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3 Detroit Lions Game Ball candidates vs. Panthers

A shortened list this week after a bad performance in Carolina.

Detroit Lions v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions’ performance on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers was one of the biggest full-team collapses I’ve seen in quite some time. I probably don’t need to convince you of how inept the offense looked considering the Lions were shut out for the first time in over a decade. But here are some more depressing facts: The Lions ran just three plays inside the Panthers’ 30-yard line on Sunday. Their total yardage of 185 is the worst since 2010. Oh, and remember, this was a bottom-tier defense going into Week 11 that had just given up 46 points to the Buccaneers the previous week.

All that to say that you will not be seeing any offensive candidates for this week’s Detroit Lions Game Ball. In fact, you will not see your typical five candidates this week, because it wasn’t much better on the defensive side of the ball, either. Instead, we’re running with just three candidates this week, and it was honestly hard to find a third. That’s how bad Sunday was.

So before we get into this week’s barely-qualified candidates, let’s check in with our Game Ball standings through nine games.

Jack Fox: 9
D’Andre Swift: 7
Jamie Collins Sr.: 4
Romeo Okwara: 4
T.J. Hockenson: 4
Matthew Stafford: 4
Frank Ragnow: 3
Adrian Peterson: 3
Marvin Hall: 3
Taylor Decker: 3
Matt Prater: 2
Austin Bryant: 2
Kenny Golladay: 2
Matt Nelson: 2
Desmond Trufant: 1

Here is this week’s truncated list of players:

Jack Fox

Stats: 6 punts, 42.2 average, 4 inside 20-yard line
PFF grade: 64.3

Since the Lions decided they didn’t have an interest in going for it on fourth down in Panthers territory, it was a busy day for their punter. Fox made the most of his opportunities, pinning the Panthers inside their own 20-yard line four times on the day.

Carolina’s average field position after a kickoff or punt was just their own 17.3 yard line thanks to a fantastic day from Fox.

Amani Oruwariye

Stats: 5 tackles, 1 INT
PFF grade: 91.6

Oruwariye was in perfect position for his one interception of the day. And while the rest of his day was fairly quiet—he was only targeted three times and gave up a single catch for 3 yards—you’ll take a quiet day from a Lions cornerback any week of the season. While his cohorts Desmond Trufant and Jeff Okudah continue to struggle, Oruwariye remains a steady, consistent player, which is something this secondary desperately needs right now.

Jamie Collins Sr.

Stats: 9 tackles, 1 pass defended
PFF: grade: 81.4

You know this list is really stretching it when I simply put the Lions’ leading tackler on here. Tackles are by no means a good statistic to measure performance, but I will say that Collins stuck out on film as a strong positive in stopping the run. Detroit was able to hold Panthers running backs to just 93 yards on 27 carries (3.4 YPC) with a long of 9.

As long as Collins is playing well, Detroit can actually stop the run. And with just about everything else failing on the team, Collins continues to stick out amongst a struggling crew.


Who was the Lions’ Week 11 Player of the Game?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Jack Fox
    (218 votes)
  • 60%
    Amani Oruwariye
    (377 votes)
  • 4%
    Jamie Collins Sr.
    (27 votes)
622 votes total Vote Now

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