The Detroit Lions are one of the most up & down franchises in the history of the NFL. The team has one of the most dynamic offenses in the entire league, & a relatively strong defense, but the issues with the Lions have been the same issues over the last several years. Turnovers. Penalties. Not being able to run the ball effectively since Barry Sanders. The secondary being weak.
The Lions have a tremendous passing game that is among the best in the league. Matthew Stafford is working on becoming among the elite passers in the NFL & it helps that he has one of the greatest receivers of all time in Calvin Johnson, also known as Megatron. The team also signed WR Golden Tate from the SuperBowl champion Seattle Seahawks to give Stafford another consistent target to replace Nate Burleson, who is signed with the Cleveland Browns.
The Lions are also strong on the defensive line & got better in the front 7 this past season, ranking 6th against the run with franchise player Ndamakong Suh & emerging young player Nick Fairley manning the defensive tackle positions, & Ezekial Ansah had a strong rookie season at the defensive end position, but still has a long way to go to be among the dominant at his position, considering he is still learning the game & nuances of football.
Detroit Lions Offense
The Lions offense, has stated above, is one of the best in the entire league & should be even stronger this upcoming season. The team drafted tight end Eric Ebron from North Carolina, who has the potential to be one of the best receiving TEs in the NFL, giving Stafford another great weapon to throw to.
This coming season, Stafford has to be one of the most dominant passers in the NFL in order for Lions fans to feel as though he was worth the extension that he signed during the offseason. Stafford has taken the Lions to the playoffs once during his time in Detroit & it was when the team was absolutely destroyed by the New Orleans Saints in 2011. Lions fans have never seen a SuperBowl championship during the Superbowl era. The time is either going to be now or never for Stafford to show his franchise-level skills.
On the running side, the team has Reggie Bush who, even at 30, is still a dangerous weapon for being a dangerous weapon in & out of the backfield. Bush will be complemented by Joique Bell, who has been a consistent back for the last 2 seasons, being that bruiser who can gain the tough yards between the tackles, whereas Bush is more of a bounce the ball outside type of player.
The offensive line has been solid again with the stability of Dominic Raiola at center & Riley Reiff working well at the left tackle & guard positions. Tight Ends Brandon Pettigrew & Eric Ebron will also be great receivers as well as strong blockers on the line. Of course, this will lead to great protection for Stafford to get the ball to Calvin Johnson & Golden Tate, in order to be the best offensive unit in the NFL, particularly with Johnson seeing more one-on-one coverage this year because of being honest with Tate.
Detroit Lions Defense
The Lions defense has followed an interesting philosophy the last few seasons – stop the run amazingly, rush the passer well, but for some reason if you can’t get to the passer, give up a 50-yard touchdown.
Not really the way you want to have a solid NFL championship team. The Lions were 6th against the run but only 23rd against the pass last year, even with Louis Delmas (now with the Miami Dolphins) & Chris Houston, who was recently cut so the team would have enough room to sign Ebron to the regular NFL rookie scale. And the team hasn’t worked to replace that deficiency on the team, which is the weakest area on the team & possibly the weakest in the NFL of all secondaries.
Detroit Lions Record Prediction
The Lions should be much more improved under new head coach Jim Caldwell. Caldwell will do well with helping the team be stronger on the mental aspect as well as the football side of things. If the pass defense can become around 15th or higher, the Lions will be an 11-win team. The prediction for this season will be 11-5.