The Detroit Lions lost in yet another way only the Lions can on Sunday. Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph, who entered the game with a career long of 53 yards, drilled 55- and 54-yarders to push the Vikings over the top as time expired.
Before we get into this week’s Game Ball candidates, here are your winners for the season thus far.
Week 1 Game Ball winner: Penei Sewell
Week 2 winner: T.J. Hockenson
Week 3 winner: D’Andre Swift
Week 4 winner: Kalif Raymond
Stats: 5 tackles, 1 forced fumble
PFF grade: 79.6
JRM continues to step into a larger role as Derrick Barnes is eased into this defense following the departure of Jamie Collins. In his limited capacity he has proven effective, especially for a guy known just for his special teams play.
Sunday, Reeves-Maybin made what was arguably the play of the game, forcing a fumble from Vikings running back Alexander Mattison to save the Lions a timeout and get them the ball in the red zone inside of two minutes.
Stats: 9 tackles, 1 pass breakup
PFF grade: 88.1
Tracy Walker faced the tough task of covering Justin Jefferson for much of the day Sunday. It wasn’t always a pretty scene, but as the game went on, Walker got more comfortable both in run and pass defense. Several times Sunday, Walker flew down into the box to lay the hammer in the run game.
Late in the game, Walker timed a ball perfectly to deflect it into the air, leading to an Alex Anzalone interception. Given how the defense has played this season, partaking in forced turnovers means almost automatic game ball contention.
Stats: 4 tackles, 1 interception
PFF grade: 47.0
Speaking of Anzalone, he has struggled in recent weeks, but had a nice bounce back day Sunday, highlighted by this interception:
Amon-Ra St. Brown
Stats: 7 catches, 65 yards
PFF grade: 75.0
Amon-Ra St. Brown has had a quiet start to the season, but Sunday finally offered into a glimpse into why expectations have been so high for the rookie. After wide receiver Quintez Cephus was carted off the field with an injury, St. Brown stepped up to the plate to post his best statistical day yet.
More notable than the yardage is that he had seven receptions. He is becoming a favorite of Jared Goff’s in place of T.J. Hockenson and Kalif Raymond, who have had big games in recent weeks. Perhaps this could be an indicator of more looks for St. Brown moving forward.
Who’s your pick for game ball winner this week?
Who gets the game ball against the Vikings?
Amon-Ra St. Brown
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