Detroit Lions: 10 observations as the Lions finally win again at home

D'Andre Swift #32 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
D'Andre Swift #32 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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Matt Prater, Detroit Lions
Matt Prater, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

3. Matthew Stafford, injured thumb and all, played his best game of the season.

This is the Stafford we’ve come to know and love over the years: a QB rating of 127.8, 3 TDs against no turnovers, not one but two go-ahead drives at the end of the game, and yet another testament to his toughness by shaking off a first half injury scare to his right hand.

The resilience and toughness of Stafford is the stuff of legend, and for him to still give himself to this franchise after a dozen years and several dozen disappointments, that speaks loudly. When Stafford plays like this, the Lions have a fighting chance in almost any game.

As a final thought, and I hate to throw the cold water on an exciting win, but there’s also this: for Stafford to play like this and the Lions still need last second heroics to hold off one of the league’s worst teams at home, it also speaks loudly.

4. Rumors of Matt Prater’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Fact: Statistically, this has been Matt Prater’s worst season as a Lion. Also Fact: Despite that, three of the Lions’ four wins this season have come courtesy of Prater’s right foot on the final snap of the game.

Following up a feverish drive in the final sixteen seconds, Prater’s 59-yarder as time expired brought up memories of a similar one at Minnesota to force overtime in 2016. This kick at first looked like he hooked it left, but soon corrected course to become yet another track on the Prater Greatest Hits album.

Despite his relatively rough year, if the game is on the line, I’ll still take Matt Prater at his worst over just about anyone at their best every time.

5. Marvin Jones reminds us again why he’s perpetually the most underrated Lion.

When asked to brainstorm the top three receivers in Detroit Lions history, I highly doubt that Marvin Jones Jr. is a name that would immediately come to mind for most people. After all, he’s consistently been the 2nd or even 3rd receiving option in Motown even in his own time.

However, by the end of this season, Jones has a legitimate shot to be sitting in the top three in franchise history in receiving touchdowns (4 more would put him behind only Calvin Johnson and Herman Moore).

Marvin’s diving 20-yard catch along the sidelines put the Lions up 14-3 in the first half, and a well calculated slant route in the final seconds put them just inside Prater range to have a shot at the win.

With eight catches, 96 yards, and his 4th touchdown already in the month of November, Jones is rounding into form right as he’s needed most. Kenny Golladay missed another game with injury and Danny Amendola seems to have a severe end zone allergy lately (he’s thrown for a touchdown more recently than catching one), so Jones stepping up comes at the perfect time.