(ALLEN PARK) - If not for the efforts of Lions safety Bracy Walker, Detroit might be chalking up yet another road loss. Walker was huge in earning TheInsiders.com player of the game honors for week one's 20-16 win against the Chicago Bears.
Walker almost single handedly defeated the Bears with clutch plays including three total tackles, a blocked fumble recovery returned 92 yards for a touchdown and a game saving interception.
Coach Mariucci singled out Walker for the team's first game ball of the season.
"I did give out a couple of game balls," said Mariucci. "[I gave one to] Bracey Walker obviously. He was so emotional in the locker room and drained. He came in and got an I.V. He had a touchdown return after Shaun Rogers' blocked field goal which was huge, he had the big play at the end of the game which was huge. He played on special teams, he was drained and he had to go back in cause some other guys came out."
Walker, for his part, credited defensive tackle Shaun Rogers for the play.
"Before the kick was even blocked I was 'blowed', I mean I was tired, it was a lot warmer than I thought it was going to be. I was looking for a fake [field goal attempt] actually and then Shaun Rogers came in and, 'POW', hit the ball. I heard that thump and the ball just happened to fall in my hands and my first instinct was just to start running."
Rogers, who was outstanding in the win, initally didn't know Walker had recovered the ball.
"Well after I blocked it, I kind of jumped and then I saw guys running," said Rogers, "and I just took off and tried to get a block. Hopefully I could knock a man down and just make it ten [men] for him to get away from."
Walker said the block by Teddy Lehman sprung him for the touchdown.
"The guys threw a lot of great blocks because I was just out of it. My running form was just shot, I was leaning back," laughed Walker, "I had no good running form at all and the guys threw a lot of great blocks. I initially was going to pitch it off to Andre Goodman, but he was running so fast, I would have ended up doing a forward lateral on him so I said 'I've got to keep it' and I cut back. Teddy Lehman threw that great block and that's what sprung me to get in."
But Walker wasn't done. After Detroit took an intentional safety to get better field position, Chicago marched down the field to the Detroit 9-yard line and appeared to be ready to pull out a win.
"We were playing a cover two," explained Walker. "Andre' [Goodman] was playing underneath of David Terrell, I saw Grossman started scrambling and I was kind of afraid he was going scramble and try to get to the end zone. I was trying to yell to Andre - I don't think he heard me - to go and make the tackle and I would stay back with Terrell. It just so happened he was running toward us and he threw it and I was just able to jump up and catch it."
That catch clinched the game and the game ball for Lions strong safety Bracey Walker.
Game Ball: Walker Leads Huge Defensive Effort
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