NFC North preview: Sizing up Detroit

  • Updated: 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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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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