Detroit Lions

NFC North

2014 Schedule

  • Week 1

    NYG @ DET


    7:15 pm

  • Week 2

    DET @ CAR


    1:00 pm

  • Week 3

    GB @ DET


    4:00 pm

  • Week 4

    DET @ NYJ


    1:00 pm

  • Week 5

    BUF @ DET


    1:00 pm

  • Week 6

    DET @ MIN


    1:00 pm

  • Week 7

    NO @ DET


    1:00 pm

  • Week 8

    DET @ ATL


    9:30 am

  • Week 9


  • Week 10

    MIA @ DET


    1:00 pm

  • Week 11

    DET @ ARI


    4:30 pm

  • Week 12

    DET @ NE


    1:00 pm

  • Week 13

    CHI @ DET


    12:30 pm

  • Week 14

    TB @ DET


    1:00 pm

  • Week 15

    MIN @ DET


    1:00 pm

  • Week 16

    DET @ CHI


    1:00 pm

  • Week 17

    DET @ GB


    1:00 pm

PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart

The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.

Detroit Lions - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview

calvin and matthew for the detroit lions




Detroit Lions - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview



If you were drafting in an early Rock n’ Roll fantasy league, there is no town that breeds the picks like Motown. Houdini has been reminding us of this as of late with some of his soulful tunes. Wilson Pickett’s song “Cole, Cook, and Redding” schools you on some of those early rhythm and blues greats.







And for some of his more moving Motown goo, you gotsta to check out his Wilson Pickett’s rendition of “In the Midnight Hour”.







Look for “Wolfman” Houdini, the host with the most, to keep those classics spinning at you on the latest episode of the Pyro Fantasy Football Fire Podcast.







Listen to us on Buzzsprout:

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Not only does Detroit demonstrate iconic figures in the world of Rock n’ Roll and Rhythm and Blues; they have some fantasy mainstays that are outta sight as well. Look no further than the fantasy wide receiver consistently on the top of the charts, Megatron.








If you end up picking towards the end of your fantasy draft and Jimmy Graham has already gone, then go for Calvin Johnson. This plan is just one of many you can learn by reading Dawgmatica’s  Draft Strategy. In fact, all of the guys walk you through different ins and outs when it comes to draft day. Their strategies are including in version 3 of the draft kit, available now.



 pyro draft kit graphic v3

Pick up our Draft Kit today... you won't regret it!



Calvin’s numbers speak for themselves. In 2013, he caught 84 balls on 156 targets. And, would you believe 1,492 yards are his lowest since 2010? Two years ago, he ended just shy of breaking 2,000 yards. In 2013, he crossed the goal line 12 times. That makes four times in six years he has managed  to rack up at least 12 scores with 16 being his highest.  One thing to look for in fantasy is consistency. There are plenty of pass catcher who will bust out one monster game that skews their season totals. Calvin gets it done week in and week out. In 2014, he averaged 15.66 points per game (2nd highest total of his career). In fact, Johnson has averaged at least 12 fantasy points per game since 2008. He has broken 1,000 yards in five of six as well. The one down year (besides his rookie season) he missed it by 14 yards. In many respects, he keeps getting better. Last year he averaged a career high 17.8 yards per catch. Oh, did I mention this? Detroit has the 2nd best fantasy playoff schedule for wide receivers.


Yet another thing going for Megatron is the talent that now surrounds him. By bringing in play makers like Golden Tate to line up as the other wide receiver, defenses will not be able to double down on Calvin as often.  This is something Johnson himself recently noted: “Golden’s going to get a lot of one-on-one coverage. With all the weapons we have, those one-on-ones will go full circle and I might get some more myself”.  An ex-Notre Dame player, Tate seems to be quick grasping Joe Lombardi’s offense.  This will be Tate’s 5th year in the league. Last year, he caught 64 passes for 898 yards, 5 touchdowns and averaged 7.38 fantasy points per game. Statistically, since he has been in the league, he has improved in almost every single category annually. In Seattle, from one year to the next, he saw improvements in targets, receptions, yardage, and fantasy points per game. Fantasy is all about trend spotting, and I don’t mean the Ewan McGregor flick.






To succeed in fantasy, you need to construct your players based on how you think they will perform this year. The pitfall that claims so many, people tend to draft on the numbers from the previous year. If you draft the right way, if you look at trends, then Golden Tate is definitely a receiver to keep on your radar. More and more teams are having success with a two headed receiving core. With the addition of Tate, Detroit is looking more appealing.


Other names to note, Ryan Broyles and Kevin Ogletree seem to be fighting for the possible slot position, although neither has shown all that well in camp. The talk of the town has concerned Riddick, but more on him in a moment. The Lions remaining receivers are Kris Durham, T.J. Jones, and a few other names that will be fighting for roster spots. They did recently pick up Jon Baldwin from the 49ers. While Baldwin has the body type, and showed amazing skills at the combine once upon a time, he has never put it together in the NFL. If you are a deep dynasty league, you may want to watch this battle play out,  although I doubt there will be enough opportunity that far down the depth chart.


The Lions did add another pass catcher, but at the tight end position. Eric Ebron was taken with the 10th pick overall in this year’s draft. While rookie tight ends are notorious for a lack of production, he is certainly one to watch. In fact, he should get a crack at seeing some decent playing time his first year. If that is the case, he could be a steal. The Lions have the BEST schedule for a tight end this year.  Ebron is 6’4” and weighs 250 pounds. He ran a 4.6 at the combine with a 32” vertical. At North Carolina, Ebron had 62 receptions, gained 973 yards, and scored 3 touchdowns. He turned out some impressive performances including a 199 yard game against Miami. He should have no problem holding down a starting role ahead of Brandon Pettigrew, a guy who seemed to be brought down by a stiff breeze last year. If you don’t get a top tier tight end, play the waiting game. I think a nice strategy would be to take a Charles Clay and pair him with Ebron, whom, according to early August ADP’s is going in the 11th round for 12 team leagues. With the schedule the Lions have, Ebron will certainly see some fantastic matchups. If both guys start to go off, then you have terrific trade bait.



As you must have noticed by now, in fantasy football, the one thing that is a safe bet, is inconsistent rankings. Depending on which site you are consulting, what you see can vary wildly from another source. This is certainly true when it comes to offensive line rankings. However, Detroit is consistently being pegged as a top 5 team when it comes to their 2014 offensive line. Last year, their pass blocking was the best it has been in years. In fact, only one other team allowed fewer sacks (Omaha! Omaha!) You guessed it, Denver. But even in the run game, they had great success on short yardage, power plays. With 2 yards or less to go, they converted on 3rd/4th down 76% of the time.  The Lions offensive linemen should open up and sustain holes for a plethora of backs this coming season.


The first back on the depth chart is Reggie Bush. It must be said, last year they ran a committee with Bush and Bell. So far this year, there has been quite a bit of chatter about Theo Riddick, another Notre Dame player to join the Lions.  Before we get to the two main dogs, it is speculated that Riddick might be plugged into multiple places in Joe Lombardi’s offense. Lombardi was most recently the Saints OC. Riddick played both running back and receiver in college. He could be utilized similar to how the Saints used Darren Sproles. This notion was recently reiterated by backup QB Dan Orlovsky: “I’m telling you, if he doesn’t have 50 catches this year, I’ll be surprised because he is going to have opportunities and he’s very talented at it… I think he’s going to play the Sproles role for sure.” But he might be utilized in other ways as well. There has been a buzz from camp stating Riddick could see time in the slot. Again, playing both running back and receiver comes natural to him. This is one reason Pyro has him pegged as a deep sleeper candidate. This hidden gem is worth a late round pick. As of early August though, he is not even showing up on ADPs. My guess, after people get a look at him in preseason, the secret will be out. 



AMAZING (excellent quality) Rushing highlights for Riddick = 





Receiving highlights for Riddick = 






“Pan Down! Pan Down…We’ve got Bush”






Reggie Bush and Joique Bell are the two big dogs on the porch. First, let’s just look at them in a strictly running capacity. Last year, Bush got more attempts, 223 to Bell’s 166. Bush had more yards, 1,006 to Bell’s 650.  He averaged 4.5 yards to Bell’s 3.9. Bush appears the better runner. But you know what they say about appearances, they can be deceiving.


If the Lion’s played on grass, they seem to lean towards Bell. Bush had 158 carries on turf and only 65 on grass. Bell seems to have what it takes when they get in close, bell scored 8 touchdowns, all of which came inside the red zone. Another thing, Bush need carries to get going.  Bush only scored 4 rushing touchdowns in 2014. In every instance, he needed at least 17 carries to score. In games when he carried it at least 17 times, he averaged 4.6 per rush. In games where he carried 13 times or less, his average is 2.9. So let me amend my statement. Bush is the better runner as long as he is given the opportunities. With the Lombardi offense this season, I expect there to be more of a split. Bush will not get the opportunities he did last year. Statistically, his performance is tied to the amount of looks he gets in the run game. Pyro is picking Bush as a bust candidate in 2014.


Now let’s compare the two coming out of the backfield for receptions.  At first glance, they seem fairly even. Bush caught 54 passes and Bell caught 53. But upon closer inspection, Bell wins hands down. Bell had 547 receiving yards. Bush had 506. So, Bell had 41 more yards on 1 less catch. Here is the one that takes the cake.  Bush caught the ball 68.4% of the time. Bell caught the ball 76.8% of the time. Not only that, Bell was targeted farther down field than Bush. Bell’s position in relation to the line of scrimmage was 7.93 yards down field when he was targeted. Bush’s average target was 6.41 yards downfield. To put it another way, Bell had a higher catch rate and was actually a yard and a half further down field than Bush. So, not only is Bell a better pass catcher, he does so farther down field. One last thing, Bell averaged more yards per catch as well, 10.3 to Bush’s 9.4.


To recap, Bush is probably the better runner if given enough opportunity. Lombardi often employed a three back system in New Orleans. With the likes of Bell, and Riddick, Bush will not get the rushing attempts he needs to perform. As far as receiving, Bell is flat out statistically better. As of early August, ADP’s for 12 team leagues have Bush going in the 3rd round and Bell going in the 5th. Obviously, both are worth a bit more in PPR formats. Overall, Bell is the better bargain.


Finally, we come to the general on the field, Matthew “Second Half” Staff. There are many reasons to love Stafford…








Just look at how serious he takes his skin care, proper eye wear, use of a hat, stays in the shade, all top moves as far as I am concerned. Bravo my man!


Okay, there are also plenty of reasons to love him on the field as well. Stafford is a tier II QB for most of the Pyro boys. This year, he faces the 6th best passing schedule and the 2nd best during the fantasy playoffs. He has more weapons offensively than he has ever had as a pro. The new Lombardi system should keep opposing defenses on their heels, especially early in the season. This could work out if you end up drafting 2 QBs, not that I would with a Stafford caliber guy. But if you have a Tannehill staring you in the face later in the draft, I might grab him if he is the best talent available. If Stafford gets things rolling with a quickness, that might be appealing for trade bait, especially when quarterbacks start to go down with injuries. There was a time when his toughness was called into question, but the guy has not missed a game in the last three years.  In that same time frame, he has passed for 14,655 yards and 90 TDs. With the talent he now has, I think it is realistic that he throws for over 30 touchdowns easy. That would put him in between last year’s total (29) and that of his 2011 season (41). Yardage wise, I think he is closer to 5,000 than 4,500. Plus, he should be good for 2 or 3 rushing TDs as well. For Stafford to have an elite year, he will have to minimize his interceptions. Last year, out of the top 10 fantasy QBs, Stafford lost 38 points to INTs, second highest only to Dalton who lost 40 points. With the talent he has this year, chances are Stafford will not feel as much pressure to put it all on his shoulders. If that happens, his negative points will be minimized. All in all, Stafford could end up ranked in the top 5 fantasy QBs this year.



By Mo 

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Barry Sansders and Bobby Ross

When Barry Sanders retired following the 1998 season, the NFL was in shock. Sanders was just 31 years old, coming off a season where he rushed for 1,491 yards, and was only 1,457 yards away from breaking Walter Payton’s all-time rushing record. The question was, how could he leave the game? The answer to that question lies with Barry Sanders, but there are many who believe that it was due to a strained relationship between Barry Sanders and head coach Bobby Ross, and Barry’s father William will be the first to tell you that side of the story.

Before I get to the nastiness of this situation, let’s visit with Barry Sanders on the high road. Here is what Barry said publicly after announcing his retirement.

"The reason I am retiring is very simple, my desire to exit the game is greater than my desire to remain in it…I have enjoyed playing for two great head coaches, Wayne Fontes and Bobby Ross, who are good coaches and leaders," Sanders said in his statement. "I am not involved in a salary dispute of any kind. If I had played this season, I would have earned a more than satisfactory salary. . . . I have searched my heart through and through and feel comfortable with this decision."

There was a lot of speculation the reason Sanders decided not to come back was due to a rift with Bobby Ross and management. The thought was that Barry was not happy with the front office for not surrounding him with good enough talent to help him compete, and that he was unhappy with Ross and his offensive scheme. When Bobby Ross was questioned about why Sanders had left the game, he had this to say.

"My personal feeling is that we're looking at a situation where the man got tired of playing the game," Ross said at a news conference in Detroit. "Do I feel that Barry left because of me? No, I don't feel that."

How this came to the forefront, most likely, came from Barry’s father William. William and his son had an on again off again relationship, and while Barry is a very soft spoken person the same cannot be said for his father. Barry attended Oklahoma State, yet his father continued to be a vigilant supporter of Oklahoma…nice. William Sanders didn’t stop there. When asked who was the greatest running back, he would respond, “Jim Brown, followed by me, and Barry third”. When Barry retired, it was his father who let loose every conspiracy theory, but he really had it out for Bobby Ross.

In 2004 William Sanders was interviewed by Lansing radio station WQTX. The interview was just over 17 minutes in length, with most of the conversation centering on Barry and his upbringing, as well as general football talk. However, just over 13 minutes into the interview, the conversation turned to the topic of why William Sanders personally, had a problem with Bobby Ross.

Heuman: "What about him (Bobby Ross) didn’t you care for?
Sanders: "I didn’t like his attitude."
Heuman: "Bobby Ross’s?"
Sanders: "Yeah."
Heuman: "In what way, William?"
Sanders: "When Detroit signed Barry, one of the first things coach told Barry was that he wanted to meet his father."
Heuman: "Wayne Fontes?" (Wayne Fontes was Barry’s original Lions coach)
Sanders: "Yeah. Not to kiss my butt. (Pause) But to have a courtesy, out of respect."
Heuman: "And Bobby Ross never did that?"
Sanders: (In agreement) "And Bobby Ross never did that."
Heuman: "Why do you suppose he didn’t want to meet you? I’d a bought you dinner and buttered you up and bought you a condo to keep that guy (Barry) in the game."
Sanders: "Because Bobby Ross came out of Georgia and I think Bobby Ross got a mindset about black people and their place."
Heuman: "You think it was a racist thing?"
Sanders: (In agreement) "I think it was a racist thing. He never spoke to me. He never wanted to meet me. If he did, he didn’t."
Heuman: "Wait a minute now. You think Bobby Ross, with his southern background, his aversion to you and possibly Barry was based on race?"
Sanders: "I think so. (Pause) And I’ll debate him."
Heuman: (Pausing in contemplation) "Hmm."
Sanders: "Yeah."
Heuman: "Have you ever said that? I haven’t heard that."
Sanders: "Well, nobody’s really ever asked me."
Heuman: "Well I am now, and you’re saying that you think he was a racist?"
Sanders: "Yeah, I do. (Pause)Yeah. (Long pause) Because he never (Pause) Why would he not want to meet Barry’s father?"
Heuman: "I can’t answer that, but in fairness William Sanders, most of the players on Bobby Ross’s team were black."
Sanders: "That might be true too."
Heuman: "So how could you be a football coach in the NFL and be a racist? (William Laughs)You’d be out of work."
Sanders: "He’s out of work too isn’t he?"
Heuman: "Well, he’s got a job now. He’s coaching Army."
Sanders: "Yeah, well that’s probably the best place for him."
Heuman: (Laughs) "I see you don’t feel strongly about Bobby Ross?"
Sanders: "No I don’t because . . ."
Heuman: (Interrupting Sanders) "You never had a conversation with him?"
Sanders: "I walked the sideline many a day, and the man never said anything to me and I never said anything to him."
Heuman: "Did you ever think of walking up and saying ‘Hi, I’m Barry’s dad’?"
Sanders: "I thought about it, but then I did not want to intrude on his space. ‘Cause if he wanted to meet me (Pause) he was the head of the team. He could’ve did that easily."
Heuman: "He knew where to find you?"
Sanders: (In Agreement) "He knew where to find me."
Heuman: "And you insist that part of his problem with you (Pause) and maybe Barry was that he (Barry) was black?"
Sanders: "Yes. (Pause) Yes. (Long Pause-Then Voice Trailing Off) Yes."
Heuman: (With Emphasis and Amazement) "Wow."
Sanders: "Yeah."

Barry Sanders would never substantiate this account. While Barry wanted nothing to do with the spotlight, it seems his father could not stand being in the shadows. Therefore, William Sanders felt it necessary to continue to perpetuate this belief that Bobby Ross was a racist. Bobby Ross may not have been the best match as a coach for Barry Sanders, but the simple statements made by Barry explaining why he retired still make the most sense. Meanwhile, the overblown reactions of his father made awesome theater.

By Houdini

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Dick "Night Train" Lane

Richard "Dick" Lane (April 16, 1927 – January 29, 2002)  was born in Austin, Texas and was raised by Ella Lane, who found him abandoned as an infant. This didn't hamper his progress growing up, as he graduated high school, went to one year of junior college and then enlisted in the United States Army for four years.

In 1952, Lane visited Los Angeles Rams training camp looking for a job. He was given a look at wide receiver, but the Rams thought it would be best for him to play defensive back. Los Angeles already were stacked at wide receiver with future Hall of Fame players Tom Fears and Elroy Hirsch. Coach Joe Stydahar made the correct decision as Dick Lane was a star at the position. Dick stood at 6'2 and weighed 210 pounds. He was agile, had exceptional speed, and quick reflexes, he was also driven to succeed, which showed in his tackling skills. Lane was great in the open-field, and would take chances to make plays happen.

In Lane's rookie year, he had 14 interceptions, a record that stood for over 60 years, even though he played in 12 games, and in this era of football, the NFL teams passed the ball at a low frequency in compared to today's playbook. Dick Lane played with a ferocious style, and was nicknamed "Night Train" due to his locker room teammate Tom Fears love of the song entitled "Night Train." The nickname took some getting used to, but when he used his arms to the throat or head of a offensive player to bring him down, the term Night Train Neck Tie developed quickly. The NFL eventually had to outlaw this action, due to injuries of players being "head-hunted." He played as a member of the Los Angeles Rams for two years before being traded to the Chicago Cardinals (1954-59).
Dick Lane then moved on to play for the Detroit Lions, and finished his career there. He played from 1960-1965. With the Lions he recorded 21 interceptions for 272 yards and one touchdown. He was All-NFL four times (1960-63) and named to the Pro Bowl three times (1961-63). This was added to the two other times he was an All-NFL, and the four other times he was a Pro-Bowl player.
In 1969, Lane was named the best cornerback of the first fifty-years of pro football, then was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1974. He recorded 68 interceptions, 1,207 returned yards, five touchdowns, 11 fumble recoveries, eight receptions for 253 yards and one touchdown. He was ranked number 19 in the Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, and number one of all defensive backs. Dick is also a member of the Cardinals' Ring of Honor at University Phoenix Stadium.

Dick Lane was married three times, one of which was jazz singer Dinah Washington. Lane passed away in 2002 from complications of a heart attack, and also suffered from diabetes and bad knees. He is survived by his three sons and one grand-daughter.

Lane's Career Lions' Stats

By Vaaal-Verde

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Herman Moore

Herman Joseph Moore (born October 20, 1969) grew up in Danville, Virginia where he attended George Washington High School. Upon graduation, Moore went to Virginia University. Herman had great size and speed. He stood 6'4 and 218 pounds, which made match-up problems for defenses.

Herman Moore was a two-sport athlete at Virginia, and ranks second all-time in receptions, and holds the school record in the high jump. He was able to finish second in career yards with 2,504. He ranks first in receiving yards in a season with 1,190 yards on 54 receptions including 13 touchdowns in 1990. In the 1989 season, he had 36 receptions for 848 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. His career college numbers were incredible. He finished with 114 receptions for 2,504 yards and 27 touchdowns in just three seasons. This led him to be a first round choice, 10th overall, in 1991, by the Detroit Lions.

In his rookie year, he did not start any games, but finished the season with 11 receptions for 135 yards. In the 1992 and 1993 seasons, he expanded his role for the team, as he made 27 starts and had 112 receptions 1900 yards and 10 touchdowns. The next five seasons were Herman Moore's best. He started all but one game, and had 487 receptions for 6,431 yards and 47 touchdowns. From 1999-2001, he didn't do much, as he only caught 60 passes for 707 yards and five touchdowns. In 2002, he moved on to the Giants, but did not produce any stats.

He is possibly the best wide receiver the Lions have had prior to Calvin Johnson. He played in 145 games in 11 seasons and was a four time Pro-Bowler. He is the career receptions holder with 670, and his career 62 touchdowns was broken by Johnson this year, and Calvin also broke his career receiving yards of 9,174. In December of 1995 against the Bears he totaled 14 receptions for 183 yards, fifth best in Detroit history.

Moore was part of six playoff appearances, and two division winners. His playoff statistics include 27 receptions for 474 yards and two touchdowns. This included a 1995 game where he had seven receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles. Herman also had three 100 reception seasons.

Herman Moore is now joining a new team. The "Game on Cancer" has him trying to raise money for cancer research. He lost his father to it, and he and the Lions are trying to raise $15 million in three years, and in the process is making commercials to help raise awareness. He has teamed with the Henry Ford Health Systems.

By Vaaal-Verde

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Jack Christiansen was a game changer

Jack Christiansen was one of the finest defensive players to play in the NFL, and his skills helped to revolutionize the game. At this point you may be asking yourself, who is Jack Christiansen? Jack was a star for the Detroit Lions during the 1950’s, and was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame. Christiansen is one of those players that would still thrive in today’s game.

Christiansen was not the prototypical football player of the time; in fact he was quite undersized. Standing at 6’1”, but only weighing 162 pounds, Jack did not try out for the football team at Colorado A&M, now Colorado State University, and instead ran track. It was in his sophomore season that he was convinced to play football and he became an instant star. Christiansen was used a kick returner, defensive back and running back.  Jack continued to run track during this time. In 1949 Christiansen set the school’s record in the 440-yard dash at 47.6 seconds, a record that stood for over 20 years. In 1950 he ran the 100-yard dash in 9.8 seconds, and the 200 in 21.8 seconds, he was a bona fide speedster. The current track at CSU is named for Jack Christiansen, and he remains the only CSU athlete ever named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Being as undersized as he was, there were many teams in the NFL that passed on Christiansen, but the Lions drafted him in the 6th round of the 1951 draft. That would end up being a steal of a pick. Jack made his first impact on the league by using his speed in the kick and punt return game. The speedster had 18 punt returns for 343 yards and four touchdowns, while adding another 270 yards on 11 kick returns. The four touchdowns that he scored on punts went for 47, 69, 71, and 89 yards. Christiansen had made his mark as a big play threat, and the league took notice.

When teams faced the Lions they started to employ a new strategy when punting to Jack. Teams began using a spread formation on punts, in order to try and contain Christiansen. That would prove to be a difficult thing to do. In his second season Jack had 15 punt returns for 322 yards with two more scores. He also added 409 yards on 16 kick returns. During his eight year career Jack had 59 kick returns for 1,329 yards, and 85 punt returns for 1,084 yards and eight scores. Christiansen was the first dynamic kick return specialist in the game, but he was known for his defensive, and so were the Lions during his eight years.

While the bulk of Christiansen’s damage in the return game was done in his first two seasons, starting in his third year is when his defensive skills really emerged. In 1953 Jack had 12 interceptions, and returned one of them 92 yards for a touchdown. Between 1953-1957 Christiansen had 41 interceptions, three of which he returned for scores. He would lead the league in interceptions in 1953 and 1957. He was also the unquestioned leader of the Lions defensive backfield.

The Lions players, as well as their fans referred to the team’s defensive backfield as “Chris’ Crew”, for Christiansen’s awesome play and stellar leadership. Just as Jack forced the league’s defensives to adapt their formations to deal with his return abilities, he forced offensives to alter their game plans when throwing the ball. In the modern NFL we are well aware of the necessity of having a shut down corner, but before Christiansen nobody had seen such a player. When teams faced the Lions, the new mantra was don’t throw in Christiansen’s area, and, oh yeah, don’t punt to him either. Jack was that rare breed who was just an amazing athlete, and was able to excel in many areas.

Christiansen was named to five consecutive Pro Bowls between 1954-1958, and was named All-Pro between 1952-1957.  Jack helped lead the Lions to NFL Championships in 1952, 1953 and 1957, and was named to 1950’s All Decade Team. Christiansen was also named to the NFL’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. This is the kind of player that I wish I could see compete in today’s NFL, and many of the players from Devin Hester to Richard Sherman owe their ability to earn a big paycheck to Christiansen and his groundbreaking abilities.

By Houdini

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Bush and space

Head coach Jim Caldwell wants to get the football to Reggie Bush "with a little more space," according to the Detroit Lions home website.

Bush has not been his typical self in the last two games, as he has a Bush has just 15 carries and eight catches through two games. He is averaging 2.7 yards per carry and 6.9 yards per reception. He averaged 4.5 yards per carry and 9.4 yards per catch in 2013.

Pyro's take: It is imperative that Bush is used in the correct way, what is concerning is that his large drop in yards per carry, as 2.7 gets someone benched quickly. Theo Riddick and Joique Bell could easily take over, but that is still ways away. Look for the Lions to get Bush the ball in more advantageous ways as they take on the Packers this Sunday.

09/16/14, 03:29 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Nimble Matt

Matt Stafford showed off some feet skills on Monday Night Football against the New York Giants. Several times throughout the game he moved to the outside to give players time to run their routes. He hit Megatron on a long pass for a touchdown, by bringing in the defense. He also ran for a score.

Calvin Johnson mentioned that Stafford has been working on his footwork, and the quarterback agreed, “I guess it’s paying off,” Stafford said of the footwork drills. “I think you guys think I’m Cam Newton out here. “I’m buying a couple extra seconds. It’s nothing to write home about.”

Pyro's take: The Detroit Lions have plenty of weapons, but if Stafford continues to move around the pocket and run for touchdowns/first downs, this will bring in the defense, and get those skilled players more room to roam. This offense can be extra scary this year, time will tell.

09/10/14, 01:49 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Megatron mega stats

Calvin Johnson was phenomenal in the win against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. Megatron has gotten to the point that every week its some kind of record ready to fall. On Monday, Calvin Johnson matched the all-time Detroit Lions receiving record for consecutive games with a catch (107), tying him with Herman Moore.

Johnson is only 29 but he has 579 receptions for 9,492 yards, yet, with all these numbers, Monday was his best opening game yet. How did he do it? "First, he did it while playing a lower percentage of snaps than was customary in years past. He took off more plays -- 13 of 67 -- which is part of Caldwell's efforts to keep Johnson healthy for the 17-week marathon." Second, Golden Tate is finally a player that can take pressure off of Megatron, Tate had six receptions for 93 yards.

Pyro's take: Nothing more to say than start Megatron every week. He wont bring in these great numbers every week, but he should be a top 10 guy each week.

I also like how they are keeping him protected, this is much easier to do when your blowing-out a team, but it is probably the Detroit Lions goal each week.

09/09/14, 12:15 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Leshoure released

The Detroit Lions felt it best to release Mikel Leshoure after three seasons with the team. He hardly got to see the field last season, getting only two attempts. With Joique Bell and Reggie Bush it was a difficult place for Leshoure to be in. He doesn't play special teams, and Bell, Bush, and Theo Riddick get all the carries. In three seasons, he has 217 carries for 807 yards (3.71 YPC) with nine touchdowns and 34 catches for 214 yards.

Leshoure’s rocky tenure in Detroit also included two arrests in the spring of 2012 for marijuana possession and a two-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

Pyro's take: Mikel Leshoure should land somewhere. He has solid talent and could be a multi-purpose back for a team needing assistance in the passing game. Leshoure just unfortunately got caught in they grey area, therefore watch where he lands, and decide if he will have the opportunity to produce, before making him part of your fantasy roster.

08/30/14, 12:56 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Getting ready for the Megatron effect

Johnson is scheduled to play for the first time this preseason vs. Jacksonville at Ford Field on Friday. That means for the first time these coaches will have an opportunity to see how an opponent might scheme to stop Megatron in this new offense.

For the first time they'll see how a team reacts to Johnson, Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew and Reggie Bush on the field together in this scheme.

“There are different things that require a different reaction depending on how they deal with him,” Caldwell said. “Depending on how they deal with him on a coverage standpoint, sometimes opens things up maybe on your passing game on the opposite side, or inside on the same side, or with your running game.

“The most important thing is to give him an opportunity to play. This is the first time this year that he’ll be in a contest. So I’m looking forward to letting him get out there a little bit and see how it goes.”

Pyro's take: This next preseason game, Johnson's first, will be very important for fantasy owners of the other Detroit Lions. Since his arrival in Detoit, Megatron has not had the help in the receiving game that he does this year. The defensive coverage should roll to Johnson, and it will be interesting to see which of those other players (Tate, Bush, Bell, Ebron) steps up when it does.

Stafford has looked fantastic this preseason without Calvin, so it will also be interesting to see if he tries to force some passes to him early. This offense could go off the charts if the other Lions, let's call em' the cubs, can exploit the defense for selling out to stop Calvin, the king of jungle that is Detroit.

08/19/14, 08:13 PM CDT by Houdini

Megatron wearing a splint as protection only

Calvin Johnson confirmed to on Wednesday that he has received a fabricated splint to put on his once-injured finger for protective purposes only.

Johnson had surgery on his injured finger after the 2013 season and declined to provide more details about the splint or the finger following practice Wednesday. It is unclear how often Johnson plans to wear the fabricated splint. In the spring, Johnson said the finger was stuck at 90 degrees during the 2013 season. In the 2012 season, he also played with injured fingers.

He has shown no ill effects of either his finger or knee surgeries during training camp, as he has consistently beaten cornerbacks in drills.

Pyro's take: Calvin is still the best receiving option in the game, and even with his injuries last season still had 84 receptions for 1,492 yards with 12 only 14 games. Calvin is healthy, and has more weapons around him to finally make defenses look elsewhere. A healthy Megatron is going to bring major production this season, and having a chip on his should from last year doesn't hurt either.

08/15/14, 04:55 PM CDT by Houdini

Bush looking to stay productive

Bush is coming off one of the most productive seasons of his career, and a week into training camp he looks and sounds as determined as ever.

Last year, he rushed for 1,000 yards for the second time in three seasons, finished second on the Lions with 54 catches and had more offensive touches (rushes and receptions combined) than he has ever had in his career.

Of the 12 other players who topped 1,000 yards rushing last year, only one — Frank Gore — was older than Bush.

Bush signed a four-year, $16-million contract with the Lions last spring and said he plans to play at least the duration of the deal if not longer.

“I don’t want to put a timetable on it because I don’t know,” Bush said. “I don’t know if it’s five (years), four, three, six. I’m not sure. But I know if I get to 15 that’ll be a blessing.”

Pyro's take: Bush has played in the league for eight seasons, and is entering his ninth. Health had been an issue for Reggie earlier in his career, but he has only missed three games over the past three seasons. If Reggie ends up playing 15 seasons, I would be surprised, but I am only concerned about what he can do this year.

The addition of Tate and Ebron to the offense should help to take some pressure off of Bush. Reggie will need to do a better job in the receiving game this season. Last season he was targeted 80 times, but only had 54 catches. I am still confident that Bush will have a strong season, and is a solid RB2 in my mind.

08/05/14, 08:57 PM CDT by Houdini

Megatron happy to have Tate

“I think you realize that he’s a very important piece to our offense,” head coach Jim Caldwell said of Tate. “He adds a lot just in terms of his ability to catch the ball, run with it, block, he’s a high-energy guy. His leadership is extremely important as well.”

Tate is the best No. 2 receiver the Lions have teamed with Johnson and that’s an important piece to have if the Lions are going to be a better all-around offense.

“Playing away from one of the best receivers in the league and one of the best to ever play the game is going to be fun,” Tate said. “He’s going to open it up for me and I’m going to do my best to hold my part and open it up for him.

“I think we can be dangerous if we just play fundamental-sound football."

Johnson has been begging for another receiver to step up and take advantage of one-on-one matchups the last few years. He thinks he finally might have that missing piece in Tate and tight end Eric Ebron.

"Golden's going to get a lot of one-on-one coverage," Johnson said. "With all the weapons we have, those one-on-ones will go full circle and I might get some more myself.

Pyro's take: Tate is an interesting fantasy player this season. Last season in his fourth season in Seattle he had career highs with 64 catches for 898 yards. He also added five touchdowns. That was playing for a team that only threw for 3,236 yards. Now Tate joins the Lions as their second best target in the passing game, which threw for 4,482 yards. Golden has a golden opportunity in Detroit, and should be able to reach his first 1,000-yard season. He should still be considered a WR3 as you enter your drafts.

08/01/14, 05:45 PM CDT by Houdini

Stafford embracing new offense

Stafford said he’s doing everything he can to immerse himself in Joe Lombardi’s offense and has benefitted from the jump he got on training camp when he reported Tuesday with the rookies and other quarterbacks.

There’s a lot of pressure on Stafford to pick up this offense quickly and be the floor general for what’s expected to be a potent Lions attack.

“Learning a new offense and learning new coaches, just getting to know them on both sides of the
football. Learning new teammates. That part of it is fun. It’s a challenge, but we’re excited about it.”

“When you can master yourself, which takes time and effort, it’s proven (this offense) can be successful,” Stafford said.

Pyro's take: Stafford has more weapons at his disposal, than he has had in his previous five seasons in Detroit. In Joe Lombardi's offense Stafford may not throw as much as he has the past the three seasons (2,024 attpempts or 674 per season), but he should be more effective. The Lions were an undisciplined team under Jim Schwartz, and Stafford was forced to overcome those mistakes. This should be the year Second half Staff becomes full-time Staff.

07/28/14, 09:43 PM CDT by Houdini

Megatron benefits from change of scheme

Calvin Johnson was picked by Tim Twentyman who is Detroit Lions senior writer and insider to be benefited the most by the new offensive scheme. Head coach Jim Caldwell has inserted a new offense, and even though there is no confirmation yet, it seems they are going to run a one-back offense than two-back.

Also, according to Tim Twentyman "they could end up playing a lot of up-tempo (maybe even no huddle) offense with two tight ends, Johnson should really benefit from that. The addition of tight end Eric Ebron and receiver Golden Tate really gives Stafford options at the line of scrimmage in an up-tempo offense that will limit substitution packages by the defense."

Pyro's take: Anything that benefits Calvin Johnson is great news. He is the best NFL and fantasy wide reciever out there. Caldwell did not have much offensive success in Baltimore, but, the Lions are much better offensively, and if Caldwell scheme works, this could mean more productivity out of Megatron, and that's just scary.

06/17/14, 07:17 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Joique's Instagram reveals knee injury

Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell was in attendance, but didn't participate in the team's three-day, voluntary minicamp two weeks ago. It appears he is battling a knee injury based on a photo posted to his Instagram account Wednesday afternoon.

The photo shows the left knee wrapped up with a pair of crutches beside him in the back seat of a vehicle. The caption reads, "Be (back) in no time."

Pyro's take: Never a good sign when players are dealing with knee injuries, but if he needed to have some clean-up procedure done this is the time to do it. I will not be concerned unless he misses time at training camp.

05/22/14, 05:23 PM CDT by Houdini

Tate to join Lion's passing attack

The team announced Wednesday that it has agreed to a five-year deal with wide receiver Golden Tate. Terms were not disclosed, but Tate told ESPN's Josina Anderson the deal is for $31 million with $13.25 million guaranteed.

Tate was a second-round draft choice by the Seahawks out of Notre Dame in 2010 and put together his best season last year with 64 receptions for 898 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Pyro's take: Tate should provide a great second option for Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions. The Lions second wide receiver position was one of the most attractive fantasy positions around the league and Tate is a great fit. He can play in the outside and in the slot and has been a reliable receiver in a run oriented offense. Tate is best after the catch where he can showcase his speed (4.42) and ability to work in space which is something the Lions needed. Moving to a more pass happy attack should really bolster Tate's fantasy value.

Tate with the Lions has 80 catch 1,200 yard potential with around 8 touchdowns.

03/12/14, 04:16 PM CDT by Stagg Party

Lions show the love, re-sign Bell to three-year contract

The Detroit Lions have extended the contract of running back Joique Bell by two years, $7 million, including $4.3 million guaranteed.

The extension, in essence, keeps Bell in Detroit through the 2016 season as the full contract comes out to three-years, $9.3 million.

Pyro's take: Great move by Detroit.

Reggie Bush may only be 29 years old, but he's lost a lot of tread on his tires over the last three years (804 touches) and frankly, there are quite a few pundits out there who believe Joique is the better RB right now anyway.

With Jim Caldwell as their new head coach and former Saints QB coach, Joe Lombardi, as their new offensive coordinator, the Lions are not only going to need Bell quite a bit in 2014, but may actually lean on him over stretches as they move away from the gunslinger mentality their offense took on the past few years.

03/11/14, 11:57 AM CDT by Dawgmaticå

Tate could be enticed to become a Jet

Free agency can offer an exciting influx of talent for any team with cap space, but Jets fans badly want one position filled more than any other: wide receiver. Pass catchers will be the focal point of the Jets’ offseason, and rightfully so, as they have quite possibly the worst receiving corps in the entire league.

Fortunately for the Jets, GM John Idzik should have just shy of $50 million to play with, according to

There’s reunion potential for Idzik and Tate here, as the two were together in Seattle. Tate said he’d love to remain with the Seahawks, but money can change things. Tate has improved in each of his four seasons and is coming off his best year yet, leading the Seahawks in receiving yards with 898 on 64 catches and five touchdowns.

Pyro's take: There is no doubt that the Jets need help at receiver, and with over $50 million in cap space they will have a good chance at enticing Tate away from Seattle.

Tate only made $880,000 in 2013, and he has already stated that he wants a deal better than what Riley Cooper got, which was a 5-year deal worth about $4.5 million per year. The Seahawks only have $18 million in cap space, so if Tate wants that big of a deal he may need to go elsewhere.

If Tate ends up in New York it will not be a boon to his fantasy potential, as the Jets are still a woeful offense that still have questions about their quarterback.

03/09/14, 01:43 PM CDT by Houdini

Top Tight End Prospect Posts Solid 40 Time

Eric Ebron out of the University of North Carolina solidified his stock in the eyes of scouts by running an unofficial 4.50 forty at the NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday. Ebron is already considered the best tight end in this class with a blend of speed and size that NFL Scouts are looking for.

During his final season at North Carolina Ebron caught 62 passes for 973 yards and 3 touchdowns. Last week Ebron claimed to be faster than his ex-teammate Giovani Bernard who posted a 4.53 forty time at last seasons combine.

Pyro's take: Ebron is a great prospect for NFL teams and should slide flawlessly into a teams move tight end role. he should be selected in the first half of the first round and be featured in a teams offense. If Ebron goes to the right team he could be a solid fantasy contributor from day one, but most tight ends tend to struggle during their rookie seasons as the adjust to the NFL game.

Ebron in the right situation could be a low tier tight end one/high tight end two. He might be the second or third pass catcher selected overall in this seasons draft and will be a hot commodity in dynasty formats. I didn't question his athletic ability before the combine, but he assured all doubters of his top tier draft status and could be the first tight end selected in the top ten since Vernon Davis in 2006, whose ACC record for career yardage by a tight end he broke this season.

02/22/14, 02:07 PM CST by Stagg Party

Broyles' 2014 Status

"Broyles is currently in Dallas rehabbing and training. He began jogging two weeks ago and recently began running, cutting, jumping and rebuilding the left calf muscle that atrophied after the surgery," wrote Tim Twentyman of

Pyro's take: Broyles has been anything but healthy to this point in his NFL career. He has suffered two torn ACL's and his latest injury was a torn achilles that caused him to miss the second half of last season. Broyles has had one productive game as a pro, a six catch 126 yard outburst against the Houston Texans in 2012.

Broyles might be best known for holding the career reception record in the FBS but his NFL career has been marred by injuries. Hearing that he has already begun his rehab is encouraging but he is still a guy with a history of injuries and almost no track record of success at the NFL level. The Lions might also look to bring in other options this offseason through free agency and/or the draft so Broyles' status will be worth monitoring. Whoever ends up with the job across from Calvin Johnson looks like a guy you will want to own but Broyles might not be healthy enough to be that guy and my end up out of the league just as fast as he got in.

02/17/14, 04:28 PM CST by Stagg Party

Bush expects to play against the Ravens

Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush said his strained right calf is feeling better and he expects to play Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens.

Bush was a late scratch for Sunday’s 34-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles when he aggravated an injury he first suffered in practice last week during pregame warm-ups.

Bush said he was jogging before the game when he felt his leg tighten. He retreated to the locker room to try and warm the muscle up, but wasn’t able to play.

“I can’t even sit here and lie and say I would have been able to push through it,” Bush said. “I couldn’t push through it.”

Asked if he expects to play against the Ravens, Bush said yes.

“It’s very frustrating because what was at stake, playing on the road and just being out there with my teammates,” he said. “It’s always hard watching from the sideline being a spectator. I hate it, so I look forward to getting back this week.”

Pyro's take: If you own Bush in fantasy and were able to survive last week, congrats. This week Reggie expects to return, but he will return to face a stout Ravens defense that is fourth best against running backs.

Reggie will have the benefit of playing at home, so there will no issue with the weather this week. Bush may end up doing more damage in the passing game this week, but if he plays this week he is a good RB2 option.

12/11/13, 05:41 PM CST by Houdini

Eagles will have their hands full with Megatron

The Eagles' defense keeps passing tests, but the tests keep getting harder.

This week, the Birds stack their streak of not having allowed more than 21 points in a game, eight games in a row, up against the NFL's second-ranked offense, in the visiting Detroit Lions.

The focal point, after quarterback Matthew Stafford, obviously will be Detroit's 6-5, 236-pound wideout, Calvin Johnson, the NFL's most dominant receiver. Johnson has 72 catches for 1,299 yards and a dozen touchdowns in 11 games.

You can probably give up more than a few short catches to Bush and Bell and still beat the Lions. Megatron is the guy with the dozen touchdowns, though, the main reason why the Lions' red-zone offense is so lethal.

"When I'm playing at the top of my game, I don't fear anyone," Williams said yesterday, when asked about the Johnson challenge. "I want those guys to work hard for everything they get. As far as me being physical, I plan on doing that, doing the things that have made me successful thus far in the season. I don't change up anything just because it's Calvin Johnson out there."

Pyro's take: The Eagles defenders can say all they want, but they are in trouble this week. Megatron should be able to blow up against the Eagles who rank dead last in defense against receivers. They are surrendering 29.9 points a game on the season.

Johnson will be dominate the Eagles this week. He is a must start and should be the number one receiver when this week comes to end.

12/07/13, 01:37 PM CST by Houdini

Biush misses second straight practice

Reggie Bush isn’t practicing, due to a calf injury that showed up on the injury report for the first time this week, but the Detroit Lions’ leading rusher is still working on his ball security.

Bush spent part of the open session of today’s practice with a football tucked into his arm, part of his response to the fumbling issues that have plagued him this season.

Bush, who has missed two straight practices, has lost three fumbles in the last five games and is among the league leaders in dropped passes.

“I’m just trying to get an edge and find any little bit of time where I can just constantly remind myself and making sure that I am correcting my mistakes and doing everything I can (so) whenever my number is called on Sundays that I am not going to turn the ball over,” Bush explained Wednesday.

Pyro's take: Bush has been dinged up all season, and now he is being limited by a calf injury he sustained in practice. Joique Bell has been taking the snaps in Bush's absence and could be in for a major workload if Bush is unable to play.

I still expect Reggie to take the field on Sunday, but if the calf acts up he could be limited. This is rough news, because if 100% this is a great match-up for him against the Eagles.

12/05/13, 05:42 PM CST by Houdini

Megatron visits Revis Island

when asked if he feels he is the best cornerback in the league, Revis wouldn't make a proclamation.

"I feel great," he said on a conference call with Detroit reporters. "I feel like Tony the Tiger."

Revis can play coy all he wants because his one performance against Johnson in 2010 speaks for itself.

"I mean, one catch for 13 yards. What do you think?" Revis said when asked if he won the battle.

The Jets won that game, 23-20, in overtime, but Johnson has been more productive in every game since. He leads the NFL this season with 1,083 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

Since that game, Revis said he hasn't seen much change from Johnson as a player, and he thinks Johnson's size, 6-foot-5 and 236 pounds, and speed makes him so great.

"It's almost like your ideal receiver," Revis said. "He's like that create-a-player on Madden where you put his overall at 99. He's got the fastest speed on there; his strength and everything is maximized to another level."

"He's a massive receiver who can run, who can catch and who can block."

Pyro's take: Revis may have had the best of Johnson back in 2010, but this is 2013. Megatron heads into this game on a major role. Over his last four games Calvin has 35 catches for 746 yards and a ridiculous 8 touchdowns.

Revis likes to jam receivers off the line, but as he said, he is the create a player on Madden. Megatron should be able to exact his revenge on Revis for their 2010 match-up.

11/20/13, 08:56 PM CST by Houdini


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