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4 Detroit Lions game ball candidates vs. Buccaneers

Slim pickings this week.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions’ Week 16 game against the Buccaneers was nothing short of a disaster. The offense didn’t score a single point. The defense gave up five touchdowns before halftime. The first offensive play of the second half was a fumble. The first defensive play of the second half was a touchdown given up to a second-string quarterback.

So it was damn-near impossible to find five worthy candidates of the Lions’ Week 16 game ball. I very seriously considered just making the poll “Any Lions fan who made it through the entire game.” But we all know when you put the joke answer in a poll, it usually wins, and I’m honestly curious to see what these Game Ball rankings look like at the end of the year.

As an update, here’s where the rankings stand after Week 15.

(Reminder: Firstplace gets three points, second place gets two points, third place gets one point.)

Matthew Stafford: 13
Jack Fox: 11
Romeo Okwara: 8
D’Andre Swift: 7
T.J. Hockenson: 7
Taylor Decker: 7
Jamie Collins Sr.: 5
Adrian Peterson: 4
Frank Ragnow: 4
Marvin Hall: 3
Amani Oruwariye: 3
Marvin Jones Jr.: 2
Matt Prater: 2
Austin Bryant: 2
Kenny Golladay: 2
Matt Nelson: 2
Desmond Trufant: 1

Here are this week’s

Jamal Agnew

Stats: 2 punts returns, 78 yards, TD
PFF Grade: 90.0 special teams grade

You’ve undoubtedly seen this play by now. Agnew became the seventh player this season to return a punt for a touchdown, and now he’s second in the NFL in punt return average for the season. Granted, he’s only had 12 punt returns this season because Detroit’s defense can’t force a damn punt (and Agnew was also injured earlier in the year), but it really makes you wonder how big of a game-changer he could be on a team that has a good defense that forces punts.

Romeo Okwara

Stats: 2 tackles. 1 sack, 1 forced fumble
PFF grade: 82.7

Okwara was the Lions’ highest graded player player not on special teams, and he continues to have himself a solid year. Sure, he was pretty quiet for nearly the entire game until his late strip sack on Blaine Gabbert, but he’s now at 9.0 sacks for the season, which ranks tied for 11th most in the entire NFL.

Jack Fox

Stats: 8 punts, 47.8 average (42.8 net), 5 inside the 20-yard line
PFF grade: 60.3

Fox’s day got off to a rough start when he booted a ball from the Lions’ 44-yard line 8 yards deep into the end zone, but the rest of his day was actually quite impressive. He also took over kickoff duties from an injured Matt Prater.

D’Andre Swift

Stats: 10 carries, 45 yards; 4 catches, 25 yards; one fumble lost
PFF grade: 56.5

Most will only remember the fumble from this game, but it’s worth pointing out that Swift had an otherwise fairly impressive day against the best run defense in the league. Of his 10 rushes, three went for 7 yards or longer, and he was only held below 2 yards on three times.

Okay, I know that sounds like reaching—and it is—but this run is absolutely sick:


Who wins the Lions’ Week 16 game ball?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Jamal Agnew
    (461 votes)
  • 9%
    Romeo Okwara
    (54 votes)
  • 10%
    Jack Fox
    (64 votes)
  • 2%
    D’Andre Swift
    (16 votes)
595 votes total Vote Now

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