The Lions secondary could have its hands full with the Bengals' A.J. Green (37 catches, 464 yards, four TDs). (Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images)
When: 1 p.m. Sunday
Keys to the game
Johnson is getting healthy
Three weeks since suffering a knee injury against the Bears, Calvin Johnson appears to be closer to full strength. Although Kris Durham played well as Matthew Staffordís primary target, Johnson is the best receiver in the NFL when healthy.
Pressure the QB
The Lions showed what can happen when a defensive front pressures a young quarterback, sacking Browns QB Brandon Weeden once and forcing him into an INT. Bengals QB Andy Dalton, in his third season, is better than Weeden, but heís been sacked 13 times the past four games.
Keep Stafford upright
QB Matthew Stafford was sacked once in the first half last week, and when he stayed clean in the second half, he lit up the Browns defense. Like Cleveland, Cincinnati has a menacing defensive front (18 sacks, tied for 7th).
Force it to Fauria
Undrafted rookie TE Joseph Fauria became an instant star last week with three TDs. With Tony Scheffler (concussion) out again, Fauria should continue to be a factor in the offense, and the Lions should start utilizing him outside the red zone.
P Sam Martin continues to impress. After another nice game last week, he improved to fourth in the NFL in net punting (43.1 yards). His punts have yielded returns averaging 3.2 yards, third in the NFL, and his ability to flip the field has been critical. K David Akers easily hit a 51-yard FG last week, proving he still can.
Know the foe
Green means go
Behind Calvin Johnson, the title of second-best wide receiver in the NFL varies on whom you ask, but Cincinnatiís A.J. Green is certainly in the discussion. In Greenís first two seasons, he had 2,407 yards and 18 TDs. This season, he has 37 catches for 464 yards and four TDs. Stopping Green will be a challenge for a Lions secondary that allowed 126 yards to Browns WR Josh Gordon last week.
The Bengals split carries between veteran RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis and rookie Gio Bernard, but Bernard is the home-run threat. Bernard is averaging four yards per carry and 10.1 yard per reception, and he has five total TDs.
Geno Atkins may be the best defensive tackle in the NFL, but the Bengals have plenty of other playmakers on defense. DEs Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson have a history of getting to the quarterback, LBs Rey Maualuga and Vontaze Burfict are two of the NFLís best, and the secondary is sound.
Lions players said all week that itís too early to think about the postseason, but and while that may be true, a victory would do wonders for the Lionsí playoff aspirations. It not only would show the Lions can beat a playoff-caliber team, but theyíd likely need to go 5-4 at worst to make the playoffs.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has surely changed some of his defensive schemes since he was the Ravens defensive coordinator and Lions coach Jim Schwartz was a defensive assistant from 1996-98. Still, these two coaches know each other well, and Lewis likely wants to beat one of his many proteges.