I just looked at the Lions' schedule and it's shaping up as one of the tougher ones in the NFC.
The Lions play on the road against Green Bay, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Arizona, and Minnesota. They have home games against Green Bay, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, and Seattle.
I'm sitting here thinking that the Lion's have built their roster, since the 0 - 16 season, around having a top flight NFL passing attack on offense, and an aggressive pass rush on defense.
Given the above, I predict that the Lions really surprise people, if that is possible, with the extent to which they play to their strengths this year, and AIR IT OUT !
I'm talking an offense that passes the ball 45 - 55 times a game and tries to hang 40 - 49 points on people. I'm talkin' 4 and 5 receiver sets, tight ends running go routes, RB's that get more touches in the passing game than rushes out of the backfield.
What this will do strategically, is force the opposing team into playing essentially the same style. Bear with me here. This plays into the Lions defensive strengths in that they have 10 defensive lineman that they can roll in and send at the quarterback throughout the game. Think about it. If the opposing team starts to fear the Lions' capability of scoring 14 - 21 points in a quarter ! Then they kind of have to game plan their own offensive pace accordingly.
If the opposing QB has to consistently then deal with Suh, Avril, Young, Fairley, KVB, C Will, Hill, Jackson etc., then, forget about our back seven for a minute, you are talking about a NFL game that starts to play into the Lion's strengths, a game where the Lions' DICTATE THE ACTION to the other team.
The problem with this strategy is that you rely very heavily on your quarterback and your defensive line to out duel the other team's quarterback. I think the Lion's very much like those odds against the rest of the NFL. There are games against the likes of Green Bay where this strategy could very well back fire, but the Lion's will take their chances with it, and see it as their only hope against a team of that caliber - to beat them in a shoot out.
Air Detroit. This is where I see the Lion's going strategically this year. They're gonna have a pronounced leaning toward trying to knock teams out with their offensive firepower and aggressive D line.