Free Press sports writer Dave Birkett breaks down the five things we learned from Friday's Lions-Ravens exhibition game:

1) Mega Millions

Calvin Johnson (5 catches, 111 yards) is still the best receiver in the NFL, in case there was any doubt. And that $132-million deal he signed? Well worth it.

2) Under cover

There's a reason the Lions chased special-teams help in free agency. (They missed on their top targets.) They allowed two long returns Friday that were nullified by penalty, cheap air max shoes and they failed to recover an onside kick. Could be an adventure this year.

3) Safe keepings

The Lions might be deeper at safety than first thought. Amari Spievey struggled in limited first-team reps, but Erik Coleman and John Wendling played well for the second straight week. Still, a healthy Louis Delmas would be a welcome addition.

4) Penalty shot

Last week's one-penalty game looks like an aberration, not the new norm. The Lions were back to their undisciplined ways Friday, drawing 11 flags for 98 yards.

5) Right stuff

Riley Reiff played one series at right tackle against the Ravens' first-team defense -- the Lions' first touchdown drive. He blocked well, though one corner blitzer came free off his side to hit Matthew Stafford. Even if he doesn't win a starting job, he's in line to play this year.

Contact Dave Birkett: 313-222-2037 or dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

Free Press expert Kevin Bull will answer your questions about fantasy football in a live chat at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Submit early questions here. Then come back Saturday night, as Carlos Monarrez live-blogs the Lions-Raiders exhibition.




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