It’s time to award the final Game Ball of the season. All year—even through the ugly games of November and December—we’ve been keeping track of the best players from each game. We provide the top five Detroit Lions performances from each week, and your vote determines the winners. First place in voting earns three points in our season-long Game Ball standings, second place earns two points, and third place earns a single point.
Here’s a look at the standings through the Lions’ first 15 games.
Game Ball standings through Week 16:
Kenny Golladay - 16.5
Damon Harrison Sr. - 14
Kerryon Johnson - 11
Zach Zenner - 8
Quandre Diggs - 6
Darius Slay - 5.5
Devon Kennard - 3
Golden Tate - 3
Da’Shawn Hand - 3
Matthew Stafford - 3
Marvin Jones Jr. - 3
LeGarrette Blount - 3
Frank Ragnow - 2
Michael Roberts - 2
Sam Martin - 2
Romeo Okwara - 1
Jarrad Davis - 1
Matt Prater - 1
Mike Ford - 1
Levine Toilolo - 1
Golladay, Harrison and Johnson have all locked up the top three spots, which is kind of odd considering two of those players spent a good chunk of the year not playing for the Lions.
However, one more player could sneak into the top three this week, and it’s another player that spent the majority of the season not playing.
Onto this week’s Detroit Lions Game Ball candidates vs. the Green Bay Packers.
Stats: 20-32, 266 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 109.6 passer rating
With none of the top three receivers Stafford entered the season alongside, the Lions franchise quarterback had one of the best games of the year. With good protection from his offensive line, Stafford completely dissected the Packers’ depleted secondary. The Lions allowed Stafford to throw downfield, and as a result, Matthew made the likes of TJ Jones, Brandon Powell and Andy Jones look like the trio of receivers everyone expected out of Marvin Jones Jr., Golden Tate and Kenny Golladay.
Stats: 1/1 FG (43), 4/4 XPs, 1-1, 8 yards, 1 TD
Stats: 21 rushes, 93 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, 30 yards
Zach Zenner in the final 4 games:— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) December 30, 2018
51 carries, 237 yards, 4.65 YPC
Finished with at least 4.4 YPC in all four games.
Zach Zenner not only proved by the end of the season that he’s a much better option as the Lions’ replacement back than LeGarrette Blount, but he’s starting to make a serious case for the No. 2 job in 2019.
Zenner’s vision is top notch, and because of that decisive running style and decent burst, he almost always makes the first guy miss. For a team that struggled with short-yardage runs for much of the year, one has to wonder if things would’ve played out differently had Zenner not suffered an injury in the preseason finale.
Stats: 6 catches, 103 yards
103 yards in your first career start. Not too bad, Brandon Powell.
While I’m not ready to crown Powell the next Golden Tate, his speed and ability to pick up YAC was obvious on Sunday. The question for Powell’s future will be in his ability to win routes. At just 5-foot-8, 181 pounds, he’ll have an uphill battle against more physical corners, but his game against the Packers was certainly a promising start to the 23-year-old’s career.
Stats: 7 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 2 TFLs, 1 pass defended
Though there were no standout individual performances, we had to give some love to the defense after posting their first shutout in 22 years.
Davis led the team with seven tackles, and again proved one of his better abilities is as a pass rusher. He may have only finished the year with 6.0 sacks, but you may remember than in 2017, Lions linebackers combined for a total of 3.5 sacks.
Davis’ play wasn’t just limited to solid pass rushing, though. He was much better in the run game on Sunday. The one downside to the game was that Davis dropped an easy interception, though it was forgivable given the game situation. And for the record, I don’t blame him for the late-hit penalty. DeShone Kizer’s acting performance drew the flag, not the minimal contact from Davis.
Which Lions player gets the Week 17 Game Ball?
This poll is closed