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Detroit Lions vs. New York Jets: Who gets the game ball?

Let’s recognize a good performance from Monday night, even though there are slim pickens.

New York Jets v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

After a loss like the Detroit Lions’ disaster on Monday night, no one really wants to talk about the positives. We’re all mad, we’re all confused and we want heads to roll after the Lions came out and looked completely unprepared for the onslaught that awaited at the hands of the (lowly?) New York Jets.

And if you feel that way, you are free to click on that X at the top right corner right now. I won’t take it personally.

Alright, if you’re sticking around, it’s time to hand out our weekly Game Ball. Each week I will post five candidates of the best performance from the Lions roster, and your vote will decide the Game Ball winner. First place will get three “points,” second place will get two, third place gets one. We’ll keep a running track the entire season to see who has been the most valuable player on a week-to-week basis.

Here are this week’s candidates:

Kenny Golladay

Stats: 7 catches, 114 yards, forced fumble

Golladay set career highs in both receptions and receiving yards on Monday night, as he seemed like the only Lions player on offense capable of exploiting his mismatch against the Jets’ top-heavy secondary. Prior to this game, Golladay had maxed out at four catches and 80 receiving yards in a game.

This had all the makings of a breakout performance, and his forced fumble was a high-effort play that kept the Lions in the game longer than they should’ve been in it.

Devon Kennard

Stats: 6 tackles (4 solo), 1 sack

When lined up opposite Ezekiel Ansah, Devon Kennard looked like he could actually be the pass-rushing threat the Lions so desperately need. He also showed impressive ability to set the edge in the run game.

He was less effective when Ansah’s injury forced a shakeup along the defensive front, but there’s still some hope left for Kennard, who many were underwhelmed by his 9.5 career sacks entering the year.

Kerryon Johnson

Stats: 5 carries, 17 yards; 3 catches, 20 yards

Johnson only saw 16 total snaps, but he got the ball on half of those and turned it into 37 yards. That obviously shouldn’t be Player of the Game worthy in any respectable team performance, but we’re grasping at straws here.

If we’re being honest, though, Johnson looked better than any other back in the game. He was responsible for the longest run of the day (9 yards) and he proved he can be a dual threat as a receiver. Expect him to get more touches as the season gets on, and hopefully we’ll see some serious stats from him soon.

Quandre Diggs

Stats: 4 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD

On a day in which the secondary was repeatedly burned, Diggs managed to stand out as the man worth every penny of his $20 million extension. And it was more than just his game-opening pick six.

Diggs has clearly adopted a role as a key player on this defense, whether it’s as a nickel cornerback or an occasional strong safety. He’s centerpiece of the Lions defense now, and he’s one of the few players that actually played like it on Monday.

Golden Tate

Stats: 7 catches, 79 yards, 1 TD

Tate had a bad drop or two, but he was also responsible for the Lions’ only offensive touchdown, and that counts for something on a horrible, horrible night.


Which Lions player gets the Week 1 Game Ball?

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    Kenny Golladay
    (684 votes)
  • 1%
    Devon Kennard
    (13 votes)
  • 1%
    Kerryon Johnson
    (8 votes)
  • 7%
    Quandre Diggs
    (54 votes)
  • 1%
    Golden Tate
    (10 votes)
769 votes total Vote Now

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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.