1. Megatron is back.
It had been four weeks since we had last seen a vintage Calvin Johnson performance this year and fans were wondering if the injury bug had finally caught up to the seemingly indestructible Lions wide receiver.
Matched up against Bengals shutdown cornerback Leon Hall, many Lions fans and fantasy owners alike were concerned about Megatron's production this week.
Those fears were quickly squashed with a nine catch, 155-yard, and two touchdown performance.
It did not hurt that Leon Hall left the game early with an achilles injury, but Johnson re-asserted himself the best receiver in the league.
2. The Bengals are here to stay.
Which is the good news. The bad news? They generally go as Andy Dalton goes, which means they have limitations.
Limitations that would prevent them from making a Super Bowl run like their division rival Ravens last year. The Bengals have lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. The Ravens won playoff games in each of the previous five seasons, culminating in their 2012 Super Bowl run. The Bengals as currently constructed would need a bye and a little luck to reach the Super Bowl.
Andy Dalton's arm has limitations, he misses throws that most other NFL quarterbacks do not. With talented skill position stars such as A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard, the Bengals offense finally has the explosiveness to win shootouts, and the defense is good enough to hang with the elite teams, but Dalton needs to be more consistent. In this game, they won because of his 24 of 34 completions for 372 yards and three touchdowns but too often still do they win in spite of him.
3. The Lions' defense is holding them back.
In a home game against a playoff-caliber team, the defense needs to bring a better performance. Over the last few years, the Detroit Lions have invested a lot of high draft picks on pass rushing defensive lineman, but they have neglected other key areas on defense.
Particularly on the back end, the Lions' pass defense has been among the worst in the league for several years, and it showed during Sunday's loss to the Bengals. They had no answer for A.J. Green, who scored early on an 82-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton.
And traditionally they are weak against the run as well, although the Bengals only chose to run the ball 18 times in this game. Ndamukong Suh and the Lions front-line need to improve against the run first and foremost, to avoid becoming a one-dimensional unit. But their pass rush needs a little more consistency if they are going to compete with the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North.
4. Both teams need a No. 2 wide receiver.
Both have arguably the two best wideouts in the NFL in Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green, but they are flanked on the other end by the likes of Ryan Broyles and Mohamed Sanu, respectively. This game was a microcosm of their entire season and last three seasons with Johnson and Green putting up an identical 155 yards and the next best guy with less than half those yards.
Having such a disproportionate reliance on a single receiver allows defenses to key on that target and force the ball to other receivers. In Chicago, Alshon Jeffery has stepped up his numbers as a result of the attention focused on Brandon Marshall. The same thing needs to happen in Cincinnati and Detroit for these offenses to continue their ascent into the elite ranks.
5. Gio Bernard is the next Reggie Bush.
Although the Lions' defense kept him quiet in this game, Giovani Bernard possesses the agility and elusiveness remiscient of Reggie Bush in his earlier years. And Bush himself, has shown that explosion in a few of his highlight plays this season.
Finally in an offense that is allowing him to showcase all of his abilities, Bush is on pace for a career year. He has added a dimension that has been missing for the Lions' offense and if he remains healthy, should be among the NFL leaders in yards from scrimmage.
In Cincinnati, rookie running back Giovani Bernard continues to take touches away from incumbent starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis, offering an element of breakaway speed and big play ability that has not been seen in the Bengals rushing game in decades. What the Bengals lack in a second receiver, Bernard almost makes up for with his quickness and versatility out of the backfield on passing downs.