Each week we’ll recognize the players that had the biggest positive impact on the Lions game by handing out virtual game balls.
Matthew Stafford – The Lions success starts with Matthew Stafford and today showed a big reason why. He had the offense moving from their opening drive and followed it up by carving up the Tampa secondary the rest of the afternoon until cramps and game situation dictated otherwise. Stafford will enter week two with a QB rating of 118.9. Not bad. Oh yeah, he’s healthy too.
Lions Defense – Chris Houston could be singled out for his first half interception in the end zone or Stephen Tulloch for his hard hits and sack but the truth is that the Lions defense played well as an entire unit. They stuffed the run, they kept the underneath passes to short gains, the tackling was sure. Matthew Stafford will get a lot of post-game talk, and rightfully so, but the entire defense played a huge part in this win.
Jim Schwartz – The Lions need to prove they’re different this year and that looks to be the case through week one. The team was prepared and outplayed the Bucs – a team that many feel will be in contention for a playoff berth along with the Lions. This game played out like a lot of Lions game we’ve seen, except the roles were reversed.