Detroit Lions Week 14 Game Ball: Matthew Stafford

Dec 11, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) calls out during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Lions win 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) calls out during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Lions win 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Detroit Lions hosted their division rival Chicago Bears in week 14, several players stood out but it was Matthew Stafford who performed the best and took home this week’s Detroit Jock City Game Ball.

Since they visited Chicago in week four, the Detroit Lions have accumulated 7 victories with only one loss. After hosting the Bears in week 14, they added to that win total and are now 9-4 on the season and remain in first place in the NFC North. One of the main reason the Lions were able secure a victory today was because of the play of Matthew Stafford, and that’s why he takes home this weeks Detroit Jock City Game Ball.

The Lions got back to their old habits today, needing a fourth quarter comeback from Stafford to secure a victory. This was the eight time he has done that this season. An NFL record dating back to the NFL merger in 1970.

Stafford injured his middle finger injury early in this game and it required a glove to protect it. This appeared to hamper him throughout the game, as he continued to rotate gloves, to try and find one that he felt comfortable with.

While the glove was an obvious nuisance for Stafford, it wasn’t the primary reason for his lower than average statistical game. The entire team came out flat and struggled to put the 3-10 Bears team away.

The offensive game plan seemed to focus on the run game in an effort to control the ball and limit possessions. This has been a definite them for the Lions since the retunred from their bye. They once again dominated the time-of-possession playing on offense almost a full 10 minutes longer than their opponent.

The offensive line also struggled without (and I can’t believe I’m typing this) Travis Swanson. Swanson has had a phenomenal season and you could see the line struggled without him at center.

Despite the finger injury, passive game plan, and protection issues, Matthew Stafford continues to be the most clutch player in the NFL. Game on the line, late in the fourth quarter, he continues to drive the Lions down the field in important moments. Today he did this to give the Lions the lead:

Yes, the Lions are back to giving their fan weekly heart checks. And, yes, the Lions continue to win. While the national media continues to question if the Lions can sustain this type of success, the better question should be: How long can the fans?

Personally, I’m ready to find out.

Welcome Back DeAndre Levy

DeAndre returned from injury today and looked sharp, showing very little rust. He played roughly 30% of the defensive snaps, mostly in sub-packages, as he regains his game endurance. He did make the most of his moments today, registering four tackles, good for the fourth most on the team today.

He’s not fully back but he’s on his way. It will take some time, but today was encouraging. Expect him to get more snaps over the next couple weeks as he continues to acclimate back into game shape.

Top 10 All-Time

On his second catch of the day, Anquan Boldin moved past Andre Johnson and is now has the 10th most all-time receptions in NFL history. Here’s a look at that touchdown catch that moves him up the list:

Weekly Appreciation for the Kickers

Matt Prater is now 6-for-6 on field goals from 50+ yards this season. He has also connected on his last 19 straight attempts. His field goal from 54 today was another beauty that would’ve been good from another 10-yards away.

Sam Martin kicked a 57-yard punt that died where it hit at the five-yard line. If he doesn’t get into the Pro Bowl it will be a travesty of justice.

Quick Hits

  • Over the last seven weeks, the Lions defense haven’t allowed a team to score more than 20 points.
  • Over the last five weeks, the Lions defense haven’t allowed a team to rush for more than 92 yards.
  • Lions safeties have seven interceptions this season, which leads the league.
  • In Joique Bell’s first snap in his return to Detroit, he was flagged for a block in the back on a punt return.
  • Bell also played one snap on offense, a catch for a two-yard loss.
  • Stafford has seven interceptions on the season and four of them have been against the Bears. We won’t face them again this season.
  • Congratulations to Jeff Triplette and his crew, they now hold the award for “worst call ever” after calling a penalty on the wrong team.

More from Detroit Jock City

Regular Season Game Ball Winners:

Week 1: Theo Riddick
2: Devin Taylor
3: Marvin Jones
4: Andre Roberts
5: Darius Slay
6: Matthew Stafford
7: Matthew Stafford… Again
8: Theo Riddick
9: Matt Prater
11: The Safeties
12: Darius Slay
13: Golden Tate

Preseason Game Ball Winners:
Week 1: Zach Zenner
2: Tahr Whitehead
3: Haloti Ngata
4: Kerry Hyder