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Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers: Who gets the game ball?

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Which Lions player deserves recognition for their play in Week 2?

Detroit Lions v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

It always feels weird handing out figurative Game Balls when the Detroit Lions put up a subpar performance, but the entire point of this weekly article is to recognize players that are performing well, whether the rest of the team is keeping up or not.

The Lions did not play well as a team against the 49ers, but there were more good individual play than there was last week. Before we get into those players, let’s take a look at our Game Ball standings through one game.

[Reminder: 1st place in voting gets 3 points, 2nd place gets 2, 3rd place gets 1]

Game Ball standings through Week 1:

Kenny Golladay - 3
Quandre Diggs - 2
Devon Kennard

This week’s candidates:

Devon Kennard

Stats: 4 tackles, 2.0 sacks

For the second straight game, Devon Kennard looked like Detroit’s biggest free agent signing, as advertised. The Lions linebacker remains both one of the best pass rushers on the team and one of the better edge setters, as well. For a player that entered the season with just 9.5 sacks in four years, Kennard looks like the kind of player that was just waiting for the right coaching. He already has 3.0 sacks in two games.

Kenny Golladay

Stats: 6 catches, 89 yards, 1 TD

Notice a pattern yet? Golladay built off a strong Week 1 performance with another solid game against the 49ers. His touchdown was a thing of beauty not only because of the play he made after the catch, but look at the way he sells the play action so convincingly:

That’s some impressive stuff from a second-year player. Slowly, Golladay appears to be budding into an all-around talent.

LeGarrette Blount

Stats: 8 carries, 38 yards; 1 catch, -3 yards

Let’s put his ejection aside for the moment, as everyone seems to disagree about whether it was a good or bad thing, but Blount’s day was much better than his statline suggests.

Three of his eight carries earned first downs, and many of his yards came after first contact. He was a big reason there is still optimism surround the Lions’ running game, another big reason is...

Kerryon Johnson

Stats: 8 carries, 43 yards; 5 catches, 23 yards

With an increased workload, the Lions’ second-round pick rose to the occasion. Not only did Johnson average an impressive 5.4 yards per carry on just eight rushes, but he proved valuable as a receiver. Through two games, only three players have more receptions than Johnson: Kenny Golladay, Golden Tate and Theo Riddick.

If the trend continues, the Lions may not have to wait much longer to get that 100-yard rusher monkey off their back.

Da’Shawn Hand

Stats: 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss

It’s hard to get too excited over any performance from the defensive line when they produced zero sacks combined and were part of the Lions’ very troubling run defense problem, but Da’Shawn Hand has now been a bright spot in two consecutive games:

Before you know it, this guy is going to be a starter, if he isn’t considered one already.

VOTE:

Poll

Who was the Lions’ Week 2 player of the game?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Devon Kennard
    (131 votes)
  • 49%
    Kenny Golladay
    (174 votes)
  • 4%
    LeGarrette Blount
    (15 votes)
  • 3%
    Kerryon Johnson
    (12 votes)
  • 6%
    Da’Shawn Hand
    (23 votes)
355 votes total Vote Now