The Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford has been busy. She made a statement when she fired General Manager Martin Mayhew and President Tom Lewand. Then she addressed the public, “I also want to make clear that we have no intention of giving up on the season. We expect our team to compete, improve and win.” To further make sure she was clearly heard, she called a whole team meeting and demanded a higher quality of football.
The Lions responded to Martha Ford on Sunday. Their 18-16 victory over the Packers ended a 24 game losing streak in Green Bay. This was the type of game the Lions would’ve lost earlier in the season. Their were plenty of mistakes by both teams but the Lions made plays at key times and found a way to win. This was an important win for the franchise, and their’s no doubt that Martha Ford was an influential factor. Interim General Manager Sheldon White made sure the fans knew that this one’s for Mrs. Ford.
The Detroit Lions Game Ball goes to the most important person in this weeks game. Week 10 Game Ball goes to Martha Ford, because no one has impacted this team more than her.
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There were several key plays/players that were considered for this weeks Game Ball. These are the ones that just missed:
After a quiet first half the Lions got the second half off to an electric start when Ameer Abdullah ran the opening kickoff 104 yards. Even though he was tackled a half yard short of the goal line, it put the game momentum squarely in the Lions favor. This was the 3rd longest kickoff return in Lion history and tied the NFL record for longest kickoff return without scoring a touchdown.
Crezdon Butler was brought in just days ago to add a veteran presence at cornerback after Rashean Mathis went on injured reserve. When starter Nevin Lawson went down with a concussion, Butler was pushed into the starting lineup. He was assigned to cover Davante Adams on a the Packers two-point conversion attempt, and was up to the task.
Aaron Rodgers said in a pre-game interview that he was planning on testing whomever replaced Rashean Mathis and that he did. Rodgers threw 21 passes Davante Adams way, yet he was only able generate 79 yards. That was mostly due to the sticky man-to-man coverage of second year cornerback Nevin Lawson. Lawson easily had his best day in the NFL shadowing Adams and accumulated seven tackles and one pass broken up.
Another reason Adams was targeted so heavily was because James Jones couldn’t shake loose of Darius Slay. Slay was only targeted twice and he didn’t allow a catch, essentially shutting down his side of the field. Like Lawson, Slay had his best game as a professional football player.
Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin used the bye week to set up a solid scheme that put his players in situations to succeed. Tahir Whitehead saw an increase in playing time and made the most of it generating a team high eight tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, one pass break up, and one QB hit. Caraun Reid continues to improve as he added another sack to his season total. Jason Jones found himself on the right side of multiple third down plays today, tackling James Starks for loss on one and batting away a Rodgers pass on another. Jones also had a sack. Ezekiel Ansah is getting more attention from opposing offensive lines but he still knocked Rodgers down three times today. Rookie Gabe Wright has a nasty tackle for loss in the first quarter before getting injured.
On a final note, I want to acknowledge Tom Lewand. An excellent show of class from a man who spent two decades with the orginazation. This was his first tweet in over two years: