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4 Detroit Lions game ball candidates vs. Houston Texans

A look at the best Lions performances from Thursday.

Houston Texans v Detroit Lions Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

I know no one is interested in breaking down the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving Day loss to the Houston Texans right now. Most people just want to hear that the coaching staff and general manager are removed. Unfortunately, I can’t bring that news to you right now, so we’re left having to talk about what happened on Thursday afternoon.

And while there were plenty of bad things to talk about—far too much, in fact—let’s use this one little corner of the internet to focus on the few things that went right against the Texans.

It’s time to name our five game ball candidates, but with yet another lackluster performance, we’re going to limit the players to just four this week. Before we let you know who they are, here’s a look at our game ball standings through 11 games. First place in voting gets three points, second place gets two, and third place gets one.

Jack Fox: 11
D’Andre Swift: 7
Jamie Collins Sr.: 5
Romeo Okwara: 4
T.J. Hockenson: 4
Matthew Stafford: 4
Frank Ragnow: 3
Adrian Peterson: 3
Marvin Hall: 3
Taylor Decker: 3
Amani Oruwariye: 3
Matt Prater: 2
Austin Bryant: 2
Kenny Golladay: 2
Matt Nelson: 2
Desmond Trufant: 1

T.J. Hockenson

Stats: 5 catches, 89 yards
PFF grade: 68.9

Hockenson got off to a hot start on Thursday, pulling in 78 receiving yards in the first quarter alone. Unfortunately, the rest of the game was quite pedestrian for the Lions tight end, but he was living proof that while he was the primary focus of the offense, good things can happen.

Taylor Decker

Stats: No sacks allowed
PFF grade: 77.9

Decker remains one of the most underappreciated players on the Lions roster right now. After allowing his first sack of the season last week against the Panthers, he bounced right back to a Pro Bowl worthy performance against the Texans. At this point, he should be widely considered a top-10 left tackle in the league, if not top five.

Nick Williams

Stats: 2 tackles 1.0 sacks
PFF grade: 67.3

It’s been a quiet season from Lions defensive tackle Nick Williams, but without Da’Shawn Hand in the lineup, he played quite well against the Texans. Detroit has struggled to get pressure up the middle, but Williams put that narrative on its head Thursday, creating three pressures and tallying one impressive sack on Deshaun Watson.

Adrian Peterson

Stats: 15 rushes, 55 yards, 2 TDs
PFF grade: 77.4

3.7 yards per carry isn’t exactly a breakout game for A.D., but this was certainly his best performance in at least two months. Interestingly enough, Peterson only got better as the game went on. His first eight carries went for just 6 yards (0.8 YPC). His final seven carries went for 49 (7.0 YPC). Plus, there’s something to be said about finding the end zone twice in a day.


Who win the Lions’ Week 12 game ball?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    T.J. Hockenson
    (150 votes)
  • 38%
    Taylor Decker
    (126 votes)
  • 2%
    Nick Williams
    (7 votes)
  • 13%
    Adrian Peterson
    (43 votes)
326 votes total Vote Now

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