The Detroit Lions defeated the Chicago Bears 34-30 on Saturday, and in the locker room they handed interim head coach Darrell Bevell the official game ball for a win in his first ever attempt.
And while that’s an undoubtedly cool moment, and well earned for a well-liked personality that clearly gave the Lions a spark on Sunday—especially on offense—our weekly Game Ball aims to focus more on the players.
Every week, we pick out the best performances from the Lions game, and you vote on who you believes earned the honorary Game Ball. The player who finishes first in voting each week gets three “Game Ball” points. Second place gets two points. Third place gets one.
Here’s a look at the Game Ball standings after Week 12:
Jack Fox: 11
D’Andre Swift: 7
T.J. Hockenson: 7
Jamie Collins Sr.: 5
Taylor Decker: 5
Romeo Okwara: 4
Matthew Stafford: 4
Adrian Peterson: 4
Frank Ragnow: 3
Marvin Hall: 3
Amani Oruwariye: 3
Matt Prater: 2
Austin Bryant: 2
Kenny Golladay: 2
Matt Nelson: 2
Desmond Trufant: 1
Here are this week’s candidates:
Stats: 27-of-42, 402 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 109.4 passer rating
PFF grade: 93.9
With the newfound freedom to play loose and throw deep, we saw the Matthew Stafford of old. The Matthew Stafford that throws at least three YOLO passes a week, and completes at least one.
Here are some ridiculous Week 13 stats that highlight just how good Stafford was on Sunday, courtesy of Next Gen Stats. His completion percentage over expected was 5.9, fifth highest of the week. His average intended yards was 12.9 and his average completed air yards was 12.5, both topping the charts in Week 13.
He had a bad/unlucky interception, but he followed that with a near-flawless 96-yard drive that gave the Lions a shot.
Marvin Jones Jr.
Stats: 8 catches, 116 yards, 1 TD
PFF grade: 78.7
It should come as no surprise that when the brakes were taken off Stafford, Marvin Jones Jr. was the biggest benefactor. For the first time this season, Jones went over the 100-yard mark, and he also picked up a key fourth-quarter touchdown on a low-key route that got him wide open down field.
Stafford to @MarvinJonesJr for the 25yd score to cap the 96-yard drive!#DETvsCHI | FOX | #OnePride pic.twitter.com/u8MMPn6jpH— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 6, 2020
Stats: 4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, 2 QB hits, 1 forced fumble
PFF grade: 59.1
It wasn’t a standout day for Okwara, but he made the most important play of the entire game, and that’s going to get you Game Ball consideration alone.
Strip. Sack. #ProBowlVote @RomeoND45#DETvsCHI | FOX | #OnePride pic.twitter.com/IkeiLUs7yi— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 6, 2020
Stats: 16 carries, 57 yards (3.6 YPC), 2 TDs
PFF grade: 65.5
While Peterson’s overall statline is modest, the veteran running back accomplished two very impressive things in this game. For one, he single handedly cracked the Bears’ red-zone defense, which entered the week with the second-lowest touchdown percentage allowed within the 20-yard line.
He also found the end zone twice on the ground for the second straight week. Unbelievably so, this was the first time in Peterson’s career in which he’s had back-to-back games with two or more rushing touchdowns. Don’t take my word for it...
In Weeks 12-13 of his 14th #NFL season, @Lions RB @AdrianPeterson rushed for multiple TDs in consecutive games for the first time of his career.— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) December 6, 2020
At 35 years & 260 days, he becomes the oldest player in #NFL history to ever rush for multiple TDs in consecutive games.#OnePride pic.twitter.com/DWXskwV4SZ
Stats: 7 catches, 84 yards
PFF grade: 87.7
For the first time in his career, Hockenson has back-to-back games with at least 80 receiving yards, and it’s time we start talking about how good of a season he’s having right now.
So... uh... are we going to talk about the year T.J. Hockenson is having or nah?— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) December 8, 2020
- 3rd among TEs in receiving yards
- t-6th in TDs
- 4th in PFF grade (12th as a run blocker)
His Pro Bowl nod--should he get it--is completely deserved.
Hockenson was not only a solid receiving option in this game against the Bears, but he was a plow in the running game. He earned a 68.2 grade as a run blocker in Week 13, which was only behind Frank Ragnow and Quintez Cephus.
Which leads me to...
Stats: What’s a statistic for an OG?
PFF grade: 86.3
THAT’S RIGHT. A SIXTH CANDIDATE.
Ragnow made PFF’s team of the week, and I like to think it was only because of this play where he absolutely flattened one of the best run defenders in football.
Apparently #Bears DT Akiem Hicks doesn't appreciate being absolutely dominated by #Lions C Frank Ragnow pic.twitter.com/epHUywzgAt— Logan Lamorandier (@LLamorandier) December 6, 2020
Ragnow is currently the third-highest graded center in football.
Who wins the Lions’ Week 13 game ball?
This poll is closed
Marvin Jones Jr.