NOTEBOOK: Jones Jr. finishes season with big performance

If Sunday was the last time we see wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. in a Detroit Lions uniform, he sure ended his tenure in style.

Jones came to Detroit five years ago as a priority free-agent signing after Calvin Johnson retired. He's been very consistent since arriving, and heads into this offseason looking forward to his second shot at free agency at age 30.

Since the 2017 season, Jones has totaled 32 receiving touchdowns, the seventh most in the NFL in that span.

He caught eight passes for 180 yards with two touchdowns Sunday in Detroit's 37-35 loss to the Vikings. He had another touchdown reversed on a questionable call. His big performance Sunday gives him 76 receptions on the year for 978 yards and nine scores.

"Marv was hot early and I was going to keep feeding him," quarterback Matthew Stafford said of Jones after the game. "I was just happy for him, man. He's been a really good player for us for five years and I've enjoyed playing with him, and we'll see what happens, who knows, but the guy is an incredible talent, great friend of mine and a great teammate. Just happy that he had a big day."

Jones said this week he was looking forward to free agency, but also said he won't rule out any scenario, including re-signing with Detroit.


It's been a tough season for the Lions' defense, but one of the few bright spots has been the consistent play all season long by veteran defensive end Romeo Okwara. The Lions acquired Okwara off waivers before the 2018 season.

Okwara recorded his 10th sack of the season Sunday and becomes just the sixth Lions player since 1999 to record at least 10.0 sacks in a single season.

Okwara's 10.0 sacks are a new career high (7.5 in 2018). He becomes the first Nigerian-born player in NFL history to produce a double-digit sack season. He also joins James Hall (2004) as the only undrafted players in team history to produce a 10-sack season.

"Definitely felt good to get that," Okwara said after the game of his 10th sack of the season. "That's always been a goal of mine. It was something I worked all offseason for. Prepared really hard all season and was able to see some stuff on the field."

Okwara said he thought he left a lot of plays on the field as well, and thinks this is just the start of a lot of productive years for him.

Okwara is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and likely made himself some money with the consistency he showed this season.


It's been an inconsistent season for Lions kicker Matt Prater in 2020, but he set a pretty impressive record in the season finale against Minnesota Sunday.

Prater converted a 54-yard field goal in the second quarter, his 59th career field goal of 50-plus yards, which passes Sebastian Janikowski for the most all-time in NFL history.

Prater finishes the year 21-of-28 on field goals and 38-for-41 kicking extra points after a miss Sunday.

Prater, 36, is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He indicated this week he'd prefer to re-sign with Detroit.


Safety Tracy Walker was called for a very questionable roughing the passer penalty in the fourth quarter on a 4th and 1 sack of Kirk Cousins that could have changed the complexion of the game. Minnesota would score two plays later to take a 37-29 lead in the eventual win.

Referee Adrian Hill had this to say after the game on the call:

"By rule, one of the categories for roughing the passer is full body weight, where the tackler lands with his full body weight on the quarterback," Hill said. "That's the category this play fell into."

Hill was asked by pool reporter Paula Pasche if Walker's momentum and him rolling off Cousins should have played a factor in the call or not.

"The momentum doesn't play a role and the rolling off afterwards does not play a role," Hill said. "It's that initial contact to the ground. If you roll off afterwards, that doesn't eliminate the foul."

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