According to recently acquired Detroit Lions TE Tony Scheffler, Louis Delmas has never had a problem hearing the sound of his own voice. That sound has since echoed across the pride land, reverberating and resonating with Lions fans — playoffs ahead.
The Lions sophomore safety issued his decree that the Lions would not only have a winning season in 2010, but would also reach the goal of every team in the National Football League — advance to the postseason.
For the Detroit Lions and their fans, the drought has been both long and painful. We have been blessed with home invasion from twin suffering and misery over the past several seasons of Lions football.
The good news is that most of the roster from both the 2008 and 2009 campaigns have been churned. Defensive backs who were ineffective were released. Defensive linemen who were unable to generate a meaningful pass rush and didn’t create value in terms of eating up blockers in the run game have been shown the door. Offensive linemen who were given the opportunity to seize a starting position have gone by the wayside.
Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew has done as masterful job of bringing in a great new cast of players to fill out the 2010 roster, and rest assured that the dealing is far from over prior to the start of the season. You can bet that “Super Marty” will surprise the Lions faithful with another good personnel move before the season road opener at Soldier Field.
So the question is, “If the Lions are to be a 9-7 club and advance to the playoffs in 2010, how are they going to do it? Where will the wins come from?” (If you only knew how it pains me to end a sentence with a preposition).
Since the end of the 2009 season, I have predicted the Lions to be a 3-13 team at the conclusion of the 2010 season. That is a pragmatic assessment with pessimistic overtones. It certainly doesn’t represent the way I would like to feel out loud about the retooled 2010 Detroit Lions.
While the 2010 Detroit Lions won’t have to improve by the 10 games that the 2008 Miami Dolphins did, when the Fish improved from 1-15 in 2007 to 11-5 and a Wild Card playoff birth, they will need to win eight more games than they did in 2009.
A daunting task, but not impossible.
As a pragmatic realist, my mind says,
“The Detroit Lions haven’t won two games in a season, let alone three games lately, and until they can achieve three wins in a seasons, there is no reason to set the bar any higher than that.”
Nobody wants that, especially not me.
My heart says,
“The front office has churned the roster — they have added considerable talent on both sides of the ball and they have excellent coaches with outstanding reputations throughout the League. The young leaders and veterans still on the roster are enjoying continuity for the first time in their careers, and seem hungrier than ever to greatly exceed expectations.”
Which fan would you rather be?
Further introspection and candor requires me to share that I would much rather be the optimist and cheer like the dickens for my Lions — naysayers be darned (myself included).
If the Lions are to make the playoffs in 2010 (I don’t think nine wins will be enough in the NFC, but stranger things have happened), I have to figure out which games seem most likely to fall into the win column.
Since I don’t think a 9-7 record is good enough to make the playoffs, I’ll show the 10 games I think the Lions can win, thereby shocking the NFL and advancing to the postseason in 2010.
I find myself heeding Coach Lombardi’s words as they echo relentlessly in my head:
“We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible. ”
Read and heed, baby. Read and heed.
“I’m from Missouri, so time to Show Me !” (Not really — I was born at Macomb Community Hospital.)
Chicago Bears season">at Chicago Bears
Philadelphia Eagles season">Philadelphia Eagles
Minnesota Vikings season">at Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers season">at Green Bay Packers
Rams season">St. Louis Rams
New York Giants season">at New York Giants
Washington Redskins season">Washington Redskins
New York Jets season">New York Jets
Buffalo Bills season">at Buffalo Bills
Dallas Cowboys season">at Dallas Cowboys
New England Patriots season">New England Patriots
Tampa Bay Buccaneers season">at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2010 Lions Win/Loss Prediction:
This prognostication is a far cry from my June 18, 2010 article, “ 2010 Detroit Lions Better Than a 3-13 Team? HaMMeR Says "No. "
Winning starts with the belief that every game is a winnable game. Lions' leaders and players alike must be believing, because it isn’t difficult to hear the players’ opinions concerning their prospects for success during the 2010 season.
The “unusual” would have to rule the year and the Lions would need to outperform expectations from outside the organization.
Can they do it? It remains to be seen on the field of play, but if all other factors are equal and Mayhew has provided sufficient talent for defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, the “unthinkable” can become reality.
The Lions can surprise everyone by coming out of the gate strong to start the season 2-0, with a road win over division-rival Chicago, and followed up by a victory at Ford Field over Kevin Kolb and the Eagles.
In the following two weeks, the Lions will learn how to compete with and eventually figure out how to beat division rivals Green Bay and Minnesota, splitting on the season.
The Lions will get back the game they didn’t win at home against the Rams last year to improve to three wins against two losses by the end of week five.
After a close road game at the new stadium in New Jersey (not New York), followed by a bye week, the Lions return home for a win over the Shanahan-led Redskins to emerge 4-3 on the season, staying in contention for a playoff birth.
The Lions go 1-2 over the next three weeks, as I think the Jets and Cowboys have two of the better defenses in the NFL. The Lions get a confidence building road win over Buffalo and get ready to gear up for their annual national-television event at Ford Field. Going into a short week, the Lions are sitting on a .500 record at five wins and five losses.
In my previous lead story, “ Thanksgiving Before July: Lions Beat Patriots 28-27! ”, I outlined what must happen in order for the Lions to beat the Patriots at home and stun a national audience, giving Lions fans the best Turkey Day in years.
With this signature victory, the Lions reach a 6-5 record and find confidence that propels them to a string of four victories.
A prepared and rested Detroit Lions team hosts "Da Bears" December 5th, and the Lions defensive line will feast heartily upon breaded veal Cutler. The Lions sweep Chicago for the season.
A hungry 7-5 Lions team gets another key win and breaks their home losing streak the next week against the hated Green Bay Packers.
Now I don’t know about you, but doesn’t it seem kind of funny that the Lions should be on the road the following two weeks — in Florida, instead of on the road at the Frozen Tundra or along the banks of an ice-cold Lake Michigan at Soldier Field? So much for the NFC “Norris”, right? From one peninsula to another.
Tampa and Miami, here we come! The Lions will beat former NFC Central rival Tampa Bay and silence the guns of the “battle barge”.
Chad Henne will be the winning Michigan QB against the Lions this year, not Tom Brady, as the Henne takes a further step of leadership for the Dolphins.
The Lions are now a 9-6 football team, and the goal of reaching the playoffs, ending the team’s post-season drought since 1999, is within clear sight. Time to keep all eyes on the prize, with laser beam intensity on display by all members of the franchise. Schwartz has the team on lockdown with the media, Killer is pulling his moustache hairs out, and the fans can’t contain themselves.
For the past couple seasons, the Detroit Lions have played the Minnesota Vikings within a few points of victory. They were right on the cusp — just not over.
Time to get over the hump.
In front of a capacity crowd (and then some), the Detroit Lions will force four turnovers on the Vikings en route to victory and a place in the playoffs. The Lions defense will finally come together to converge upon the QB, forcing mistakes and getting sacks and turnovers, while the defensive backs feast on interceptions. The Lions offense will prove too much for the Vikings at Ford Field, and C.J., Nate, Tony, Brandon, Jahvid, and Matthew will have a banner day.
Everyone will be stunned.
Detroit will be upside down with parties well into the wee hours of January 3, 2011.
Happy New Year, Lions fans! 2011 is closer than you think!