When the Detroit Lions visited the Dallas Cowboys in week 16 on Monday Night Football, several players stood out but it was Zach Zenner who performed the best and took home this week’s Detroit Jock City Game Ball.
The Detroit Lions needed a win in week 16 to guarantee a spot in the playoffs, but they ran into the buzz-saw that is the Dallas Cowboys. The Lions offense started out, hot keeping pace with the Cowboys offense, and a large part of that was due to this weeks Detroit Jock City Game Ball winner: Zach Zenner.
With the Lions struggling to run the ball on the season, and Dallas’s run defense grading out as the top units in the league, not much was expected of the Lions rush offense today. But, Zach Zenner came out on fire and put their defense to the test. On the Lions first possession Zenner had 38 yards rushing, two catches for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Matthew Stafford scored on the Lions second possession and then Zach Zenner found the end zone again on the Lions third possession. He rushed four times for 15 yards and another touchdown.
Zenner was making his carries, but he wasn’t doing it on his own. His offensive line was firing off the ball and opening up lanes for him to run through.
The Lions were even able to maintain success after switching out left guard Laken Tomlinson with Joe Dahl. But, starting rookies at left tackle (Taylor Decker) and center (Graham Glasgow) along with Dahl was not a sustainable unit.
Once they fell behind, Tomlinson reentered the game and the Lions offensive focus shifted away from the run. They struggled to move the ball after that. The run game basically disappeared as the Lions only ran the ball seven times in the second half and only two of those attempts went to Zenner.
When given the opportunity to run the ball Zach Zenner was impressive. But those opportunities disappeared in the second half, when the coaching staff out thought themselves and trying to get in a shootout, on the road, with one of the best teams in football.
- With eight catches for 93 yards, Eric Ebron now has career highs in both receptions and yards in a single season.
- Golden Tate now has 80+ receptions in all three of his years as a Lion.
- He’s only the third player in Lions history to do this.
- Anquan Boldin now has had 12, 60+ catch seasons in his career.
- He’s only the sixth player in NFL history to do this.
- Boldin now has 1072 catches in his career which is ninth best all-time.
- Tight end Matthew Mulligan made his first catch of the season.
- Detroit has held their opponents under 21 points in 8 straight games, until tonight.
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
8: Theo Riddick
9: Matt Prater
11: The Safeties
12: Darius Slay
13: Golden Tate
14: Matthew Stafford
15: Golden Tate