Of course, the downside for the Motor City is that the men wearing Honolulu blue and silver are also the second-best team in the NFC North as Packers games look like men playing against boys.

However, as long as their quarterback can shake his injury-prone rep, the Lions, loaded with youth, athleticism and talent, could be a 12- to 13-win team.

Suddenly the Packers-Lions game on Thanksgiving Day at Ford Field looks like an electric matchup — as opposed to one that usually, when combined with an overdose of tryptophan and carbs, puts even the most ardent NFL fan to sleep.

ssvekis@tribune.com

Staying healthy key

Sam Farmer

Los Angeles Times

It's far too early to project where the Lions might wind up. But in terms of talent, they are definitely a team that could make a deep run into the playoffs and maybe more.

Staying healthy is the key, especially for the big three of quarterback Matthew Stafford, receiver Calvin Johnson and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

What we do know about the Lions is they believe they're never out of a game, as evidenced by their epic comebacks in consecutive weeks.

It will be interesting to see how this team plays in cold-weather road games. It's a classic dome team in all respects, mostly because of that big defensive front that relies on size as much as speed.

sfarmer@tribune.com