The Detroit Lions lost their Week 4 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks, 48-45. As the score indicates, this was a shootout, with both defenses taking the game off. The Seahawks did not punt the entire game and scored on every drive except a missed FG and the final kneel-down. The Seahawks‘ defense was not much better, but they did grab a pick-six and forced two punts. Let’s examine which Lions players could deserve a game ball from the loss. Unsurprisingly, all three options will be on the offensive side of the ball.
Detroit Lions Week 4 Game Ball Candidate #1: Jared Goff, QB
Jared Goff continues his positive play this season. Goff put up a great stat line passing for 378 yards and four touchdowns. Without his top option, Amon-Ra St Brown, Goff distributed the ball to his other playmakers, completing passes to 8 receivers. After more injuries, the Lions only had three healthy receivers, but Goff found a way to make do. He even relied on preseason hero, Tom Kennedy, to move the sticks on a crucial fourth down. Goff does have one big blemish on his candidacy. At the start of the second half, Goff got the Lions off to a bad start with a bad pick six on the opening drive. Outside of that, it is hard to fault Goff. It would’ve been easy for Goff to have a down game without D’Andre Swift or St Brown, but props to him for finding a way to continue to be successful.
Detroit Lions Week 4 Game Ball Candidate #2: Jamaal Williams, RB
Without Swift, Jamaal Williams stepped into the starting lineup. He proved how good the Lions’ run game is even without its star running back. Williams was a workhouse picking up 108 yards and two touchdowns. He also added the best play of the game with a knockout stiff arm on his 51-yard touchdown. One area Williams does need to improve in is the passing game. Williams had two bad drops and lacks the dynamic ability of Swift as a pass catcher. However, for a backup running back, Williams had a great game and stepped up for the Lions.
Detroit Lions Week 4 Game Ball Candidate #3: TJ Hockenson, TE
Up to this point of the year, TJ Hockenson has had a disappointing season with some drops and limited production. This week, Hockenson dispelled all concerns as he dominated the game. Hockenson was a force on all three levels of the passing game. He beat the Seahawks over top for big gains. He got short, and medium passes to move the sticks. He even added a huge run after catch resulting in an 81-yard gain. When it was all said and done, Hockenson racked up a career-high 179 yards and two touchdowns. If that wasn’t enough, Hockenson also looked good in the run game. He never appeared to miss any assignments, and he had a key block on Williams’ long touchdown run.
Game Ball Winner
Despite good performances from all candidates, this decision was not difficult as Hockenson was on a different level. He used all of his athleticism and skill to carve up the Seahawks. He proved why he could be such a matchup nightmare as the Seahawks had no answer for his speed, size, and skill. Ben Johnson needs to continue to incorporate him into the offense. If he can, the Lions’ offense could legit be one of the best in the league with weapons like Hockenson, Swift, St. Brown, and rookie Jameson Williams. And after this week, it is clear the Lions will need to be almost perfect on offense with this defense.