The 2012 campaign has been a big identity season for the Detroit Lions.
Are they ready to take a step toward being elite? Are they still the "same old Lions"? Can they repeat their 2011 postseason success?
These questions have been answered, but haven't been the best for Detroit. Playing with a 4-7 record, the Lions have shown they're many strides away from contending.
Detroit has cost itself plenty of victories this season, dealt with injuries and has been far too inconsistent to compete for a playoff spot. However, the potential and capability have arrived in spurts.
The Lions defense has been the more consistent phase of the team. No sign of the Madden Curse as Calvin Johnson has been on a tear all year with 72 catches, 1,257 yards and four touchdowns. And the Lions seem to have found winners in 2011 draftees Mikel Leshoure and Nick Fairley, who are each having a significant impact.
Even with all the young talent on the Lions roster, there are still plenty areas in need of improvement. A lot of these upgrades should happen through the draft considering the team's budget this offseason. Here are the five biggest pieces the Lions need for Super Bowl contention.