Rising/Falling: Detroit Lions Week 15


ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Each week, we'll take a look at who or what might be rising or falling with the Detroit Lions.


QB Matthew Stafford: He completed over 75 percent of his passes for the second week in a row and Detroit has scored 34 points in back-to-back weeks. He also looks more comfortable with his decisions in Joe Lombardi’s offense than he has at any point this season. If this continues, it’s possible the step the Lions have been waiting for him to make has finally happened.

S James Ihedigbo: The 2014 free-agent signing turned out to be a good one. Ihedigbo has interceptions in three straight games and four of his past five games. Already a good run stopper and valuable complement to Glover Quin, Ihedigbo is showing his playmaking side as well. The four interceptions are a career-high and more than he had in all of his other NFL seasons combined.

TE Eric Ebron: He isn’t putting up big numbers, but he is establishing some consistency within the Lions' offense as a short-field option. He’s caught three or more passes in three of his past four games and has remained between 22 and 28 yards per game. Those aren’t big numbers, but consider that he’s also had at least 15 yards after the catch in three of the past four games. That shows he is turning short passes into longer gains. Progress.


RB Theo Riddick: The return of Reggie Bush has meant a nonexistent role in the offense for Riddick, who has made multiple big plays for Detroit throughout the season. Coach Jim Caldwell essentially said with Bush in the lineup, Riddick’s role will lessen. The reason is likely that Bush offers more versatility than Riddick, who has been more of a receiver than a rusher in his two years in Detroit.

NFC North title hopes: This has little to do with how Detroit is playing. Green Bay continues to win games and essentially the Lions will have to beat the Packers in Wisconsin to win the division title and get the home playoff game/possible first-round bye that will go with it. Only problem? Detroit hasn’t won in Wisconsin since the early 1990s and Aaron Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception at home in two years.

WR Corey Fuller: His role continues to diminish with the continued good health of Calvin Johnson -- and that’s fine with the Lions because of Johnson’s skills. Fuller ran seven routes Sunday against Tampa Bay and didn’t record a catch -- same as his stats against Miami and Arizona. He saw a little bit more of a role against New England and Chicago, but has not had a multi-catch game since Week 8 against Atlanta, the last game Johnson missed.