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Sizing up Detroit

  • September 12, 2012 - 11:30 AM

SIZING UP DETROIT

2011 record: 10-7, lost at New Orleans 45-28 in an NFC wild-card playoff game.

Key addition: Receiver Ryan Broyles.

Adrian Peterson isn't the only guy in the NFC North trying to make a remarkable recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Broyles, a rookie second-round draft pick from Oklahoma, went down last November. He played in the preseason and could add even more depth, speed and star power to one of the league's best passing attacks.

Key loss: Cornerback Eric Wright.

Wright, who had four interceptions and 16 passes defensed for an otherwise weak secondary last season, signed with Tampa Bay.

Key number: 1995. The last year the Lions made consecutive playoff appearances.

Outlook: Detroit can throw the ball with anyone in the league, including the Packers. Quarterback Matthew Stafford, a 5,000-yard passer a year ago, has the best receiver in the league, Calvin Johnson, and a plethora of secondary targets that includes former Viking Nate Burleson, speedy second-year pro Titus Young, Broyles and tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler. The Lions, however, have to overcome a virtually nonexistent running game and a defense that can't stop the pass despite a defensive line that goes seven deep in quality players and includes tackle Ndamukong Suh and two ends -- Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch -- who combined for 19 sacks last season. The Lions shouldn't have to blitz much, so that will help a back seven that's questionable at best. If Stafford stays healthy again this season, the Lions will contend for the playoffs with a chance of winning only their second postseason game since 1957.

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