The Detroit Lions picked up their first win of the season on Sunday with a full team effort. There were key contributors in all three phases of the game, and even some sound coaching decisions that led to Detroit’s road upset over the Arizona Cardinals.
With that in mind, we get to hand out a Game Ball this week and not feel embarrassed by it! There are likely more than five Lions players worthy of some individual recognition this week, but we’ll limit it to five.
Throughout the season, we’ll be keeping track of the players who earn the most Game Ball “points.” Points are earned by your vote. The player with the most votes in the week earns three points. Second place earns two points. Third place gets one.
After two weeks, we’ve got a four-way tie for first place in Game Ball points.
Game Ball standings after Week 2:
Frank Ragnow: 3
Adrian Peterson: 3
Jack Fox: 3
T.J. Hockenson: 3
Here’s a look at this week’s candidates:
Stats: 5 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 INT
Week 3 PFF grade: 79.4
The Lions veteran safety showed some major play-making ability that the Lions defense had been missing through two weeks. Harmon got the Lions’ first interception of the season and he nearly picked off another Kyler Murray pass a few quarters later.
Harmon has been the Lions’ most consistent player on defense, as he very rarely gives up a big play and already has three passes defended on the season.
Jamie Collins Sr.
Stats: 6 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 INT, 1 QB hit
PFF grade: 92.1
Collins did it all on Sunday. He provided pass rush that led to Harmon’s aforementioned interception. He displayed disciplined run defense that held Arizona to just 4.0 yards per carry with the longest run being just 15 yards. Then, of course, he threw in an interception of his own for good measure:
With Jarrad Davis on the sideline for most of the game, Collins’ impact on the linebacking corps was obvious.
Stats: 4 punts, 55.5 average, 3 inside 20-yard line
PFF grade: 69.8
The only player that has made the Game Ball candidates list for all three weeks, Jack Fox is not here as a joke. He has legitimately been Detroit’s best overall player in terms of consistency and talent compared to the players at his position across the league.
Fox put three of his four punts inside the 20 and it really should have been 4-for-4 if it weren’t for some bad punt coverage luck. His 55.5 yards per punt average was his highest of the year thus far, and his pinning of the Cardinals inside their own 5-yard line in the fourth quarter was key to Detroit’s comeback win.
For the season, there is no one in the NFL that comes close to Fox in all the important stats.
Overall punting average: 53.1 (first, second place is 51.8)
Net punting average: 51.1 (first, second place is 46.2)
PFF grade: 92.8 (first, second place is 73.0)
Stats: 6 catches, 57 yards, 1 TD
PFF grade: 77.2
This wasn’t a classic 100-yard, two-touchdown performance from Kenny Golladay, but it was clear the offense was different with him in the game. Plus, this 15-yard touchdown catch—thankfully upheld upon review—was something to behold.
Given Golladay admitted his hamstring was not 100 percent, this was a pretty impressive 2020 debut, and we’re just getting started.
Marvin Jones Jr.
Stats: 3 catches, 51 yards
PFF grade: 68.1
For three quarters, Marvin Jones Jr. was a non-factor against the Cardinals. However, he may have had two of the biggest plays of the game. The first came early in Detroit’s game-winning drive. A 20-yard diving catch put the Lions near midfield and gave Detroit complete control of the game. With just under three minutes left, the Lions could then control the clock with just 20-30 yards needed to get in field goal range.
But Jones’ best play came a few minutes later. Detroit just needed one more first down and another 10-15 yards to give Matt Prater a gimme field goal attempt for the win. Running a simple out route, not only did Jones beat his man, but he broke a tackle that turned a 6-yard gain into a 20-yard gain and a game-clinching first down.
Who was the Lions’ Player of the Week vs. Cardinals?
This poll is closed
Jamie Collins Sr.
Marvin Jones Jr.