As I walked from Ford Field back to my car I turned to ask my dad who he thought was the player of the game. It is a rather standard point to consider but turned out to be a difficult question to answer given the strange nature of the game.
We discussed a few names but there were positives and negatives to consider for just about everyone. Matthew Stafford moved the Lions offense in the first half and played well in leading the game winning drive but his three interceptions were the reason the heroics were necessary in the first place. Kevin Smith was mostly effective but dropped two easy passes and didn’t have a huge impact on the game.
In the end, I came up with two players worthy of SLR game balls for week one.
Megatron said it was his goal to have at least 100 receiving yards in each game. He got there in week one and did so with big catches when it mattered most. Calvin came down with a 51-yard jump ball late in the first half that set up a field goal and totaled 38 receiving yards on two catches during the game winning drive. CJ finished tied with Nate Burleson for the team lead in receptions with six and had a game high 111 yards on the day.
The Detroit Lions held St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson in check and the play of Justin Durant had a lot to do with it. He led the team with seven solo tackles and assisted on five more for a career high 12. The Lions defense played well as a whole with various players coming up with big plays throughout the game but it was Durant who made his presence known most consistently.