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Lions-Bills Player of the Game: 5 game ball candidates

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Who was the Lions’ best player on Friday night.

Buffalo Bills v Detroit Lions Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions completed their dress rehearsal Friday night, which means it’s time for the return of Game Ball.

Game Ball is the weekly article in which you, the reader, votes on five candidates for the Detroit Lions Player of the Game. Throughout the season—the regular season, that is—we’ll keep track of the top vote-getters. First-place winners get three points, second place gets two, and third place gets one. We’ll keep a running tally of points to figure out who, by the end of the season, was the Lions’ best player.

Here are the five candidates from Detroit Lions vs. Buffalo Bills.

Matthew Stafford

Stats: 12-of-19 for 137 yards, 1 touchdown, 102.3 passer rating

Stafford gave Lions fans a big sigh of relief by not only appearing in the Lions’ preseason for the first time, but thriving while in it. Gone are the injury concerns that came with Stafford’s benching in Game 2 and odd rest during training camp, and we finally saw flashes of what this new offense could be with Stafford behind center.

Though the Lions only scored 10 points in five possessions—including two where the Lions were given prime field position—Stafford gave the Lions offense a completely different look than we’ve seen from his backups in the past two weeks.

T.J. Hockenson

Stats: 3 catches, 52 yards

I can’t tell you how excited I was for Lions fans to see what we’ve been seeing all training camp. Hockenson has the potential to be a huge part of this offense and we finally saw why on Friday night. Stafford hooked up with Hockenson three times, and if it weren’t for a drop on a tough catch, Hockenson may have scored his first NFL touchdown, too.

It wasn’t a great day for Hockenson as a blocker, but WHO CARES, OFFENSIVE WEAPON!

Ty Johnson

Stats: 4 rushes, 9 yards; 1 catch 11 yards, 1 TD

Ty Johnson has to be close to a roster lock after Friday’s performance. While his rushing attempts weren’t as successful as in prior preseason games, the fact that the Lions called his number on a fourth-and-3 play with the first-team offense is a pretty good sign for him. The fact that he made the play on a well-thrown ball is even better for Johnson’s roster chances in 2019.

C.J. Anderson

Stats: 8 rushes, 24 yards; 2 catches 17 yards

Anderson’s statline isn’t very impressive—especially when you consider that 10 of his 24 rushing yards came on one play. But it wasn’t his production that stood out as much as how he earned his yards. Anderson delivered a devastating stiff arm, turning a 3-yard gain into 10. And he even showed enough speed to beat a Bills defender to the edge on an earlier play.

Anderson looks like he’s in regular season mode and could be a very capable RB2 to Kerryon Johnson.

Matt Prater

Stats: 2-for-2 field goals (23, 61), 1-for-1 XPs

61-yard field goal. ‘Nuff said:

Poll

Who gets the Lions’ Week 3 preseason Game Ball?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Matthew Stafford
    (336 votes)
  • 11%
    T.J. Hockenson
    (139 votes)
  • 47%
    Ty Johnson
    (592 votes)
  • 1%
    C.J. Anderson
    (13 votes)
  • 12%
    Matt Prater
    (160 votes)
1240 votes total Vote Now