How will our O-Line fare this year against our opponents' pass rush?
On the one hand, our QB's ought to be more mobile and able to get rid of the ball faster: Stafford's got a young set of legs, and the coaches have said good things about his quick-release. Culpepper's lost 30 pounds and knows the offense. Kitna is no longer with us.
And, if our defense improves, we'll be able to run a more balanced offense. It's a lot harder to pass when the opponents know you don't have the option to run.
Plus, we just got the best blocking Tight End in the draft.
On the other hand, our O-Line is comprised of many of the same faces that ranked 31st, 30th, and 31st in the league in sacks allowed the past three seasons.
And, while the current coaching staff ought to be leaps and bounds better than the last bunch, Linehan's Rams did allow 45-50 sacks per season for the past few years.
So...how many sacks do you think we'll surrender in 2009?
Here's some data from the past four seasons: best, middle, worst, and where Detroit ranked. Only twice in four years has a team allowed fewer than 15 sacks, and only once has one give up more than 70:
Best: 12 sacks (DEN, TEN)
16th: 32 sacks (TB, HOU)
Lions: 52 sacks - 31st
Worst: 55 sacks (SF)
Best: 16 sacks (NO)
16th: 32 sacks (DEN)
Lions: 54 sacks - 30th
Worst: 55 sacks (KC, SF)
Best: 15 sacks (IND)
16th: 34 sacks (NYJ)
Lions: 63 sacks - 31st
Worst: 72 sacks (OAK)
Best: 20 sacks (IND)
Lions: 31 sacks - 10th (five-way tie)
16th: 32 sacks (JAX, PIT, KC)
Worst: 68 sacks (HOU)