The final week of the preseason usually means valiant efforts for fringe roster spots. This year, however, we were treated to some solid performances from the Detroit Lions’ starters. Before we get to that, though, here are your previous game ball winners:
Preseason Week 1: Tom Kennedy
Preseason Week 2: The backup offensive line
Here are this week’s Detroit Lions game ball candidates:
Stats: 1 tackle, 0.5 sacks
Harris was absolutely exploding off the snap against the Steelers. It didn’t always show up on the stat sheet, but Harris was a presence in the Steelers backfield the entire time he played Sunday. It became especially evident on the Steelers’ second drive of the afternoon when they stalled in the red zone. Harris drew a hold on what would have otherwise been a sack to start a seven-play series that pushed the Steelers back 13 yards and out of the red zone.
he won't get credit for it but Charles Harris forced that sack/hold. timed up the snap perfectly— Morgan Cannon (@MCannon313) August 28, 2022
That “sack” was only his second-best one of the drive.
Aidan Hutchinson and Charles Harris teaming up for a third-down sack of Trubisky pic.twitter.com/aAcf6fpNUz— Nolan Bianchi (@nolanbianchi) August 28, 2022
Stats: 1 catch, 15 yards
Hockenson wasn’t popping off the stat sheet in the receiving department, but really stepped up in pass protection Sunday. That’s really comforting to see from a guy whose forte is as a pass catcher and hasn’t played much this season.
On the Lions’ second drive of the afternoon, Hockenson found himself making play-saving pickups against pass rushers twice in space to keep the drive alive. He’d continue to do so well into the first half.
Hockenson with a massive cut block on T.J. Watt there.— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) August 28, 2022
That’s the step forward the Lions need Hockenson to make, and hopefully it translates to the regular season.
Stats: 2 tackles (1 for loss), 1 pass defended
Entering Sunday, the coaching staff claimed that the starting CB position opposite Amani Oruwariye was still up for grabs. It isn’t anymore following the day Okudah had.
Okudah was flying over the field Sunday, both in the secondary and in the backfield. More importantly, he did so against a Steelers offense absolutely littered with receiving talent. Okudah has high expectations heading into year three, and this is a great way to start it.
Stats: 1 tackle for loss, 1 FG block
Bryant didn’t have as flashy of a stat line as he did in previous weeks. However, he came up with what would have been a game-changing play if the Lions offense wasn’t sputtering all day. Bryant blocked a short field goal on a day when Steelers kicker Chris Boswell was otherwise unstoppable.
Stats: 17-of-32, 160 yards, 1 TD, 2 rushes, 11 yards
Hear me out, hear me out. I know I just said the Lions offense was sputtering all afternoon, but what little success they had was attributed to Blough late in the fourth quarter. This game ball nomination in particular is for this stellar play on a long fourth down to keep the Lions’ final—and lone touchdown drive—alive.
Oh, you liked that play? David “Lamar Jackson” Blough did it again on the touchdown.
It’s unconventional, but it should put an end to the misery that has been the battle for the Lions’ backup quarterback spot.
Who’s your pick for this week’s game ball winner? Vote in the poll below:
Who gets the Lions’ game ball against the Steelers?
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