The Detroit Lions finished the preseason 4-0 and it translated to a 5-0 regular-season start and a playoff appearance.
This isn't to say that a 4-0 preseason record is required to play well in the regular season. In fact, the Lions went 4-0 in the 2008 preseason before going 0-16 in the regular season. But the game has experienced a big change in four years.
Last year, the Lions rushing game was not making any noise. Jahvid Best, the Lions top rusher, ran for 390 yards. Maurice Morris also ran for over 300 yards, as did Kevin Smith, who received limited playing time due to injury.
In the passing department, the Lions gained a lot of attention. Calvin Johnson reeled in 1,600 receiving yards and 16 touchdown catches. Behind him, Brandon Pettigrew, Nate Burleson and Titus Young all caught over 600 receiving yards as Tony Scheffler and Young caught six touchdown passes while Pettigrew had five.
Matt Stafford had no problem finding the pass-catchers while making his reads. With over 5,000 yards of passing and 41 touchdown passes thrown, the Lions finished fifth in total offense, thanks to their entire offense.
The Chiefs need to produce the same offense. In order for Cassel to lead an offense like Stafford did in 2011, he will need everyone on his offense to come together. Cassel will have a chance to work with a lot of those players in the preseason, hoping to blend with them before the regular season kicks off.