Lions' Black Friday shopping list includes bubble wrap for Stafford


Bubble wrap for Matthew Stafford: Sure, he won’t be able to actually wear this in games, but the Detroit Lions quarterback has been beaten up over and over again this season. He’s been sacked 26 times in 10 games (worse than all but three years in his career and there are six games to go) and he’s been hit hard far more often than that. Since the Lions can’t gift Stafford a new set of offensive tackles (or at least a right one) until 2016, some extra protection will do. Plus, it’s addictively fun to pop during downtime.

A meeting with Dikembe Mutombo for Darius Slay: The Lions cornerback adopted his finger wag from the eight-time NBA All-Star center, who famously wagged his finger at opponents after he blocked their shots. Slay does something similar after he breaks up passes from opposing quarterbacks -- often with a little skip in his step as well. Slay has turned into a dominant cover corner the past few weeks, so he deserves to meet the man from whom he ripped off the finger wag.

A bevy of deep balls for Calvin Johnson: The Lions wide receiver has been one of the best deep-ball threats in the NFL over the past half-decade. The Lions went away from that under former offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, but new coordinator Jim Bob Cooter is airing it out a bit more. Johnson has had 14.25 or more average air yards per target since Cooter’s overhaul of the offense. So as long as Cooter keeps calling for deep balls, that will be the gift that keeps on giving for Johnson.