On NFL.com’s list of unsung heroes for each NFC team, the Detroit Lions’ “unsung hero” is too obvious to fit the bill.
Finding anything positive to note from a three-win team can be difficult, but that’s what national writers who are so inclined are tasked with when it comes to the 2021 Detroit Lions.
Nick Shook of NFL.com has named an “unsung hero” from all 32 NFL teams for the 2021 season, and his edition highlighting those he named from each team in the NFC came out last week. For the Lions, finding an “unsung hero” wasn’t necessarily easy. So Shook had to stretch.
"Detroit Lions, 3-13-1, 4th in the NFC NorthAmon Ra St-Brown, WR-Year 1The Lions entered 2021 with what was essentially a no-name cast of receivers for Jared Goff. New arrival Tyrell Williams was only able to play in one game before he was released, and the rest of the group consisted of second-year wideout Quintez Cephus (a personal favorite whose season was cut short by injury), Kalif Raymond, free-agent pickup Trinity Benson, Tom Kennedy and fourth-round pick St. Brown. The former five-star recruit from Southern California power Mater Dei took advantage of the opportunity, appearing in all 17 games and steadily improving down the back stretch of the season. St. Brown posted consecutive 100-plus-yard games in his final two outings as part of a 90-catch, 912-yard debut campaign that also included five receiving touchdowns. Much of this was earned after Detroit’s Week 7 bye, building plenty of positive momentum going into Year 2. The Lions have to be excited about St. Brown’s potential."
Detroit Lions: Amon-Ra St. Brown stretches definition of “unsung”
It’s fair to say most NFL fans weren’t paying all that close attention to the Lions, at least until they dominated the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15. But St. Brown was already into a season-ending stretch where he had 51 receptions for 560 yards and five touchdowns over the final six games. He set some franchise and NFL records along that way, and he surely won some fantasy football leagues too.
The word “unsung” implies unknown, off the radar etc. for the duration of whatever timeframe is talked about. St. Brown became well-known and well-regarded on multiple fronts late in his rookie season, as he produced big and Pro Football Focus overall graded him just behind Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams over those final six weeks.
Playing on a bad team, that went 3-3 in its final six games, is the only thing that would’ve kept St. Brown “unsung” all the way through the 2021 season. Shining a light on what he did as Shook did is fine, but St. Brown was not “unsung” when it was all said and done this year.