The Detroit Lions’ Week 1 bid for a comeback fell just short, losing 38-35 to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Lions started the game out on a very positive note, storming down the field for the early lead, but things turned sour quickly and they fought from behind most of the game.
Here are the five most deserving candidates for Lions Week 1 game ball.
D’Andre Swift, RB
Stat line: 15 rushes, 144 yards, 9.6 yards per carry, 1 rushing touchdown
3 receptions, 31 receiving yards, 10.3 yards per catch
The Lions ran 69 offensive plays against the Eagles and Swift was on the field for 47 of them. Of those plays, the Lions turned to Swift nearly 40 percent of the time, which makes sense as he was their most productive player on either side of the ball.
Jonah Jackson blocks down on the 3T, Decker seals the edge, Hockenson dips under Decker to seal the NT, Ragnow releases to 2nd level and Swift stays inside (Duce must be proud) and embarrasses the DB … 51 yards pic.twitter.com/74MCUba4FR— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) September 11, 2022
Swift set himself some lofty goals for this season—1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards—and after a career day, those goal may be more realistic than originally thought.
“If he get the ball with any space, you better make sure that you’re blocking downfield because he can bust it at any point,” Amon Ra St. Brown said in the locker room after the game. “We know what Swift can do, and we gotta keep feeding him, keep letting him do his thing.”
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR
Stat line: 8 receptions, 64 yards, 1 touchdown
All he does is catch touchdowns. Dating back to last season, St. Brown has now caught a touchdown pass in five straight games, the third-longest streak in team history, per the Lions PR team.
When Jared Goff needed an outlet, he turned to St. Brown. When he need a first down he turned to St. Brown. And when the Lions needed to score, St. Brown was there to spark the comeback attempt.
Jonah Jackson, LG
Jackson was an absolute people mover on Sunday. On Swift’s big gain of the first drive, it was Jackson who cleared the initial hole by opening up the 3-technique and running him behind the play. Jackson also pulled on several screen plays, but his best play of the day arguably came when he pulled on Swift’s fourth-down sweep run that resulted in a touchdown.
Getting Swifty on fourth down!#PHIvsDET | FOX pic.twitter.com/fhbPCDjEPq— Detroit Lions (@Lions) September 11, 2022
Frank Ragnow, C
Not to be out done by Jackson, Ragnow was also on the move quite a bit, running free down the field and laying people out. Ragnow was the catalyst on two big screen plays, one from Swift and another from T.J. Hockenson.
It’s difficult to see all the plays an offensive lineman makes during live games—the rewatch helps a ton with that—but Ragnow still popped, even without the use of replay.
Jeff Okudah, CB
Stats: 10 tackles, 1 pass breakup
Setting a career-high mark with 10 tackles, Okudah was a presence as a run defender, often peeling off his man and supporting the defensive front. It was difficult for the Eagles to run bubble screens to his side, as he routinely slipped his blocks and threw his body into the fray.
In coverage, Okudah was credited with just one pass breakup, but he looked sticky all day. He did get called for a pass interference penalty, but that play looked a bit suspect on the replay angles on the stadium and broadcast.
So who gets your vote? Pick your players and sound off in the comments.
Who deserves the Lions Week 1 game ball?
This poll is closed
Amon-Ra St. Brown