Let's start by stating some things that I assume are obvious, simply because I think them:
- I am somewhat holding my breath about the final I's dotted and T's crossed. I want the official announcement that there will be a full NFL Season.
- The Lions have improved from the top down... everywhere. I am more optimistic about them than I have ever been. Ever. When Barry played, I knew I would enjoy the football - whether the Lions made the playoffs or not. I have been optimistic many times. Many. But, this year, even more so. I do NOT want this year to have anything less than a full season. NO ASTERISKS spoiling a return to the playoffs.
- I also have been disappointed enough to know that crap happens. And, while I don't think it's better to be pessimistic rather than optimistic... There are a few things that worrry me.
I am using this moment to spew forth some of my worries. I am going to use bullets, because I know that regardless how I prioritize the following, any could ruin what could be one of the best years of this fan's life.
- Stafford becoming injured. 'Nuff said.
- Failure to sign Houston, or replace with as good or better.
- Failure to improve front 7 (sign a LB or two.)
- Other unexpected injury.
OK, I lied. I saved what is knawing at me most for last. Cherilus and Backus are both currently under 100%. If this doesn't change, it could definitely ruin everything. Backus is playing the best football of his life. So, why would a quality LT want to come here? If we need to run the season with less than 100% at both key positions on the line, the offense is more vulnerable to many, many things. Including the first bullet point above.
There, I said it. Not because I want to be the prognasticator (spelling?). Simply because I want to take this thorn out of my paw. I want to enter this season with optimism untempered by harsh reality past.
So, bottom line:
I predict the Lions will win 10 games and go to the playoffs. First time I have said that since...
I don't recall when.