Facing a 3rd and goal at the Chicago Bears 8-yard line in the third quarter Saturday, the Bears gave Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford just one option for the touchdown. Stafford had to launch a pass high over Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan, and hope tight end Eric Ebron could use his athleticism to go up and get the football.
That's exactly what Ebron did, making a beautiful leaping catch over Trevathan to give the Lions a 20-3 lead in their eventual 20-10 victory.
Ebron fished the game leading the Lions with five receptions. He totaled 33 yards, including the touchdown, and also had a key 19-yard reception on a 3rd and 6 on Detroit's first possession of the game that set up a Matt Prater field goal.
His touchdown catch Saturday was a perfect example of what made him a top 10 pick in the NFL draft. At 6-foot-4 and 253 pounds, Ebron lined up in the slot, ran a terrific stick route behind the linebacker, and went up to make an athletic catch. It was his 10th career touchdown.
The score was a little extra special for Ebron, whose son Oliver was at the game for the first time.
"It was incredible," Ebron said after the game. "I just looked at a whole bunch of pictures. I don't know who took them, but it was incredible. I'm happy I scored. That was probably the best part of my whole day."
His teammates made sure to keep the football so Ebron can give it to Oliver as a reminder of his first time seeing Dad play live.
The simple fact is that Ebron has been on a tear over the last month, and is playing with a ton of confidence right now. He's coming off a 10-catch, 94-yard performance in the win over Tampa Bay last week. He's now caught at least four passes in his last five contests. That after catching four or more in just one of his first nine games.
The numbers could have been even better for Ebron on Saturday, too, had Stafford not overthrew him in the end zone earlier in the game. Stafford lamented that missed opportunity after the game.
Ebron now has 47 receptions on the year for 482 yards, and is third on the team with three touchdown catches.
He's been very good going on over a month now, and the Lions will need for that to continue these next two weeks if they're going to get to where they want to go, which is playing football in January.