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Detroit Lions game ball candidates after MASSIVE Week 18 win in Lambeau

It's bitter-sweet really. The Detroit Lions were eliminated from playoff contention before they even kicked off against the Green Bay Packers. But, regardless of that, they played four quarters of good football and sent Aaron Rodgers & Co. packing too, knocking them out of the playoffs.

Who deserves the ball in the Detroit Lions win?

In a game like this, the stat sheets were lit up. It was cold, the field was slow, and the points were hard to come by. In the end, there were three guys, whose performance stood out above the rest.

Detroit Lions

Jamaal Williams

Unbeknownst to anyone, Jamaal was playing this game with a heavy heart, having just lost his great-grandfather this week. For such a slow start for the offense, Jamaal's consistency paid huge dividends for the Lions and allowed them to get moving on offense.

He toted the rock 16 times for 72 yards and two scores, breaking Barry Sanders' single-season touchdown record in the process. Not to mention, he gave the best post-game interview you'll hear:

Aidan Hutchinson

Hutchinson did what Hutch does in this one. He created havoc in the first half, stalling multiple Packers' drives by getting to Rodgers and putting him on the ground. He recorded two sacks, four tackles (three solo), and cemented himself as the should-be Defensive Rookie of the Year. With continuous motor and great discipline, Hutchinson has played more snaps than any rookie defensive lineman, not named Deforrest Bucker, in NFL history. He also did something pretty awesome at the end of the game:

Kerby Joseph

Kerby Joseph has been a Godsend for the Detroit Lions' defense, especially after Tracy Walker went down in Week 3. In the first matchup with the Packers, Joseph picked off Rodgers twice, something that does not happen every day. Then tonight, he did it again, with one of them being nullified due to a penalty. But still, three interceptions against Rodgers is nothing to sneeze at. He ended the game with five tackles and the pick. And, for a mid-round rookie, Joseph had a great season and is one of the key pieces for the 2023 season.

The Game ball goes to …

Each of these guys has a legit case for earning the game ball for this week. But, when you supplant the best running back of all time, even if it was in one more game, you get the game ball. Not only did Jamaal break Barry's record, but he also became the first 1,000-yard rusher for the Lions since Reggie Bush in 2013. So, Jamaal, enjoy the game ball this week! Go enjoy some Pokemon, get healthy, and let's make sure we see you in a Lions uniform next season too!

Jamaal Williams
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