Good morning and ROOOOAAARRR!!!!
Going to do something a little bit different in this morning's roar -- at the halfway point, going to give a quick look at the five most important Detroit Lions thus far this season with a quick explanation why.
1. WR Calvin Johnson: He's been named the NFC's offensive player of the month and Detroit saw what its offense could look like with the man named Megatron not in the lineup. He's the best receiver in the NFL, perhaps the best receiver in history and essentially the most irreplaceable person for Detroit.
2. LB DeAndre Levy: This was a tough call here between the players who will also be at Nos. 3 and 4 on this list. But Levy is tied for the league lead in interceptions (four) as a linebacker and plays a position with little-to-no experienced depth on the Lions. The lack of depth behind the former Wisconsin player gives him the nod over the other two players. Doesn't hurt, either, that he's having the best season of his career.
3. DT Ndamukong Suh: He doesn't have the massive numbers one would think, but Suh has been playing consistently well this season for Detroit. He often draws double teams from opposing offenses and, much like Johnson on offense, if a team single-covers Suh, it'll likely mean he will end up disrupting the play. His presence makes everything around him go.
4. QB Matthew Stafford: If Shaun Hill were not his backup, Stafford would likely be higher on this list. He is having the best season of his career, has shown the ability (again) to bring his team back in the second half and doesn't let much rattle him. In his fifth season, he is developing into the franchise-type quarterback the Lions are paying him to be.
5. C Dominic Raiola: If you read the offensive line midseason review, you know how high I am on the play of the longtime Lions center this season. Why is he fifth on this list? He is responsible for a lot of the line calls that protect Stafford and open holes for Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. He was a close call over linebacker Stephen Tulloch, safeties Louis Delmas and Glover Quin and Bush.
Who would be your Top 5?
And now on to links from across the Interwebs about the Lions on this Friday.
What Lions player had the best Halloween costume ever? Read and make your decision in this week's Question of the Week.
From NFL.com, Matthew Stafford mic'd up during the Lions-Cowboys game.
MLive grades the defense over the first half of the season.