Stafford and his favorite targets – Golden Tate (82 catches, 885 yards, four touchdowns) and former Bengals receiver Marvin Jones Jr. (54 catches for a career-high 970 yards, eight TDs) – have Detroit ranked sixth in passing offense at 263.5 yards per game.
But only the 32nd-ranked Bengals (77.0) are worse in rushing offense than Detroit (77.4).
›› Marvin: We’re wasting our time talking about this
It’s been an ongoing issue for the Lions, who haven’t had a 100-yard rusher since Reggie Bush on Nov. 28, 2013, a span of 66 games.
Only twice this year have they had a back top 54 yards. Ameer Abdullah leads the team with 513 yards and three TDs, while Theo Riddick has 260 yards and three TDs.
The heavy pass-run imbalance has Detroit ranked near the middle of the pack at 13th in total offense (340.9).
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Defensively, the Lions are near the bottom of the league in yards allowed (27th, 362.3) and points allowed (25th, 24.2).
Detroit doesn’t get a lot of pressure on the quarterback with just 28 sacks, but they’ll be going against a Bengals offensive line that appears to have lost starting tackles Cedric Ogbeuhi and Andre Smith to season-ending injuries Sunday in Minnesota.
If the Lions are able to win, they will clinch back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1994-95, which also was the last time they went to the playoffs in consecutive seasons.
Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones was a fifth-round draft pick (166th overall) of the Bengals in 2012 and was with Cincinnati through the 2015 season … Bengals defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow and Lions center/guard Graham Glasgow are brothers, and they played together at the University of Michigan … Lions running back Tion Green played at the University of Cincinnati … Lions tackle Taylor Decker is from Vandalia (Vandalia Butler High School) and played at Ohio State … Bengals running back Cedric Peerman (Reserve/Injured) was with the Lions during the 2009 season … Bengals tackle Jake Fisher (Reserve/Non-Football Illness) is from Traverse City, Michigan (Traverse City West High School) … Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard played at Michigan State University … Lions defensive tackle Christian Ringo was with the Bengals briefly earlier this season … Bengals assistant head coach/offensive line coach Paul Alexander coached at the University of Michigan from 1985-86, and at Central Michigan University from 1987-91 … Lions linebackers coach Bill Sheridan coached at the University of Cincinnati from 1989-91.
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AFC North Outlook
Baltimore (8-6) vs. Indianapolis (3-11) on Saturday afternoon. The Ravens can clinch their first playoff berth since 2014 by winning their final two games, the first of which is against a Colts team that has beaten them in seven of the last eight meetings.
Cleveland (0-14) at Chicago (4-9) on Sunday afternoon. The Browns will try to get their first win on Christmas eve for the second year in a row, but in order to do it they'll have to win in Chicago for the first time since 1969.
Pittsburgh (11-3) at Houston (4-10) on Monday afternoon. The Steelers need a win to stay ahead of Jacksonville for the No. 2 seed in the playoffs that comes with a first-round bye.
Detroit Lions (8-6) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (5-9)
When: 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
TV: Ch. 19, 45
Radio: 700-AM, 1530-AM, 102.7-FM, 104.7-FM