Detroit Lions Predictions: 2012 Offensive Stats for Each Starter
The Detroit Lions offense will hope to evolve in 2012 while also maintaining the vaunted aerial assault displayed last year.
However, Detroit must find a way to improve it's 29th ranked rushing attack from a season ago.
With that in mind, let's project statistics for each offensive starter in 2012.
Expecting 5,000 more yards out of Matthew Stafford is not fair to him or the Lions offense.
Is it possible? Of course, but Detroit needs improvement on their 29th-ranked rushing attack from a year ago and that should mean a slight dip in Stafford's passing numbers.
I still contend he will finish second in the league in passing yards, but with numbers lower than last season.
Stat Prediction: 4,700 YDS, 39 TD, 15 INT
What exactly can we expect from Jahvid Best in 2012?
Can he maintain his health for an entire season or will he fall victim to another unfortunate setback?
To expect a full 16-game slate from Best seems unreasonable, but to hope for 12 games makes sense.
Best has game-changing ability when on the field and held a 4.6 yards per carry average in the six games he played last season.
He is a viable pass-catching option out of the backfield and finally seeing Mikel LeShoure sharing carries alongside him is an intriguing proposition even if it's a year late.
Detroit's offense needs more balance and Best can help provide that if he finds a way to stay healthy.
Stat Prediction: 750 Rushing Yards, 6 Rushing TDs, 500 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TDs
Mikel LeShoure is the greatest unknown for the Lions entering 2012.
He showcased his great size and skill in his final season at Illinois, but losing a full year to a debilitating knee injury was a serious setback.
Can LeShoure regain the form that warranted a second-round draft selection?
Or will he be hampered by injury and unable to overcome his offseason drug troubles?
I tend to believe he will find a sort of medium between the two. He has had a full year to learn the playbook, but LeShoure is not going to set the world on fire in his de facto rookie season.
Stat Prediction: 450 Rushing Yards, 4 Rushing TDs, 100 Receiving Yards, No Receiving TDs
Can Calvin Johnson continue the domination of secondaries that he demonstrated in 2011?
In one word...Yes.
Johnson is only just entering the prime years of his career and the relationship he has developed with Stafford is one of the best in the league.
Megatron has shown an ability to overcome double coverage and his route running has grown crisper with each passing year.
Teams may try even harder to limit his goal line availability, but his yards should continue to soar.
Stat Prediction: 105 Receptions, 1,800 Yards, 15 TDs
Ignore everything that is going on with Titus Young right now.
The Lions organization and team leaders will make sure he has his head on straight when the season comes around.
He is a blossoming slot receiver with great speed and showed much more consistent production as last year wore on.
Young will never average 10 catches a game, but four per contest will be a good progression.
Stat Prediction: 64 Receptions, 680 Yards, 8 TDs
Last year, Nate Burleson caught the most passes (73) of any season in his NFL career.
The problem is he also had the lowest yards per catch average (10.4) of his career.
Burleson is an aging No. 2 option for the Lions but he still has at least a few good years left in him.
With young talent like Titus Young and Ryan Broyles breathing down his neck, I can only imagine Burleson will have a chip on his shoulder in 2012.
Improving his yards per catch is a must, even if he has fewer receptions to work with.
Stat Prediction: 64 Receptions, 730 Yards, 4 TDs
Brandon Pettigrew has had consecutive seasons of over 700 receiving yards and there is no reason to believe he will slow down in 2012.
Pettigrew is one of the more athletic tight ends in the NFL and as long as he can avoid dropping easy passes, he can continue his development in the upcoming season.
He has only 11 touchdowns in his three-year career, but I see him finding the end zone a little more frequently in 2012.
Stat Prediction: 80 Receptions, 750 Yards, 7 TDs