Good morning and ROOOOAAARRR!!!!
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- He is 34 years old, which in NFL parlance is awful close to applying for your AARP Card. He has been in the league, all with the Detroit Lions, for 13 seasons.
Yet when most players are hitting the last stages of their careers, Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola is playing some of the best football of his life. Where he plays, though, experience matters.
"The center position, seeing everything, the game really slows down for me," Raiola said. "Just being able to pre-snap everything, a lot of things, and really come off the ball and not tiptoe into anything.
"I feel like that's what I'm doing."
He's done it particularly well this season, especially at big moments. He made a critical fourth-down line call at Washington to help Detroit get a first down and an eventual victory over the Redskins. He also made a change in a line call against Detroit, helping to spring Reggie Bush for a 37-yard touchdown run.
He's also helped rookie right guard Larry Warford adapt to the NFL while pairing with veteran left guard Rob Sims on the other side. He's leading an offensive line that has allowed quarterback Matthew Stafford to only be sacked on three percent of his dropbacks -- tied for the lowest percentage in the league.
This shouldn't be surprising, though, considering Raiola told ESPN.com last month he felt he "reinvented" himself this year as he tries to enjoy every moment he has in the league.
"I think he's playing his best football, maybe, in the five years I've been here," Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said. "He's been consistent week-to-week, he's won his matchups."
And now a turn around the Interwebs in search of Lions news:
Detroit wide receiver Kevin Ogletree will see a familiar friend Sunday -- Dez Bryant. The Lions are headed to London next year, although right now they are just focused on Dallas. Ten(ish) Questions With...rookie cornerback Darius Slay. Our Double Coverage preview of Sunday's game.
From Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, how and why Louis Delmas parted with his pet alligator.
Dallas cornerback Brandon Carr is coming home to face Detroit, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Detroit has used fewer two tight end packages this year, writes Justin Rogers from MLive.com.
Kyle Meinke of MLive.com writes about defensive tackle C.J. Mosley, loss and the reason he cuts the symbol of a heartbeat in his head. This is worth your time.