The Detroit Lions’ 14-13 loss didn’t include a lot of great individual performances. There were maybe a couple of players out there that stuck out (for good reasons), and this is our opportunity to praise them for a job well done.
Oftentimes, a player’s good day is overshadowed by an overbearing loss. Let’s not let that happen, even on the first day of the offseason*.
Before we get into this week’s Game Ball candidates, here are the standings through 13 games.
(Note: First place in voting gets three points, second place gets two points, third place gets one point.)
Game Ball standings through Week 14:
Kenny Golladay - 13.5
Damon Harrison Sr. - 13
Kerryon Johnson - 11
Darius Slay - 5.5
Quandre Diggs - 4
Devon Kennard - 3
Golden Tate - 3
Da’Shawn Hand - 3
Matthew Stafford - 3
Marvin Jones Jr. - 3
LeGarrette Blount - 3
Zach Zenner - 3
Frank Ragnow - 2
Michael Roberts - 2
Romeo Okwara - 1
Jarrad Davis - 1
Matt Prater - 1
Sam Martin - 1
Mike Ford - 1
Levine Toilolo - 1
This week’s candidates:
Stats: 7 catches (8 targets), 146 yards
Last week, many questioned whether Kenny Golladay was capable of being a No. 1 receiver after Patrick Peterson and the Arizona Cardinals completely shut him down. Golladay answered with a resounding YES on Sunday, putting young cornerback Tre’Davious White in his place. This was just dirty:
So was this:
Stats: 10 carries, 45 yards, 1 TD
If there’s one player that seems to always make the most of his opportunities, his name is Zach Zenner. Against a good Bills defense, Zenner seemed to sap every possible yard out of his carries, and his decisive running style was a nice relief from LeGarrette Blount.
Right now Zenner is playing better than Blount in every possible scenario, whether it be short-yardage situations, first down, pass protection or whatever the situation calls for. It’s no wonder the Lions used him a lot more often on Sunday.
Stats: 1 tackle, 3 passes defended
It was far from a perfect day for Big Play Slay, as there were a couple of instances he was beat against the Bills. However, as Buffalo was threatening to score late in the game, Slay was coming up huge. He got his hand on three consecutive passes and would’ve defended a fourth had he not been called for an iffy pass interference penalty.
Stats: 8 carries, 47 yards; 2 catches, 9 yards
Riddick’s 47 rushing yards was the fifth-most ever in a game for the veteran running back, and his 5.88 yards per carry was the third-best efficiency mark of his career (minimum five carries). It’s not often that Riddick looks that good as a rusher, but credit where it’s due: he looked the part on Sunday.
It’s disappointing Riddick hasn’t been his usual self as a receiver, but with Kerryon Johnson out, it’s been nice to see him assume a more traditional running back role and do well.
Damon Harrison Sr.
Stats: 6 tackles (5 solo)
It wasn’t the run defense’s best game, allowing third and fourth string Bills running backs to earn 117 yards on the ground, but Buffalo wasn’t exactly all that efficient, rushing for only 3.2 yards per carry.
Per usual, Harrison was a force in the middle of the line, consistently holding back linemen with one hand and knocking opposing rushers backwards when he got his hands on them. His dominance has become so commonplace that it’s easy to take it for granted.
Who gets the Lions’ Week 15 Game Ball?
This poll is closed