That guy Megatron
You may have heard of Calvin Johnson – the best wide receiver in the NFL. Johnson is second in the NFL with 1,348 receiving yards, trailing Cleveland's Josh Gordon. Johnson has 12 touchdowns and is widely regarded as the NFL's toughest offensive weapon to defend. The 6-foot-5, 236-pounder is often too big for cornerbacks and safeties and too fast for linebackers. The Ravens shut down the game's best running back in Adrian Peterson last week, who left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury. How will they defend the top wide receiver this week?
More and more offenseJohnson isn't the Lions' only offensive weapon. Denver is on another level, but the Lions are second in the NFL in average yards per game (409.4) and sixth in points (26.6). Quarterback Matthew Stafford is third in the league in passing yards (3,973) and running back Reggie Bush is 11th in rushing yards (854). Bush also has 45 receptions for 448 yards, making him one of the most versatile offensive weapons in the league. He re-aggravated a calf injury in warm-ups and sat out last week.
A stingy run defense
The first thought that comes to mind with the Lions is their offense. But their defensive line is one of the best in the NFL. Led by defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in the middle, the Lions had the league's top-ranked run defense until last week. In the snow in Philadelphia, LeSean McCoy ran for 217 yards and two touchdowns against Detroit. The Lions still rank sixth, allowing 99.3 rushing yards per game. Rookie defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (seven sacks) is another big playmaker.
In the giving mood
The Lions are in the spirit of giving. They have the NFL's worst turnover differential (-11), meaning they are giving the ball up far more often than they are getting it. Since the start of Week 11, the Lions have turned the ball over a league-high 15 times and forced only four turnovers. Stafford has thrown seven interceptions and lost two fumbles in the last four games.
Sliding in the standings
Detroit pulled off a miraculous comeback 31-30 win in the final seconds of Week 8, and many pundits declared them as a team with a lot of potential that had finally arrived. They followed that up with another big victory in Chicago. But since then, they've lost three of their past four games. They fell to the Steelers, Buccaneers and Eagles. At 7-6, the Lions are clinging to first place in the NFC North and are desperate for a win to stay ahead of the Bears and Packers.