The Detroit Lions had several playmakers from Sunday’s big, 20-6 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Defensively, several players showed up, forcing Atlanta to earn every single yard they could. Offensively, the team may have sputtered, but a few players made big plays in big moments.
Here are the top five performers from Sunday’s win. Vote on the Player of the Game at the bottom of the article.
Stats: 11 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 passes defended
Branch set a physical tone for the game that really mirrored how the entire Lions defense played. Branch was laying huge, physical hits to limit yards after the catch for the Falcons while also getting his hands on a couple of passes. Branch’s instincts are insanely obvious by his play, and it wasn’t an easy assignment against a few good pass catchers on the Falcons.
Stats: 4 tackles, 2 sacks, forced fumble, fumble recovery, 2 passes defended
As the Lions pass rush enjoyed a resurgence on Sunday, Hutchinson not only got his first sack of the season, but he called game with another sack and forced fumble—that he also masterfully recovered.
Additionally, Hutchinson was able to get his hands on a couple of pass attempts to disrupt Desmond Ridder. This is the kind of statline we’re used to seeing from Hutch.
Amon-Ra St. Brown
Stats: 9 catches, 102 yards
St. Brown had one critical drop in the game, but otherwise he continues to be Jared Goff’s favorite target and a key chain-mover for the Lions offense. When Detroit struggled to run the ball for the majority of the game, St. Brown became a centerpiece to the offense, and he didn’t disappoint.
Stats: 8 catches, 84 yards, TD
LaPorta’s first touchdown was a beauty, as he blew past coverage for a 45-yard touchdown. However, the rookie tight end was much more than just his touchdown grab. He continues to be one of Goff’s favorite targets, and he’s a very reliable set of hands.
He’s also etching his way into the NFL history books week after week. He’s the first NFL tight end to record five catches in each of his first three games, and his 18 catches also set a new record for catches by a rookie tight end through three games.
Stats: 17 rushes, 80 yards, 1 catch, 2 yards
It wasn’t a banner day for Gibbs, who struggled to make an impact through the first three quarters of the game. However, the rookie running back helped ice the game in the fourth quarter with two electric runs that helped push the Lions into scoring position and give Detroit a three-score lead.
Plus, it has to feel pretty good for Gibbs to outgain fellow first-round rookie Bijan Robinson, who managed just 33 yards on 10 carries.
Who was the Lions’ player of the game vs. the Falcons?
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Amon-Ra St. Brown