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Lions-Bears matchup of the day: Friday

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's battle between the Lions and Bears.

Lions interior offensive line vs. Bears DT Henry Melton

Melton, the Bears' starter at the three-technique, has struggled to produce for much of the season. He has three sacks, but hasn't made one since Week Three. He has made only three tackles and has been credited with one QB hit over the past five games.

He showed up more frequently against the Eagles on Monday night, flashing his burst at times and knifing into the backfield, but Melton was a nonfactor in the Bears' first meeting against the Lions, failing to record a tackle or a QB hit.

The coaching staff is prodding Melton to step up his game and a consistent push from the interior against Detroit is needed to help disrupt a high-powered offense. The best way to keep QB Matthew Stafford from completing deep passes is not giving him enough time to let those routes develop before the ball needs to be released to avoid a sack.

The Lions' offensive line has had its ups and downs, but the interior group of OLG Rob Sims, C Dominic Raiola and ORG Stephen Peterman has allowed only 2½ sacks. Peterman is the only one who has not allowed a sack this season, according to STATS, LLC. Sims has allowed only one sack and Raiola has given up 1½ sacks.

It's Melton's job to add to the Lions' sacks allowed total on Sunday.

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