D’Andre Swift takes home our first back-to-back game balls of the season following his back-to-back 100-yard rushing games in Weeks 10 and 11. Here are your previous game ball winners from this season:
Week 1 Game Ball winner: Penei Sewell
Week 2 winner: T.J. Hockenson
Week 3 winner: D’Andre Swift
Week 4 winner: Kalif Raymond
Week 5 winner: Tracy Walker
Week 6 winner: Derrick Barnes
Week 7 winner: Dave Fipp
Week 8 winner: T.J. Hockenson
Week 10 winner: D’Andre Swift
Week 11 winner: D’Andre Swift
Stats: 3 receptions, 70 yards, 1 TD
PFF Grade: 76.6
You knew this one was coming. Reynolds has unlocked a version of Jared Goff not seen since Los Angeles. A 39-yard touchdown pass to open up scoring for the game was unlike anything we’ve seen all season.
Even if Goff misses Reynolds, like when Goff overthrew him by 15 yards during the two minute drill, it’s a nice change of pace to see Goff with the trust to air it out downfield. Goff carries a repertoire with Reynolds from Los Angeles, and may have established himself as WR1 on Thursday, although that isn’t saying much.
Stats: 2 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 interception
PFF Grade: 83.4
Oruwariye is single-handedly holding together the back end of this Lions defense, fledged by rookies and guys who might not be on a roster elsewhere. He has now snagged five interceptions in his last nine games, and it would’ve been six if not for the heroics of former Lion Jesse James to separate Oruwariye from the ball.
Oh, and Oruwariye gets bonus points for the Thanksgiving-themed celebration:
PFF Grade: 78.6
Sewell is continuing his strong performance. Although he, like many of the Lions’ offensive linemen, struggled with holding penalties on Thursday, Sewell continues to show lots of brute force on film. While Sewell’s improvement in pass blocking has garnered lots of attention, he’s continuing to do things like this in the run game:
That earned Sewell a PFF run blocking grade of 93.2(!), and a nomination for this week’s game ball.
PFF Grade: 73.6
Jonah Jackson is quietly building upon his solid rookie season with another strong performance this year. Like the whole offensive line, he’s had his ups and downs, but we’ve rarely heard his name called this year (aside from this mishap) and for an offensive lineman that’s usually a good thing.
The real incentive for this week’s game ball is another case of Jackson not hearing his name called in Thursday’s contest.
Jonah Jackson is the lone starting Lions offensive lineman without a holding call to his name today through the first half— Benjamin Raven (@BenjaminSRaven) November 25, 2021
Penei Sewell -- check
Taylor Decker -- check
Evan Brown -- check
Tommy Kraemer -- check
Jackson would hold that statline through the second half to finish as the only starting lineman without a penalty to their name Thursday.
Stats: 3 receptions, 35 yards, 1 TD
PFF Grade: 63.7
Hockenson makes this list for no reason other than seeing the end zone for the first time since Week 2. Yeah, that’s not a typo. I guess it’s to be expected when your team just... doesn’t score touchdowns. The atrocious weather and flimsy quarterback situation over the past several weeks hasn’t helped either.
Being back in front of the Ford Field crowd with Goff back at quarterback was good news for Hockenson, allowing him to find the end zone once again.
Who’s your pick for this week’s game ball winner? Make your pick in the poll below:
Who gets the Lions’ game ball against the Bears?
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