But, as always, there are silver linings if you’re willing to look for them. Several Lions players put up good performances on Thanksgiving, and while it certainly wasn’t enough to beat Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears, it was enough to give them a serious chance at an upset—working with a third-string quarterback, no less.
So let’s take a look at some of the better performances from Thursday.
Before we do that, however, here’s a look at the Game Ball standings through 12 weeks. (First place in voting gets three points, second place gets two points, third place gets one.)
Matthew Stafford - 14
Marvin Jones Jr. - 9
Kenny Golladay - 7
Justin Coleman - 5
Bo Scarbrough - 5
Trey Flowers - 4
T.J. Hockenson - 3
Sam Martin - 3
Matt Prater - 3
Jeff Driskel - 3
Amani Oruwariye - 2
Jamal Agnew - 2
Tyrell Crosby - 2
Devon Kennard - 1
Taylor Decker - 1
Kerryon Johnson - 1
Jarrad Davis - 1
Here are this week’s candidates:
Stats: 4 catches, 158 yards, 1 TD
Even with a third-string quarterback, you can’t kill the Lions’ deep ball. A lot of that has to do with the talented receiving corps the Lions have, and Golladay was on full display Thursday afternoon. He just absolutely destroyed Bears corner Prince Amukamara on his 75-yard touchdown grab:
Stats: 21 carries, 83 yards
Scarbrough kept the Bears defense honest by constantly picking up positive yardage on the ground. For the second straight game, he would have had 100 yards rushing if a big play of his hadn’t been called back due to a penalty. Still, with each game he’s proving that he isn’t just a flash in the pan.
Stats: 22-of-38, 280 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 87.6 passer rating
Blough was put into an impossible situation on Thursday. Having had no real practices as the team’s No. 1 quarterback—Detroit was in walkthroughs all week—coming off a short week to prepare, facing a very good Bears defense, Blough did just about as good as anyone could realistically expect.
He was far from perfect. He had too many erratic passes, he often held onto the ball too long, and he took a really bad sack on the final drive of the game. But for most of Thursday, he looked poised, he had very good pocket presence, and he made a couple of huge plays that got Detroit out in front for the majority of the game.
For a third-string undrafted rookie quarterback, that’s a huge win.
Stats: 2 tackles, 1 INT
As the Lions were desperately clinging to a second-half lead, Darius Slay was pretty much the only defender to step up and make a play. With the Bears threatening to score to potentially tie the game up in the early third quarter, Slay picked off Mitchell Trubisky and gave the Lions good field position.
Darius Slay with a pick that's sweeter than pumpkin pie! @_bigplayslay23 #OnePride— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2019
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It was one of just a few good defensive plays on the day.
Stats: 2-for-2 on FGs, 2-for-2 on XPs, pegged a Bears guy on a kickoff
It’s always important to acknowledge your kicker when he’s not screwing up. So let’s appreciate Prater today, even though he was hardly tested on Thanksgiving.
That being said, he was also responsible for blasting a kickoff right into a Bears player, resulting in an “onside” kickoff recovery. Who cares that Prater was actually just trying to squib the kick? You peg a Bear and get a fumble recovery out of it? That’s double the pleasure, double the fun.
Who gets the Week 13 Game Ball
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