Lions fans, I am a broadcast journalist for Mid-Utah Radio of Manti and Richfield, Utah and one of my hallmarks is writing these NFL predictions for SB Nation blogs. Please feel free to reply with any thoughts you may have and yes, I even take criticism. Hopefully, you don't think I'm crazy but here goes...
Today, we discuss the Detroit Lions: a team with a solid past that has lost its way here in the modern NFL era.
Numerous NFL analysts have said the way to build a franchise is by bolstering your quarterback situation.
On paper, I believe the Lions have done this with 2009’s first round draft pick, Matthew Stafford. The Georgia product showed some positive signs last year when he wasn’t injured and with solid weapons at his disposal such as Calvin Johnson (67 rec, 984 yards, 5 TD’s last season) and Kevin Smith (1,162 combined rushing and receiving yards last season), the Lions could have a solid offensive nucleus for years to come.
On the defensive side of the ball, (where the Lions ranked dead last statistically in 2009), draft picks such as defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and defensive back Amari Spivey could play major roles in helping to put the “D” back into Detroit.
As Randy Cross mentioned during the Patriots-Saints preseason game Thursday, one of the more interesting components of the NFL is the continual accumulation of talent and to me, this is one of the hallmarks of the Lions. Young stalwarts such as Zack Follett, Louis Delmas, and Ko Simpson are judiciously interspersed with veterans such as Julian Peterson, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Landon Johnson in a compilation that could possibly put some bite back into the perennial porous Lions defense.
Above all, though, the major impetus for Detroit’s turnaround is head coach Jim Schwartz. It always seems as if he’s in complete command of his situation and in a short period, I do believe the Lions can be legitimate contenders.
This year, if all goes well, I can see Detroit winning eight games, but we’ll see what happens.
It’s obvious that the NFC North will be much tougher than last season and much of that has to do with the resurgence of the Lions.