SLR Game Balls: Detroit Lions Party Like It's 2009

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Ndamukong Suh played one of his best games of the season today. It won’t be evident in the box score but Suh was disruptive and active in other ways.

However, there were two offensive players that I chose to recognize for their brilliant performances that led to today’s 49-35 win over the Carolina Panthers.

Matthew Stafford: If all you saw was the first quarter, you’re pretty surprised to see Matthew Stafford’s name here. Two first quarter interceptions made it look like the guy we saw in Chicago was the guy we’d get again today. Things changed. Stafford completed well over 75% of his passes for over 300 yards and five touchdown passes. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Stafford’s day is that five different players caught touchdown players and not one of them is named Calvin Johnson. This was Stafford’s second career five touchdown performance. The first was against the Cleveland Browns in 2009.

Kevin Smith: Two weeks ago, Kevin Smith was just one of about two dozen players the Lions brought in for workouts. Today, he was a revelation in the running game and a big reason the Lions came away with a win. Smith ran for a career high 140 yards and two touchdowns and added 61 yards and a touchdown on four receptions. Today was Smith’s first 100 yard rushing game since Sept. 27, 2009. Welcome back!

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Detroit Lions Kevin Smith Matthew Stafford Ndamukong Suh

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