Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Rising/Falling: Detroit Lions Week 6
By Michael Rothstein
Each week, we’ll look at who or what might be rising or falling with the Detroit Lions.
LB DeAndre Levy: It isn’t stock up so much as stock staying extremely high. The Lions linebacker is playing the best football of his career, including a career-high 14 tackles on Sunday against Green Bay. He also has a pair of interceptions and, while he often doesn’t receive a ton of attention, is a large reason why the Lions are 3-2 and leading the NFC North.
RT Corey Hilliard: This is now the second time Hilliard replaced Jason Fox in the starting lineup due to injury. Fox wasn’t at practice Wednesday and his status is unknown, so as long as Fox is out, Hilliard will once again slide into the starting lineup.
TE Brandon Pettigrew: After struggling with drops and lack of targets earlier this season, Pettigrew has ticked up over the past two weeks. After making seven catches on seven targets against Chicago two weeks ago, he led Detroit in receiving Sunday with four catches for 59 yards -- on five targets. Plus, he’s a comfort player for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
TE Joseph Fauria: Unfortunately for Fauria, he went another week not seeing a single credited pass thrown his way. The only time he even had a shot at the ball was when he and receiver Kris Durham ended up in the same area of the field late in the first half. He hasn’t seen a pass thrown to him in two weeks. His spot here might be short-lived, though, as tight end Tony Scheffler didn’t practice Wednesday. If Scheffler can’t go, Fauria could see a plethora of opportunities.
LT Riley Reiff: He had played well over the first month of the season, but really struggled against Green Bay’s pass rush on Sunday. He appeared to be responsible for at least two of the five sacks of Stafford and also had a holding penalty against the Packers.
Detroit’s offense without Calvin Johnson: This is an obvious look, but Detroit had no consistency moving the ball with Johnson sidelined due to a knee injury. The Lions could have a week to prepare for this mentally instead of, at most, 24 hours like this past Sunday, but Detroit’s offense needs both of its big playmakers out there to run its offense smoothly.