The season is almost over now, and it’s been a weird year for the Detroit Lions. It’s not just that the Lions have been bad—that’s not weird at all by this franchise’s standards. But we’ve seen a rotating cast of players from game to game, so much so that it’s almost hard to keep up who is healthy, who is on the team, who is on the practice squad, and where some of these players even came from.
As a result, our Game Ball standings are all over the place. Through 14 games, 22 different players have earned at least one Game Ball point (meaning they’ve placed in the top three in Player of the Game voting at least once).
Take a look:
Matthew Stafford - 14
Marvin Jones Jr. - 9
Kenny Golladay - 9
Justin Coleman - 5
Bo Scarbrough - 5
Trey Flowers - 4
Tracy Walker - 3
T.J. Hockenson - 3
Sam Martin - 3
Matt Prater - 3
Jeff Driskel - 3
Danny Amendola - 3
Jahlani Tavai - 2
Amani Oruwariye - 2
Jamal Agnew - 2
Tyrell Crosby - 2
Devon Kennard - 1
Taylor Decker - 1
Kerryon Johnson - 1
Jarrad Davis - 1
Tavon Wilson - 1
Wes Hills - 1
Now let’s turn our attention to this week. It was another bummer of a game for the team as a whole, but there were a couple of individuals who stood out against the Denver Broncos. Here are five Lions Game Ball candidates for Week 16.
Stats: 6 catches, 66 yards, 1 TD
Golladay did have one tough drop on what would have been a highlight-reel catch, but he also scored his 11th touchdown of the year, extending his lead over the rest of the NFL. It was a nice effort play from the young wide receiver.
Considering what Golladay has had to do with second and third-string quarterbacks, he deserves more credit than he’s getting.
Stats: 3 punt returns, 75 yards, 1 TD
Agnew is now the only NFL player with a punt and kick return touchdown on the year. Nice to see him back at what he does best.
Stats: 6 tackles
Prior to Sunday’s game, Longa had played in just 15 total defensive snaps in his career. After Jahlani Tavai went down in Denver, Longa stepped up and played a total of 40 snaps. He didn’t look out of place at all, too.
On his very first play Sunday, he knifed through offensive line traffic and tracked down Phillip Lindsay for a minimal gain. He finished with a career-high six tackles and played admirably in a pinch.
Stats: 5 tackles, 2 passes defended
Slay was his typical self on Sunday, making life hard for Broncos receiver Courtland Sutton, who pulled in just five catches for 41 yards. Slay notched two passes defended, which pushed his season total to 12 on the year. That number is significant, because it put Slay in uncharted territory for cornerback success in the modern era.
With 2 pass defenses today, @Lions CB Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) has become the only player in @NFL history (since these stats began being tracked in 1999) to record six consecutive seasons with 12 pass defenses and 2 interceptions all with the same franchise.#OnePride pic.twitter.com/NWyeZDxlCH— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) December 22, 2019
Stats: 5 puntes, 261 yards (52.2 average)
Martin’s day was pretty quiet, and he didn’t do anything in particular, but someone in the comment section keeps asking to put Martin on these polls, and since there wasn’t really anyone else worthy of this week’s list, I will oblige.
Who gets the Week 16 Game Ball?
This poll is closed