Reading Between The Lions
Much has been made of the great Quarterback debate in Detroit, and the decision was handed down on Monday; Matthew Stafford will lead the Detroit Lion's offense, an offense great potential.
Additions through the draft,free agency, and even a few scraps from last year's debacle, Detroit looks to round up to an above average offense. With bright spots Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith returning as well as a not as questionable offensive line with the likes of great blocking TE Brandon Pettigrew in front of dubbed rookie starter Matt Stafford.
Balanced attack between the running and passing game seems obvious for most NFL teams, but it will be a welcomed change of pace at Ford Field thanks to unbalanced attacks of the past such as the pass happy Mike Martz of 07, and the "pound the rock" campaign of 2008.
With much of the preseason buzz on the QB position, unfortunately many have ignored a huge issue the Lions will have to deal with in the quest for one win in 2009, and that would be the Defense.
The Lions didn't go with the status quo, they improved their Defense in the Secondary with pick-ups like Louis Delmas, Anthony Henery, and Philip Buchanon. The Linebacking core also much improved,with the addition of Julian Peterson and Larry Foote helping out Lion's staple Ernie Sims. The Second and Third level of the Lions D will not be as vulnerable to big plays.
Not much improved however, is perhaps the most vital part of a Defense, the Defensive Line. Grady Jackson is the biggest addition to the Lions D-Line, and If it seems like an underwhelming addition to a line that only managed to pressure the opposing QB for 30 sacks last year, that's because it is. Combating the lack of a pass rush from the line will be Detroit's biggest issue, hence the improved secondary and a promise of "More Blitzing" From Lions Defensive Coordinator Gunther "get off my lawn" Cunningham .
So how many wins will all of these personnel moves translate into? The Lions managed to mostly overhaul an 0-16 roster into what looks on paper to be a serviceable NFL team (a team that could win a game in the NFL). Pending Injury the best case scenario seems to be 6 wins, assuming stafford is reasonably successful and Calvin Johnson stays healthy. Would it be fair to predict Zero wins? I think not, The odds of that are cosmic, and the Lions have pieced together a team that makes for 6 possible wins, out of them I predict they win Four.
September 27 vs Washington- not a great team, not an awful team
November 1 vs St. Louis
November 8 at Seattle
November 22 At Cleveland
December 6 at Cincinnati
December 27 at San Francisco
If the Lions can find a way to get a crowd into Ford Field,and that crowd is on their side, they play like a completely different team when the home crowd is rockin'.So consider it the Lion's luck that the Lions play many of the lesser teams on the road. If they can split the last four on my list, and pull off the upset over Washington the Lions are bound for four wins.Lastly I must add that if the Lions can find a way to get a crowd into Ford Field, they play like a completely different team when the home crowd is rockin'.
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