Last week saw the Detroit Lions’ second win of the season, as well as our most competitive game ball poll yet! Jared Goff just edged out Charles Harris for game ball, getting 37% of the vote compared to Harris’ 36%. It’s Goff’s first game ball of the season.
Here are your previous game ball winners:
Week 1 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
Week 12 winner: Amani Oruwariye
Week 13 winner: Amon-Ra St. Brown
Week 14 winner: Craig Reynolds
Week 15 winner: Jared Goff
Let’s take a look at this week’s game ball candidates.
Amon-Ra St. Brown
Stats: 9 catches, 91 yards, 1 TD; 2 rushes, 19 yards
PFF Grade: 80.5
Amon-Ra St. Brown has been a man on a mission since nabbing his first career touchdown as time expired against the Minnesota Vikings. In the last four games, beginning with that one, St. Brown has totaled 340 receiving yards. That’s almost equal to his total in the first ten games of the season, 352 yards.
With D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson gone in that span of time, and Josh Reynolds becoming the most legitimate overtop threat the Lions have, St. Brown has capitalized on his new looks. Likewise, we got a glimpse Sunday into whether this was a product of playcalling or just improved chemistry with Jared Goff. With Tim Boyle at the helm, St. Brown still recorded 11 touches, leading one to believe that part of coach Dan Campbell and Ben Johnson’s revamped offensive plan involves putting the ball into the rookie’s hands more.
And why wouldn’t you, when he’s making plays like this?
A holly, jolly touchdown!#DETvsATL | FOX pic.twitter.com/csfFa4tUIk— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 26, 2021
Stats: 3 tackles, 5 pressures
PFF Grade: 70.7
A little bit of box score scouting would lead one to believe that Sunday was a quiet performance from Charles Harris. The rising star didn’t post any of his season’s 7.5 sacks against the Falcons, and his three total tackles paled in comparison to his 12 the week before.
However, thanks to the good folks over at FTN, we know that the stat sheet didn’t tell the full story:
Charles Harris had another stellar day rushing the passer for Detroit.— Brett Whitefield (@BGWhitefield) December 26, 2021
Despite only 27 drop backs from Matt Ryan we at @FTNData had him for 7 total pass-rush wins including 5 that materialized into pressure on the QB.
Harris continues to exceed expectations and has solidified himself as the team’s best pass rusher, a much-needed surprise following injury-riddled seasons for Romeo Okwara and Trey Flowers, who were expected to be the team’s top two pass rushers entering the season.
Stats: 19 carries, 77 yards
PFF Grade: 60.8
Like Charles Harris, Jamaal Williams didn’t post eye-popping numbers on Sunday, but the tape tells a different tale. While Williams finished the day with an average of 4.1 yards per carry, many of those were hard-fought yards. In particular, Williams had two conversions on third and fourth down, both with a yard to go, on the Lions’ second-to-last drive to keep the offense on the field. That kept the Lions alive to tie the game down seven in the fourth quarter. They didn’t, but Williams did what he needed to do even when the entire stadium knew he was getting the ball.
Stats: 1 tackle, 1 sack
PFF Grade: 51.7
McNeill gets a shoutout here for recording just his second sack of the season, this one coming less than three minutes into the game. It was one of three sacks the Lions had on the Falcons’ opening drive to force them to punt the ball away for a strong start.
An early sack for the rook, @AlimMcneill‼️#DETvsATL | FOX pic.twitter.com/g25cAUqa4G— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 26, 2021
McNeill is really starting to put it together on the field after remaining quiet for most of the season, and that’s just about all you can hope for in what is otherwise a lost season.
Who deserves the game ball from this week’s performance? Vote below.
Who gets the Lions game ball vs. Falcons?
This poll is closed
Amon-Ra St. Brown