Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions: On the Outside Looking In

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 02:  Wide receiver Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions makes a reception and is brought down by Kevin Payne #44 of the Chicago Bears during the second quarter at Soldier Field on November 2, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Derrick DennisContributor IJune 12, 2009

Since going to the 16-game regular season, the Detroit Lions were the only team to go 0-16. However, there are eight other teams that were only able to win a single game, and as a Detroit Lions fan, that interests me.


Saints—1979  8-8, 1980 1-15, 1981 4-12

Cowboys—1988  3-13, 1989 1-15, 1990 7-9

Pats—1989 5-11, 1990 1-15, 1991 6-10

Colts—1990 7-9, 1991 1-15, 1992 9-7

Jets 1995  3-13, 1996 1-15, 1997 9-7

Chargers—1999 8-8, 2000 1-15, 2001 5-11

Panthers—2000 7-9, 2001 1-15, 2002 7-9

Dolphins—2006 6-10, 2007 1-15, 2008 11-5

Lions—2007 7-9, 2008 0-16, 2009 ?????


By stats alone, the odds of the Lions pulling out a season with over eight wins doesn’t look good, but anything is possible.


I’ve been saying for a while now that I don’t know exactly how many wins this team will be able to pull off. I believe it will be between five and nine wins, which is very attainable.


There are so many things to factor in that it's just way too hard to judge. For people to say the Lions will have under four wins or yell about playoffs at this point is ludicrous.


I will say this: I don’t think that there is a better division the Lions could ever hope to be in for them to be able to pull off a playoff run because in the NFC North, nothing is set in stone. 


I picked up a copy of Lindy’s 2009 Pro Football Preview and Fantasy Football Guide 2009. The Fantasy Football Guide had six different writers make predictions, for the North Chicago got the nod three times, the Vikes twice, and the Packers once.


Of course, it’s a fantasy football magazine, so it's really all about the stats and stat projections:


Matthew Stafford—12 Games, 334 Attempts, 196 Complete, 58.7 percent, 2,291 yards, 190.9 Yards Per Game, 16 Tds, 14 Ints .


Kevin Smith—16 Games, 297 Attempts, 1,240 yards, 75.9 YPG, 9 TDs


Calvin Johnson—16 Games, 82 Catches, 1,373 yards (No. 2 in NFL), 85.8 YPG, 11 TDs


Bryant Johnson—16 Games, 44 Catches, 564 yards, 35.5 YPG, 3 TDs




Lindy’s Pro Football Preview didn’t make predictions, they just rated teams, and ratings for the NFC North looked like this. Ratings were on a 1-10 scale, except intangibles, which was plus-2 at best and minus-2 at worst. The highest rated teams in the league were Philly (72.5), Pittsburgh (72.0), Tennesse (71.5), and New England (71.0).


Detroit—Coach 6.0, QB 6.5, RB 6.0,  REC 7.5, OL 7.0, DL 7.0, LB 8.0, SEC (Secondary) 7.0, ST  7.0, INT (Intangibles) –1, Total – 61.0.


Chicago—Coach 7.5, QB 8.0, RB 7.0,  REC 6.0, OL 6.5, DL 7.5, LB 8.0, SEC (Secondary) 7.5, ST  9.0, INT (Intangibles) +2, Total – 69.0.


Green Bay—Coach 8.0, QB 7.0, RB 7.0,  REC 8.0, OL 7.0, DL 6.0, LB 7.0, SEC (Secondary) 7.5, ST  6.5, INT (Intangibles) -1, Total – 63.0


Minnesota—Coach 7.0, QB 6.5, RB 9.5,  REC 7.0, OL 7.0, DL 9.0, LB 7.5, SEC (Secondary) 7.5, ST  7.0, INT (Intangibles) +1, Total – 69.0


Essentially, the view in these magazines and the view outside of Detroit Lions fans is pretty much the same as the view of Detroit Lions fans. Some expect big things, some expect nothing, and some will believe it when they see it.

Either way, it should be a fun season.  


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