Free Head Exam: Detroit Lions*

After the Detroit Lions' 20-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, here are three issues that merit further examination:

  1. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh notched one final sack Sunday to bring his season total to 10.0. In so doing, Suh became only the second rookie defensive tackle in NFL history to amass 10-plus sacks since the statistic became official in 1982. (Dana Stubblefield had 10.5 sacks for the San Francisco 49ers in 1993.) Suh is the first Lions player to reach double digits in sacks since 2004 (James Hall), and from a bigger picture, he is the first nationally renowned Lions defensive player in, well, quite some time.

  2. Here is some perspective for you, courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau. The Lions were 4-0 in their final four games of the season. They were 4-41 in their previous 45 games, dating back to the 2007 season. I don't think anything more needs to be added.

  3. Veteran place-kicker Jason Hanson has said he hopes to return next season from a knee injury, but I wonder if the Lions have already found his replacement. Dave Rayner drilled a 55-yard field goal in Sunday's game and finished the season with 13 conversions in 16 attempts. Among them were 7 of 10 conversions from 40 yards or longer. Rayner, 28, could have a long future with the Lions.

*Truncated offseason version