The last time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced the Detroit Lions, cornerback Aqib Talib sat out with a hip injury — which opened the door for Calvin Johnson to go nuts for 10 catches and 152 yards. The Bucs lost that Week 15 matchup and eventually finished the season with a 10-6 record, which topped preseason expectations but wasn’t enough to get the team into the playoffs.
How much of a difference maker is Talib? He’s playing today, and he quickly made his presence known, snagging a Matthew Stafford interception and returning it 28 yards for a touchdown. Combined with a 38-yard field goal just minutes earlier from Connor Barth, the Buccaneers jumped out to a 10-3 lead. The Lions have since answered with another field goal, trailing 10-6.
Stafford is having a decent game — he’s already topped 100 passing yards in the first quarter — but Talib will likely keep Johnson from having a repeat performance from last year’s game.