Detroit Lions Receivers Need to Step Up Immediately & More NFC North News

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 17: Emanuel Cook #26 of the Baltimore Ravens tackles Ryan Broyles #84 of the Detroit Lions during the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on August 17, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

They formed a committee, since Burleson's on the block,

Cause he broke his darn leg, but the games will not stop!

- apologies to the Beastie Boys....and everyone reading

With Nate Burleson down for the count, Tim Twentyman of reports that the team will fill his role by committee.

That's all well and good for a bit, but the truth is they need someone to step up all the way and take over.

Burleson was up and down this season, but next to Calvin Johnson, no other receiver was targeted as often. It's not even close. Burleson was thrown at 43 times—Titus Young was at just 29.

Now, Young has been hampered by injuries and rookie Ryan Broyles is really only getting healthy, so the targets might have increased anyway, but with Burleson down, someone needs to step up.

Really, the entire offense needs to step up as badly as they have played at times. Specifically, though, someone needs to not only be as reliable as Burleson (who caught 62.8 percent of his targets) but produce even more.

Because even though Burleson was reliable, it wasn't enough to make teams pay for blanketing Calvin Johnson—so teams keep on blanketing him and keeping him from producing as he should.

Someone needs to step up—really that would be the case regardless of any injury to Burleson because he wasn't getting it done.

So this is a chance for Broyles to step up and prove he was worth the second rounder or Young to step up and prove that he can be the receiver who he looked like in preseason.

Their team needs them, Stafford needs them and while a committee is all well and good, the offense doesn't need a committee—it needs a player.

Who will it be? Toss your thoughts in the comments or on twitter.

On to the rest of the NFC North....


Chicago Bears

Former Bears tight end Greg Olsen returns to Chicago while in the midst of some family issues, but with the support of teammates both old and new, according to Vaughn McClure of the Tribune.

Sean Jensen of the Sun-Times reports Charles Tillman's efforts to shut down Calvin Johnson earn him consideration from his teammates as one of the best corners in the game.

Michael Wright talks about which players have stock trending up and which are sliding down at ESPNChicago.


Detroit Lions

Ndamukong Suh, recently named the NFL's most disliked player, is not going to engage in a debate about his hit on Jay Cutler with Cutler's teammate Brandon Marshall, according to Anwar Richardson of

In preparation for his battle with Calvin Johnson, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has changed his twitter handle to 'Optimus Prime' according to David Birkett of the Free Press.

Chris McCosky of the  Detroit News says that despite slumping, Stafford is remaining calm.


Green Bay Packers's Zach Kruse takes a look at some things you can watch in the game against the Jaguars.

Gary D'Amato of the Journal-Sentinel says Randall Cobb has thrived in his new expanded role.

Bleacher Report's Brian Carriveau took a few minutes to break down Aaron Rodgers' midseason form.


Minnesota Vikings

Aaron Nagler breaks down what Christian Ponder has to do to become an 'elite' quarterback in the NFL over at The Go Route.'s NFC North blog writer Kevin Seifert says the Vikings are moving away from heavy blitzing

Tom Pelissero says the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tend to score first in his game preview at


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Follow me on Twitter at @andrew_garda.