The NFL doesn’t stop for the holiday season, and plenty of former Wolverines made big plays in Week 16. Let’s kick off Pro Blue with three former Wolverines who helped the Detroit Lions do something they haven’t done in three decades.
Former Wolverines help Lions clinch first division title in 30 years
Christmas came early for Detroit Lions fans on Sunday, with Dan Campbell leading the team to a win over the Minnesota Vikings, clinching the first division title in 30 years.
Former Wolverines have helped the Lions all season long, including in this most recent win. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, who led the league in pressures and quarterback hurries entering Week 16, had four of them against Minnesota, along with a pass defended.
Aidan Hutchinson helped deliver Michigan’s first Big Ten Championship since 2004 and now the Lions first NFC North Title since 1993! Thank you Hutch! 〽️ pic.twitter.com/AlXGk7Xcf9— JD 〽️ (@MGoJDBlue) December 24, 2023
On the offensive side of the ball, Donovan Peoples-Jones had a catch for 11 yards, which helped convert a key third down in the fourth quarter. Graham Glasgow started at right guard and helped the Lions rush for 143 yards and three touchdowns, while only allowing Jared Goff to be sacked once.
If you want to see locker room celebration videos from Hutchinson and other Lions players, our friends at Pride of Detroit have you covered.
For the Vikings, safety Josh Metellus led his team with 10 total tackles, including a tackle for loss.
Kwity Paye records another sack in career year
With two tackles in the game, Paye has now set a new personal record for total tackles in a season. He’s up to 47 tackles and 8.5 sacks, which is also a new career-high for the third-year defender.
Nico Collins catches touchdown in loss to Browns
The Houston Texans still have some work to do to clinch a playoff, and it doesn’t help losing to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Former Michigan wide receiver Nico Collins was able to find the end zone in the loss, scoring from five yards out in garbage time.
Ronnie Bell scores on Christmas
Collins wasn’t the only former Wolverine wide receiver to score in the fourth quarter this week. On Christmas night, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Ronnie Bell found the end zone in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Ronnie Bell Christmas tuddy let’s go!pic.twitter.com/Yli7AEKOe7— 〽️att Hartwell (@MaizeCrusader) December 26, 2023
This was Bell’s second career NFL touchdown. In that same game, Jake Moody converted both extra points and his lone field goal attempt from 45 yards out, and cornerback Ambry Thomas had four solo tackles and a pass defensed.
Other notable performances
In that same game, Steelers center Mason Cole helped his team rush for 113 yards and two rushing scores, while being part of an offensive line that only gave up one sack.