Following the Detroit Lions’ loss to the New York Giants on Friday night, it’s time to hand out this week’s award for unsung hero of the week. The series highlights one player whose performance, be it throughout the whole game or in a single moment, played an important role in the Lions’ success but may not have been the most memorable. While there are some games where only so many players shine, the objective is to give credit where it may have been forgotten.
Unsung hero of the week: LeGarrette Blount
This week’s award is much more targeted to Blount’s second half performance than that of the first half. Blount seemed to offer some thumping force to the Lions’ short yardage running game in the first half, but came out in full force in the second half.
With just over ten minutes left in the third quarter, the Lions offense got the ball for their second possession of the half. The drive would eat up over six minutes of clock in the third quarter as the Lions drove downfield but couldn’t cash in for points. What LeGarrette Blount was doing in the game that late is anyone’s guess—very rarely do you see someone like Blount, a big name veteran going into his tenth season, on the field that late in a preseason game.
That didn’t seem to stop Blount from putting his best foot forward. In a drive that seemed like little more than just dump-offs and handoffs, Blount repeatedly made space where there was none and found a way to carry the offense on his back. Just about every time Blount took a handoff, there was anywhere from one to three Giants defenders already in the backfield. Somehow Blount still found a way to churn out productive run after productive run, often gaining at least three to five yards after contact.
No offense wants to end a possession without scoring, but unfortunately the Lions were failed to convert on fourth-and-two in the red zone. Blount was stuffed on what seemed like the only run from the drive in which he failed to make something out of nothing. On top of that, it was a run in which the Lions backfield looked like it had more Giants than Lions in it right after the ball was snapped.
Thus, this week’s unsung hero of the week goes to second-half LeGarrette Blount. It takes a team player to take that kind of beating over and over again in a preseason game. Even more, it takes a special kind of dedication for someone like Blount, who has no business even being in the game that late, to persist in putting their best foot forward.