By now, you’re probably all tired of hearing about The Timeout, or Kyler Murray’s incredible timeout or Matt Patricia’s failure to keep his foot on the gas.
Does that mean that bad stuff will magically go away or that the Lions are just fine heading into the gauntlet portion of their schedule? Of course not. But let’s appreciate good individual performances for what they are.
Here are five Game Ball candidates for Week 1.
Stats: 27-of-45 for 385 yards, 3 touchdowns, 110.0 passer rating
Matthew Stafford looked electric in his first game under new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Even when his offensive line wasn’t helping him out, Stafford expertly worked the pocket and found open receivers with ease. His touchdown to Danny Amendola was perfection:
Stafford struggled a bit at the beginning and the end, but his performance throughout the game was more than enough to win this game.
Stats: 6 catches, 131 yards, 1 TD
T.J. Hockenson currently ranks among TEs:— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) September 9, 2019
- 1st in receiving yards (131)
- 1st in 20+ yard plays (4)
- 3rd in yards per catch (21.8)
- 5th in receptions (6)
I'd say this was an okay debut for him.
I don’t need to tell you how good Hockenson’s record-setting debut was, but I will anyways. He was a big-play machine, pulling in four catches of 20+ yards. He laid a couple of huge blocks, like in the Amendola touchdown above.
And, man, he just looks uncoverable out there:
Stats: 4 tackles, 3.0 sacks
While his second half was somewhat quiet, Devon Kennard entered the 2019 season like a bat out of hell. His three first-half sacks set a franchise record for a linebacker, and he became the first Lions defender to do so since 1997.
Also, it shouldn’t be overlooked that Kennard took on play-calling duties for this game while Jarrad Davis was out. Here’s what he had to say about the added responsibility:
“I’ve done it once before. It was fine. It’s more but I don’t have a problem with that. I enjoy being able to be out there and help lead the guys and get the stuff out there. I don’t know if there are many guys that do it, playing the position I play, but the more you can do.”
Stats: 7 catches, 104 yards, 1 TD
Amendola is going to catch a lot of flack for not getting out of bounds in overtime, but in reality, that didn’t turn out to mean much of anything.
For the rest of the game, Amendola was the one Lions receiver that seemed to create any separation. He looked very much like the player we saw in training camp, and it’s clear he’s starting to develop a level of trust with Matthew Stafford.
Of his seven catches, five of them went for first downs, meaning Amendola could be a key chain-mover this year.
Stats: 8 tackles, 3 passes defended, 1 QB hit
The Lions came into this game with a lot of questions surrounding the cornerback job outside of Darius Slay. Melvin was the clear starter, but after a rough year in Oakland, combined with the fact that Melvin was questionable to even play in this game, there was plenty of doubt in this secondary.
However, Melvin was extremely sticky in coverage all day, and—better yet—was making plays on the ball. That kind of playmaking ability has been sorely missed at cornerback, outside of Darius Slay.
Who gets the Week 1 Game Ball?
This poll is closed