Nate Caminata: Rogers missed a large portion of camp and the preseason due to injury, but will start -- and should perform well -- on Sunday.
Since returning to practice, Rogers has demonstrated more energy than any of the team's lineman due to his vacation, yet has also been effective. Detroit's two key cogs, Rogers and Cory Redding, could be the league's most overlooked interior defensive tandem, but whether or not their potential translates into success will be known against Oakland.
At no point in the preseason did the Lions have their entire defensive line intact as will be present in the season opener, but if Rogers plays to his potential, and Redding and Co. follow suit, the Raiders will struggle to find room to roam.
Denis Savage: Calvin Johnson is a player the Raiders are obviously interesting in seeing up close, hoping they can contain him. How big a role will Johnson play in the opener and what has impressed you so far about him?
Nate Caminata: Everything has been impressive about Calvin Johnson. He makes the most difficult grab looks easy, but has also transitioned well into Mike Martz's offense. Yet his impact on Sunday will likely be that of an intangible -- because regardless of Johnson's inexperience, the Raiders must account for him, and will not double fellow receiver Roy Williams. Because of his presence alone, the Lions receiving core will have one-on-one opportunities -- Johnson included.
Denis Savage: Ernie Sims is someone I feel the Raiders have to contain. How has he improved from year one to now?
Nate Caminata: Sims is lightning in a bottle on the defensive side of the football. He is equally as quick, fast and hard-hitting as his rookie season, but has also emerged as a leader, being voted a team captain. There are very few fullbacks that can take Sims on and live to tell the story, and his ability to run with both tight ends and running backs out of the backfield will limit Oakland's options.
Denis Savage: Tatum Bell has never scared me before as a runner. Is there something I am missing in regards to Bell?
Nate Caminata: Bell silently became a 1,000-yard rusher in 2006, so it's obvious that he is effective. While he is certainly a product of a very capable Denver rushing attack, Bell is also a home-run hitter. He is one of the fastest running backs in the league, and hits the hole incredibly quick. But most important? He catches the ball well out of the backfield, which bodes well in a Martz pass-happy scheme.
Nate Caminata: Woody's biggest struggle during the off-season was his weight, and even went to a special camp (hold the jokes) to manage a weight issue that had gotten out of hand. In 2007, he returned slimmer, quicker, and more agile, vital keys to the Lions' offensive line. He is a formidable guard, and while no longer Pro Bowl material, he certainly won't be fooled nor owned by Sapp on Sunday.