When the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions clash this weekend at Ford Field, it will be arguably the game of the NFL season so far.
Anybody predict that one before the season?
What the Lions (4-0) have done thus far has been extremely impressive. And what the 49ers (4-1) have done, especially to the Buccaneers, is equally impressive.
The Lions have man-handled some decent teams this season, on their way to an undefeated season so far. Their biggest tests were against the Cowboys and Buccaneers, in which Detroit pulled out victories of less than a touchdown.
San Francisco has had a similar caliber of talent thrown at them this far into the season, with their biggest tests being victories against the Eagles and Buccaneers and a disappointing loss to the Cowboys.
Make no mistake about it, this is a game for both teams to make a statement with.
The future of the NFL is bright on both sides of the ball, as is evident with these teams' biggest assets.
The Lions sport arguably the best defensive line in the NFL, with Suh and Fairley leading the charge. They abused Jay Cutler on Monday night just as expected.
On the other side, the 49ers also have a top-10 defensive line, but may have one of the better, more underrated offensive lines. Led by Mike Iupati, they are a core group that may be up to the challenge of stopping the freight train that is the Detroit defense.
It is funny to see these two teams, who were so lowly just a few years ago, bloom in what they are now.
The Lions focused their drafts on defense with Suh and Fairley. Now, they have one of the best defenses in the NFL.
The 49ers built around stabilizing their quarterback with players that could protect him. They did that by drafting the monstrosity that is Iupati, as well as youngster Anthony Davis.
With that consistent offensive line, Alex Smith is now given more time in the pocket, allowing him to throw with more accuracy. He can thank Iupati and company for the No. 3 passer rating in the NFL to this point.
Mike Iupati vs. Ndamukong Suh will be the match-up to watch on Sunday.
Both team have bright futures, and it was futuristic planning that got them both to this point in the NFL season as two of the better teams in the league heading into Week 6.