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5 Detroit Lions Game Ball candidates vs. Washington

Who was the Lions’ best player in Sunday’s win over the Football Team.

Washington Football Team v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions got off their two-game skid with an uneven win over the Washington Football Team. It was anything but a perfect game from Detroit, but there were certainly individuals that shined throughout Sunday afternoon.

Early on, the offense was clicking and the defense was making some opportunistic plays in critical times. Late in the game, the Lions obviously let Washington nearly steal the game from them, but some late-game heroics allowed Detroit to grasp victory back just in time.

So let’s hand out some post-game hardware with our weekly Game Ball. Like every week, I will provide five candidates, and your vote will decide the winner. First place in voting gets three Game Ball points, second place gets two, and third place gets one.

Here’s a look at the Game Ball standings through eight games:

Jack Fox: 9
D’Andre Swift: 4
Jamie Collins Sr.: 4
Romeo Okwara: 4
T.J. Hockenson: 4
Matthew Stafford: 3
Frank Ragnow: 3
Adrian Peterson: 3
Marvin Hall: 3
Taylor Decker: 3
Austin Bryant: 2
Kenny Golladay: 2
Matt Nelson: 2
Desmond Trufant: 1

Now here are the Week 10 candidates.

D’Andre Swift

Stats: 16 carries, 81 yards (5.1 YPC); 5 catches, 68 yards, 1 TD
PFF Grade: 78.8

The Lions gave D’Andre Swift the first start of his career, and the rookie running back made the most of it. The game plan was clearly surrounding Swift, and it’s hard to imagine him having a more productive day with the touches he got.

He had phenomenal vision, great patience, and was rarely taken down by the first defender who touched him.

And now, a ridiculous about Swift from the Lions PR department:

Matt Prater

Stats: 3/3 on FGs (37, 53, 59); 3/3 on XPs)
PFF grade: 91.9

I still can’t comprehend how unbelievable this second statistic is:

Prater should go down as one of the most clutch kickers in NFL history, if not the most clutch kicker. His 59 yarder was a pleasant reminder that despite his recent struggles, the man is still capable of kicking the crap out of the ball in big moments.

Matthew Stafford

Stats: 24-of-33, 276 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 127.8 passer
PFF grade: 73.6

Stafford was coming off an extremely stressful week. He just had his worst string of two games in his recent career. And without hit top target in Kenny Golladay, Stafford had to face the best pass defense in all of football (by DVOA).

He only responded by posting the league’s best passer rating of Week 10, his highest completion percentage of the year, and his second-highest QBR of the season.

Stafford wasn’t perfect, but he was in command, took what the defense gave him, looked comfortable in the pocket, and even connected on a few deep shots. That’s all you want out of him on a day like this.

Marvin Jones Jr.

Stats: 8 catches, 96 yards, 1 TD
PFF grade: 77.2

For those of you waiting for Marvin Jones Jr. to step up in Golladay’s absence, here it is. Jones was Stafford’s favorite target on Sunday, leading the team with 10 targets and catching eight of them.

None were more impressive than Jones’ toe-tapping touchdown grab in the first half that put Detroit up big:

Everson Griffen

Stats: 3 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 5 QB hits
PFF grade: 66.5

It looks like it took Griffen just a week to settle into Detroit. While he wasn’t exactly a pass-rushing machine, five QB hits in a game is pretty impressive, even if the opposing quarterback dropped back to pass 57 times in a game.

Griffen picked up his first sack as a Lion, and he often had Alex Smith on the run on Sunday. If he could’ve gotten a little more push from that interior defensive line, he very well could’ve had a couple more sacks on the day.


Who gets the Week 10 Game Ball?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    D’Andre Swift
    (593 votes)
  • 24%
    Matt Prater
    (245 votes)
  • 13%
    Matthew Stafford
    (141 votes)
  • 1%
    Marvin Jones Jr.
    (16 votes)
  • 1%
    Everson Griffen
    (17 votes)
1012 votes total Vote Now

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