6 candidates for Detroit Lions Week 2 game ball

Pride of Detroit

In Week 2, the Detroit Lions jumped all over the Washington Commanders in the first half, and while they struggled in the third quarter, they never relinquished the lead, scored when they need to, and finished with a 36-27 victory.

This marked the third consecutive game the Lions have scored 35 or more points in a game—including Week 18 of last season—since the 1952-53 season.

Here are the six most deserving candidates for Lions Week 2 game ball.

Amon-Ra St. Brown

Stats: 9 receptions, 116 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 carries, 68 rushing yards

Speaking of records, St. Brown loaded up on them in this game. The big one is that he became tied for an NFL record by recording eight or more receptions in a game for eight consecutive games. He also recorded six straight games with eight or more receptions and a touchdown, an NFL record he alone holds.

This also marks the first time in his NFL career he recorded multiple touchdowns, and when you combine those scores along with 100+ yards receiving and 50+ yards rushing and it’s yet another NFL record he tied.

“Yeah, he’s a very friendly target is the best way to describe it, if that makes sense,” Jared Goff said of St. Brown in his post-game press conference. “Like, for a quarterback, friendly is like, always comes back to the ball, always catches the ball away from his body, is always where he needs to be, understands coverage, understands what I’m looking at, what I’m looking for. Always asking questions. Comes downhill when he’s breaking out on that touchdown just to make sure that guy can’t make a play on it. Little things like that that typically you can’t teach, and he has it, so it’s a guy I’m lucky to play with, and the sky’s the limit for him.”

Here’s the touchdown, Goff described:

St. Brown was a weapon in this game. And if we’re being honest, this isn’t something new. He’s a star. And if you don’t believe me, maybe an old friend can convince you:

D’Andre Swift

Stats: 5 rushes, 56 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 31 yards, 1 touchdown

Swift was dealing with an ankle injury and the Lions scaled back his usage, but when he was on the field, things happened. He only rushed the ball five times, but on one of his first carries, he took it 50 yards. After the game, Swift said if he was 100 percent, there’s no way they would have caught him.

His other show-stopping play came late in the third quarter, when on third-and-15, Goff looked Swift’s way. As the hot read, Swift had to get into his route and turn his head early, then adjust to a ball thrown low and behind him. Once Swift secured the catch, he fell to the ground but quickly got up and had one thought on his mind:

“Score.”

Statistically, it was a solid day for Swift, but considering the circumstances and his usage, he delivered when it mattered.

Jared Goff

Stats: 20 of 34, 256 passing yards, 4 passing touchdowns

Goff wasn’t perfect, there were a few rough patches where he missed outside (like last week), but when the team needed him to make a play he did.

“When we needed it, he made some big throws,” Campbell said after the game. “Some real big throws. He missed some, but that’s what comes with playing the position. He also made some big throws in this game. So, I thought he got us in the right plays, and when you put up the points that we put up, that means you’re doing something right. He did a good job.”

At the end of the day, it’s hard to ignore the stats and final score.

Dan Skipper

From practice squad to starting left guard Skipper is one of the great feel-good stories of this game. But it’s not just the rise to a prominent role, he seized the opportunity and delivered.

On Swift’s early 50-yard run, it’s easy to be enamored by the shifty back, but take your eyes off No. 32 and put them on No. 70 and watch him relocate the Washington defender 15-yards down the field.

“I just try to keep putting my best foot forward every day,” Skipper said. “I think with this roster that’s all we’re really trying to do. We’re all just trying to get better every day, whether you’re a starter or a backup or a friggin’ fourth tackle. Doesn’t matter.”

Aidan Hutchinson

Stats: 6 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, 3 quarterback hits

Hutchinson became the first Lions rookie to record three sacks in a game in the team’s history—and he did it in the first half. Additionally, he became the fourth youngest player in NFL history to record three sacks in a game.

“It’s pretty damn cool,” Hutchinson said. “But it’s a culmination of every guy on that defensive line doing their jobs and I got a lot of the fruits of it this week. So, I’m just blessed and I thought I made the most of my opportunities.”

Limited by a leg injury—that he referred to as “football stuff”—he showed up less in the stat sheet but was still plenty effective. After this performance, there’s probably going to be a whole lot of Lions fans deleting tweets they posted about Hutchison following the Eagles game.

Malcolm Rodriguez

Stats: 8 tackles, 1 quarterback hit

“Rodrigo” continues to fly all over the field and make plays. Sometimes he is putting his head in the mix, other times he is getting to the edge and pushing the play back inside for his teammates to clean things up. There are a lot of plays he makes that are hard to see watching live, or on the television feed, but he is constantly around the ball and reads his gaps as well as any linebacker in recent memory.

So, who has your vote?

Poll

Who deserves the Lions Week 2 game ball?

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    Amon-Ra St. Brown

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    D’Andre Swift

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    Jared Goff

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    Dan Skipper

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    Aidan Hutchinson

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    Malcolm Rodriguez

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