Win one game and you just doubled your total from the previous year. As a Lion's fan, that is your reality.
So, how does the worst team in NFL history rebound the following year? I'm going to be overly optimistic here and say 4-12. Too many variables, and too many tear-stained pillows from hopes being pushed WAY too high will not allow me to go any higher.
But there are things that could happen that would make me feel better about our chances...
- Matt Stafford is more like Matt Ryan than Joey Harrington. I've seen the kid break plates (closer to platters than dessert plates, to be fair) on Jimmy Fallon's show. We've heard all about his arm strength and football IQ. I've also seen him struggle against a Michigan State defense that was a little suspect. Can the Lions finally break the curse of Bobby Layne? Holy lord, I hope so.
- Kevin Smith is more like Emmitt Smith than Kevin Jones.The kid finished behind only Steve Slaton (1,282), Matt Forte (1,238) and Chris Johnson (1,228) for rushing yards for rookies. That's not a bad class to be in.
Throw in the fact that of the 16 games Smith played in, there was only eight games where he had 15 or more carries. Compare that to Slaton, Forte and Johnson having no less than 12 games where they had 15 or more carries. GET THE BALL TO KEVIN SMITH!
- Louis Delmas is a force on defense.Teams draft players that they expect to contribute in the second round. The Lions draft players in the second round to...I don't know...see how a college volleyball player fits in on the defensive line?
Reports out of rookie minicamp has this kid ball-hawking and talking smack to our high-priced rookie QB. If Delmas backs it all up on the field, maybe the Lions won't have to take Taylor Mays with it's top ten pick in the 2010 draft.
- Pressure can come from the defensive line and not linebackers and defensive backs. Grady Jackson helps fill up some of the missing tonnage from Shaun Rogers departure (NOTE TO BROWNS: Please release Big Baby and allow the love affair between him and the City of Detroit to continue. Let the Prodigal Son return home!).
Cliff Avril sums up one of the most frustrating part of Rod Marinelli's time in Detroit. Here was a player that the team obviously felt strong enough to draft, but because of the mysterious "what the coaches saw in practice", he could never get playing time.
Except every time he made it into a game, HE WAS PRESSURING THE QB and FORCING FUMBLES. How can you not get this guy more time?? If Cliff makes a jump, so do our win totals.