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5 Detroit Lions game ball candidates vs. Steelers

Which Lions player deserves the Game Ball for Sunday’s preseason finale?

NFL: Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

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:

Charles Harris

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.

That “sack” was only his second-best one of the drive.

T.J. Hockenson

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.

That’s the step forward the Lions need Hockenson to make, and hopefully it translates to the regular season.

Jeff Okudah

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.

Austin Bryant

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.

David Blough

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?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Charles Harris
    (139 votes)
  • 1%
    T.J. Hockenson
    (21 votes)
  • 60%
    Jeff Okudah
    (741 votes)
  • 16%
    Austin Bryant
    (203 votes)
  • 10%
    David Blough
    (127 votes)
1231 votes total Vote Now

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