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Lions notes: ESPN analyst votes Kerryon Johnson midseason Offensive Rookie of the Year

The Lions’ second-round pick is getting some love from the national media.

New England Patriots v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Last week, we noted that Kerryon Johnson finished third in Rookie of the Year among our FanPulse voters across the SB Nation platforms. But it’s not just fans that are noticing the year the Detroit Lions running back is having.

ESPN handed out midseason NFL awards this week, and while Johnson didn’t finish first in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting, he was among the finalists—finishing fourth overall. He only received two votes from the eight-analyst panel at ESPN, but one of those writers, Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz, gave him a first-place vote.

It would make sense for Schatz to back Kerryon, because his statistics support that choice. Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric ranks Johnson as the third most valuable running back in the NFL—behind just Phillip Lindsay and Todd Gurley.

Johnson current ranks third in rushing yards (503) among rookies but first in yards per carry (5.7).

  • Wide receiver Andy Jones didn’t spend all that long off the team. After getting waived from the Lions following their game against the Vikings (in which he played two offensive snaps), Jone is back on the team’s practice squad. He replaces tight end Hakeem Valles, who was waived by the team Wednesday for the second time this year.

  • For whatever reason, opposing teams aren’t blitzing the Lions very often this season:

  • Matt Patricia was mentioned on CBS Sports’ Hot Seat Power Rankings this week because of what was a pretty awful week from Monday to Sunday. However, they conclude that “this doesn’t feel like a one-and-done type of situation.”

  • Here are your game sound and radio calls from the Lions-Vikings game:

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.