Yes, I know the Detroit Lions lost. Yes, I know there aren’t any participation trophies in football, and everyone should be fired and blah, blah, blah. But every week of the Detroit Lions’ 2020 season, we will spend at least one article talking about the good performances on Sunday.
It’s a way to both look on the bright side during a dark Monday morning like this, and an opportunity to appreciate solid, individual performances. It’s very rare that all players on the field equally crap the bed, and that’s certainly not what happened in the Lions’ season opener against the Chicago Bears.
So each week, I’ll present five players worthy of that week’s game ball. Your votes will determine the winner, and we’ll keep track of the results all season to see which players were the best and most consistent for the entire year.
Here are this week’s five game ball candidates:
Stats: 14 rushes, 93 yards
In his Lions debut, Peterson looked like he was still in the prime of his career. He regularly found the open hole, made a couple of big plays, and almost—just almost—showed the Lions could potentially run the clock out late in games.
It may not seem like much, but this kind of incredibly efficient rushing performance has been extremely rare in Detroit:
In the past 10 years, only 5 Lions RBs have rushed for over 90 yards and 6.5 YPC in a single game:— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) September 14, 2020
Kerryon Johnson (1x)
Reggie Bush (2x)
Kevin Smith (1x)
Jahvid Best (1x)
Maurice Morris (2x)
In his first game as a Lion, Adrian Peterson rushed for 93 yards and 6.6 YPC.
Stats: 5 catches, 56 yards, 1 TD
Hockenson had a nice start to his sophomore season with an efficient day. He caught all five of the targets thrown his way, pulled in a touchdown, and even drew a personal foul penalty early in the game. He did have a holding call go against him, so it wasn’t a perfect day, but it did inspire confidence going forward.
Stats: 4 punts, 49.3 average, 2 inside 20-yard line, no touchbacks
It’s never a good sign when your punter is on the Player of the Game list, but give credit where it’s due. In his first ever NFL action, Fox looked like a natural. He pinned half of his punts inside the 20, averaged an impressive 49.3 yards per punt and, perhaps more importantly, helped hold the Bears to exactly 0 yards of punt return.
Stats: 9 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 pass defended
It was another tough day for the Lions defense, but despite not getting the start, Tracy Walker was the one positive standout. He was all over the field, and although he was bested by Jimmy Graham on one play, the rest of his day was fairly clean. He was in the backfield, he was breaking up passes, and he led the team in tackles.
Stats: 5 catches, 81 yards
This was the quintessential Danny Amendola game. For most the of the game, you forget he’s there, but he’ll quietly accumulate yards here and there. Three of his five catches were third-down conversions, and his last 32-yard catch gave the Lions a real chance to win the game.
Who gets the Lions’ Week 1 game ball?
This poll is closed