The Detroit Lions have back-to-back wins against NFC North rivals, have registered their first road win of the Dan Campbell era, and are now 3-6 on the season after beating the Chicago Bears 31-30 in Week 10.
Let’s take a look at some of the top players from this win and award this week’s game ball.
Amon-Ra St. Brown
Stat line: 10 receptions, 119 yards, 1 rush, 2 yards, 7 first-down conversions
St. Brown was nearly uncoverable from the moment he stepped on the field in Chicago. His first seven receptions not only all went for first downs, but with 139 career receptions, he is now ranked among the top 10 receivers in NFL history in receptions within their first 25 games.
The offense is so different with a healthy Mr. Consistency in the lineup.
Stat line: 8 tackles (career-high), 1 sack
Not only did he set a career-high in tackles, but Hutchinson continues to make splash plays when the Lions need someone to step up. The first such play came on the goal line, flying down behind the offensive lineman and launching himself to make the stop.
Over the final 10 minutes of the fourth quarter, with the Lions trailing seven, Hutchinson once again stepped up his game. Down 24-17, the Bears are trying to milk the clock, and Hutchinson stays home and makes a stop on first down, allowing just 2 yards. A holding call sets up second and long and the Bears call a tight end screen. Hutchinson feels the easy release from the tight end, and instead of rushing at Justin Fields, he intelligently drops with the tight end, forcing a more challenging throw, which was picked off by Jeff Okudah—more on him in a minute.
The teams traded scores and with the Lions up a point, the Bears had the ball with three minutes remaining. Fields rushed on first down and Hutchinson made the stop. The Bears looked a bit disjointed but got a penalty to keep the drive alive. Then, on second down, Hutchinson struck again—this time with a sack—swallowing up Fields.
Complete drive disruption by Hutchinson and two plays later, the Lions get the ball back and close out the game. Heck of a game.
Stat line: 1 tackle, 2 pass breakups, 1 interception, 1 touchdown
Okudah’s impact isn’t always seen on the stat sheet, as he is locking down receivers, or setting the edge for others to clean up tackles. But, his pick-6 was the turning point of the game.
Okudah read the tight end screen, timed his jump to secure the interception, and then finds the end zone. Clutch play at a critical moment.
Fun stat from Lions PR: Okudah’s touchdown was number 3,000 in franchise history.
Stat line: 3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 sacks
Speaking of critical plays at critical moments, hello, Julian Okwara.
The Lions have a game plan to lean on Okwara’s athleticism to help account for Fields, but it took him some time before he was able to find his footing. On the first play of the game, Fields scrambled left, and Okwara failed to set the edge, allowing a quick 28-yard gain. Not long later, Okwara left the game with a knee injury and it looked like his day would unceremoniously come to an end.
Fortunately, he was able to return and registered a sack at the end of the first quarter. At the top of the second quarter, he collected a tackle for loss on an Equanimeous St. Brown, but from there on out, he was relatively quiet.
But like Okudah, when the Lions needed someone to close out the game, Okwara found his footing, and once he finally got his hands on the quarterback, he made sure to wrap up Fields for sack/turnover on downs.
You can argue, Okwara’s game was not as collectively impressive as the others on this list, but for a team that has struggled to finish games, he closed this one out with a nearly improbable play.
Stat line: 14 carries for 59 yards, rushing touchdown (game-winner)
Speaking of closing out the game, hello, Jamaal Williams.
“He’s been the model of consistency for us offensively,” offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said about Williams last Thursday. “He runs hard. It might not be flashy or sexy all the time, but he finds a way to always be falling forward when he’s being tackled. He’ll find creases. He’s got great vision, and he’s shown the ability to break tackles and potentially have some explosive runs for us too.”
With the Lions down six points and two-and-a-half minutes to play, St. Brown's reception set Detroit up with a first-and-goal from the two-yard line. The play was simple: hand the ball off to Williams and run him straight up the gut behind Jonah Jackson (who buried his man) and Taylor Decker:
But Williams’ day wasn’t over there. After the Okwara sack to get the Lions the ball back, the offense still needed to get a first down to finish the game. And Williams—the player coaches call the most consistent on the team—once again got the job down powering his way to the first down and earning the Lions their first road victory under Campbell.
Alright, time to vote:
Who deserves the Lions Week 10 game ball?
This poll is closed
Amon-Ra St. Brown