MIKE O'HARA

O'HARA'S FINAL THOUGHTS: Lions enter this game with Calvin Johnson in the starting lineup

Posted Oct 13, 2013

It wasn't surprising to see Calvin Johnson in the starting lineup Sunday after he seemed much more upbeat during pregame warmups

CLEVELAND – Final thoughts awaiting kickoff for Sunday's Lions-Browns game at First-Energy Stadium:

Megatron watch: The progression in practice during the week and what he did in the early workout before the pre-game drills made it no surprise that Calvin Johnson was active after missing last week's game at Green Bay with a knee injury.

Johnson ran routes and caught passes and seemed upbeat Sunday. That was not the case last week, when he did not run routes and appeared downcast before the Lions went out to play the Packers.

The big question for the Lions on offense becomes how his presence affects the Browns' defense, and what impact it has on the Lions' running game and the other receivers.

Only tight end Brandon Pettigrew stepped up his game against Green Bay last week.

The Lions gave up a season-high five sacks, and Reggie Bush was held to 44 yards on 13 carries. He got 20 yards on one run. On the other 12 carries he netted 24 yards – just two yards per attempt.

Focus: Lions safety Louis Delmas has more things to focus on than the standings and whether the Lions are keeping pace with first place in the NFC North.

If the Lions play well and win games, their place in the standings will take care of itself.

The Lions go into Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns with a 3-2 record and a half game behind the first-place Bears, who held on for a 27-21 victory over the Giants on Thursday night.

A victory over Cleveland would keep the Lions tied with the Bears, whom they defeated at home in Game 4.

"Our focus is not on holding position," Delmas said. "If we went in with that mentality it would throw us off and keep us unfocused on the main task of the day.

"That's actually putting ourselves in position to play the Browns and execute."

Calvin JohnsonJohnson will play today after missing last week at Green Bay. (Photo: G. Smith/Detroit Lions)

Lion to watch: Wide receiver Ryan Broyles has progressed steadily in his return from a knee injury sustained late last season. He looks quicker and more explosive and should be ready to take some of the receiving load.

Warrior mentality: The Browns signed Willis McGahee, who had not been with any team, when they traded Trent Richardson to the Colts after Game 2.

McGahee, in his 11th season, was Buffalo's first-round pick in 2003 and has rushed for 1,000 yards for the Bills, Ravens and Broncos.

McGahee is one of the NFL's ultimate warriors, and he has brought that passion to the Browns. He is still getting in game shape after not being on any team's roster. In three games he has 49 carries for 127 yards and a 2.6-ayrd average.

McGahee said earlier in the week that he feels like having three games under his belt was like going through his personal training camp.

Delmas knows McGahee we and respects his competitiveness. They both live in Miami and cross paths in the offseason.

"For a guy to be in his 11th year and still be able to go out there and have the passion for the game he has and the love he has for the game is unique," Delmas said. "He's out there having fun.

"He has the same mentality on and off the field. He wants to be the best at what he does. He wants to win in each and every aspect of life.

"If he plays basketball, he wants to be the best. He wants to be the most competitive and wants to win."

Cleveland shuffle: The Browns benefited from having extra time since beating Buffalo on a Thursday night in their last game.

The Browns are counting on three players to add depth to the rotation in different areas – fullback Chris Ogbonnaya and outside linebackers Jabaal Sheard and Quentin Groves.