so for this game against the Minnesota Vikings, and the least you could do is click on a poll for me.

Before we get into this week’s candidates, here are the Game Ball standings for the season.

(First place in voting gets three points, second place gets two, and third place gets one.)

Game Ball standings through Week 8:

Kenny Golladay - 9.5
Kerryon Johnson - 7
Devon Kennard - 3
Golden Tate - 3
Da’Shawn Hand - 3
Matthew Stafford - 3
Marvin Jones Jr. - 3
Damon Harrison Sr. - 2
Frank Ragnow - 2
Quandre Diggs - 2
Michael Roberts - 2
Darius Slay - 1.5
Romeo Okwara - 1

Damon Harrison Sr.

Stats: 6 tackles (1 TFL)

Looking at the overall stats, and you wouldn’t think the Lions’ run defense has made any improvements since “Snacks” came to town. They gave up 176 rushing yards and 4.2 per carry against the Seahawks, and 128 yards at 5.6 per carry this week. But those stats are incredibly misleading. Last week, the Lions run defense was much, much better with Harrison on the field, and this week Detroit managed to shut down the Vikings’ run game for almost the entire game.

The Lions’ one flub, a 70-yard run by Dalvin Cook, happened when Snacks was off the field. For the other 19 running back rushes in the game, the Vikings gained just 50 yards (2.6 YPC).

Marvin Jones Jr.

Stats: 6 catches, 66 yards

Marvin Jones may have literally been the only bright spot for the Lions’ inept offense. Jones managed to create space between him and Xavier Rhodes on several occasions, and ended up catching six of his eight targets. That’s a pretty solid day of efficiency for the Lions’ No. 1 receiver.

Even his day was far from perfect, though. He had a fumble that could’ve been costly, but fortunately bounced harmlessly out of bounds.

Darius Slay

Stats: 3 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 INT

In a wastleland of a secondary, Slay still manages to separate himself from the group. Early in the game, Kirk Cousins tried to test Slay a few times, and it mostly did not work out for Minnesota. Slay produced the Lions’ third interception of the year, and their first since Week 3 against the Patriots. He added another pass defended for good measure.

Matt Prater

Stats: 3-for-3 on field goals

There is only one player on the entire roster that can say he was absolutely perfect for 100 percent of his snaps. That man is Matt Prater.

Ezekiel Ansah

Stats: 1.0 sacks

Ansah didn’t get much playing time in this game, as the Lions opted to make him a pass-rush specialist. That being said, picking up a sack on just 12 snaps was a nice reminder of the good old times with Ziggy. Hopefully next week he can return as a full-time defender.

Poll

Who was the Lions’ Week 9 player of the game?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Damon Harrison Sr.
    (309 votes)
  • 2%
    Marvin Jones Jr.
    (13 votes)
  • 20%
    Darius Slay
    (106 votes)
  • 13%
    Matt Prater
    (70 votes)
  • 2%
    Ezekiel Ansah
    (11 votes)
509 votes total Vote Now