The Detroit Lions season started 0-2 after losing in Minnesota in week 2. Adrian Peterson ran with purpose and made life difficult for the Lions defense. The Vikings front seven dominated the Lions offensive line and left Matthew Stafford literally bloodied and bruised. Buried in a game that Lions fans wish they could soon forget, was a handful of plays that show hope for the future. The “Game Ball” is given to the Detroit Lions “most valuable player” in this week’s game.
Week 2 Game Ball goes to: Ezekiel Ansah
When I looked over my game notes only Ezekiel Ansah showed up in each quarter with quality plays. Ansah finished the game with 7 tackles, with 1 sack, and 3 tackles for loss.
Early in the game Ansah tracked down Adrian Peterson and tackled him for a loss of two yards. This likely was a reason Peterson only ran the ball in Ansah’s direction 4 of his 29 rushing attempts. Later, on a 3rd and goal the Vikings tried running Peterson straight up the middle. Ansah penetrated the Vikings offensive line, causing Peterson to alter his run and he was stopped short of the end zone.
His sack on Teddy Bridgewater, ultimately resulted in Minnesota having to settle for a field goal. On the play the Lions threw a wrinkle at the Vikings and switched Ansah to the left defensive end spot matching him up against the inexperienced rookie right tackle TJ Clemmings.
Finally, he drew a holding call in the 4th quarter that stalled another of their drives. If Ansah wasn’t held he defiantly would’ve had his second sack on the day. This caused the Vikings to settle for another field goal. This was key because it kept the lead at two scores instead of three, and gave the Lions a chance to stay in the game.
Other Detroit Lions players who were considered:
Calvin Johnson caught his 75th career touchdown, tying a mark only 30 other NFL players have ever achieved. His touchdown was a thing of beauty, dragging his right foot perfectly to establish his himself in the field of play.
Matthew Stafford completed 32 of his 53 attempts, for 286 yards, with two touchdowns, and one interception. He also led the team with 20 yards rushing. Stafford was hit on what seemed like every play. During the game his bloodied left elbow and left thumb needed frequent bandage changes. While after the game he needed his ribs x-rayed for damage. The kid is tough there’s no doubting that.
Eric Ebron ended his day with 5 receptions, for 43 yards, with 1 touchdown. He made a terrific diving catch early in the game and looked athletic when he was used in screen game. His touchdown was impressive. He caught the ball at the 5, lowered his shoulders and bullied his way over Strong Safety Andrew Sendejo while diving into the end zone. He showed some serious grit that the Lions will need to carry over into their next game.
Previous Game Ball Winners: