First off, Lions fans, if any of you even begin to give me a hard time while explaining why you won't win the Super Bowl just remember, your team did not win a single game one short year ago.
That being said, I have higher hopes for the Detroit Lions than I am sure most people do.
Matthew Stafford is on his way to making the Lions a respectable team. He has the "it" factor that many teams wish they enjoyed under center.
Argue in the comments all you want, but mark my words. Five years from now, Stafford will be one of the NFL's top 10 QB's.
Calvin Johnson is, and should be, Stafford's favorite target.
Johnson hasn't been mentioned in conversations with Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald because the Lions have not been good.
Did Fitzgerald get the recognition he receives now before the Cardinals made the playoff run to Super Bowl XLIII?
No, he didn't.
Johnson will get his props, starting this year.
With their first pick in the 2010 Draft, the Lions selected King Kong Suh (Which I will call him the rest of his career, unless he is a bust), who SHOULD have been the top overall pick.
Players aren't compared to Reggie White often, and Suh is capable of becoming a truly dominant player.
In many of these articles, I have refused to count on rookies making a solid contribution. I am making an exception for King Kong. If he stays healthy, he will win rookie of the year.
However, Lions fans, that's about where it ends.
The core of the Lions team has drastically improved, but what is left is still not good enough to even push for a playoff spot this year.
I was watching America's Team on NFL Network, about the Steelers Super Bowl team of 1974.
In the show, Andy Russell stated that when Chuck Noll took over the Steelers, he said to the players, "you are not losing because you are not trying, you are losing because you just aren't good enough."
And that is the problem with the Lions. The rest of the team is just not that good.
I am not saying all the other players are garbage, but they are not good enough to close the gap between the Lions and the rest of the NFC North.
My prediction: The Lions make an improvement, but they still won't come anywhere near the playoffs.
They finish with a 6-10 record, still in the NFC North basement.
Things are looking up for your team, just not that high yet.