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4 Detroit Lions game ball candidates vs. Colts

Which Lions player deserves the Game Ball for Saturday?

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Whew, what a fun ride Saturday was. The Detroit Lions were competitive from start to finish with a plethora of impressive performances. It’s usually not until the final preseason game that we see valiant last-minute efforts that endear us to players on the roster bubble, but we were treated to it early on Saturday against the Colts. That leaves us with many strong contenders for this week’s game ball.

Tom Kennedy

Stats: 5 receptions, 24 yards, 2 TD

Mr. Preseason simply will not go away. After a quiet start to the game, Kennedy burst onto the scene with two impressive touchdowns. Although Kennedy didn’t have a ton of yardage, his impact cannot be overstated in a game where the Lions did not play almost all of their big-bodied receivers.

Kennedy came down with a jumpball in the corner of the end zone to end the half, and timed his separation perfectly on an over the shoulder grab for a touchdown midway through the third quarter. He kept an offense alive that was otherwise crippled in the red zone for much of the day.

Austin Bryant

Stats: 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL

Bryant was just a menace all day long against the Colts’ backup offensive line unit. From start to finish, we saw Bryant in the backfield, be it a run or a pass. It was very reassuring to see for a guy whose primary profile is not that of a run stuffer. Still, Bryant got after it in the passing game, racking up a sack as well as cleaning up on what appeared to be another sack for him but would be credit to someone else.

Bryant left no doubts about having that dawg in him on Saturday, and not just for his play on the field. In the third quarter, Bryant appeared to be injured and the refs blew their whistles to get Bryant medical attention. Bryant got up, waved off the trainers, but was ultimately forced to take a play off since the ref blew their whistle. As soon as Bryant his the sideline, you could see him admit that he was in more pain than he initially indicated. That wouldn’t stop him from finding his way back onto the field the very next play for his one sack on the day.

The entire second-team offensive line

Wow, what a day from them. After a rough initial outing against Atlanta, the backup offensive line absolutely dominated the trenches from start to finish against Indianapolis. The end result? The Lions finished the day with 174 rushing yards on 5.3 yards per carry, both marks head and shoulders above anything we’ve come to expect from a Lions running game over the past decade. There’s one play that perfectly sums it up:

This wasn’t an outlier either; there were plenty of plays Saturday with holes just as big as this one, and that led to three Lions running backs averaging 4.6 or more yards per carry.

Maurice Alexander

Stats: 3 catches, 18 yards, 3 punt returns, 22 yards, 4 kick returns, 152 yards

As if the Lions receiving room wasn’t crowded enough already, it just got busier. Maurice Alexander announced his arrival on Saturday, breaking off two massive kick returns that almost went for touchdowns. One can be passed off as luck, but two in a game isn’t coincidence.

It’s going to be a tall task for the coaching staff to find room for Alexander on the 53-man roster, and I don’t know if they’ll be able to. It’s hard to overlook Alexander’s performance on Saturday though, and surely next week they’ll be looking to see if he can sustain that performance to warrant a spot.

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 Colts?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Tom Kennedy
    (682 votes)
  • 23%
    Austin Bryant
    (537 votes)
  • 30%
    The offensive line
    (719 votes)
  • 16%
    Maurice Alexander
    (391 votes)
2329 votes total Vote Now

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