As we continue to wrap up the 2012 season for the Detroit Lions, let's take a look back at our predictions from before the season. Next up is a look at our predictions for the Lions' Breakout Offensive Player.
TuffLynx | Prediction: Titus Young | Actual pick: Titus Young
Well, I wasn't wrong. Titus Young was definitely offensive. He also broke out of something, but I think it was the nuthouse. I believe that I got this pick exactly right, just in a very different context than anybody was thinking at the time we selected. Young was so messed up that it took several weeks for his mom and dad to recognize him and agree to a parent-employer conference. I can't blame them for wanting to distance themselves from Young. No self-respecting parent would want to admit in front of the entire nation that they raised such a clueless kid. If the Lions decide to keep Young for next season he could play a pivotal role in helping the Lions get better. He could be exactly the catalyst needed to get all the coaches and front office fired so that we can get better ones.
Right position, wrong player. While Mikel Leshoure carried the bulk of the load this year, it was Bell who was more efficient. Joique averaged an impressive 5.0 yards per carry (to Mikel's 3.7), and considering almost everyone had him third on the Lions' depth chart, he perfectly fits the "breakout" title.
Packey | Prediction: Mikel Leshoure | Actual pick: Mikel Leshoure/Joique Bell
I picked Leshoure thinking he would give the Lions their best running back since rookie Kevin Jones or James Stewart, which I know isn't saying much. While his 3.7 yards per carry were underwhelming, Leshoure ran for the most yards by a Lions running back since Kevin Smith in 2008 and the most rushing touchdowns (9) since Stewart ran for 10 in 2000 after Barry.
More surprising than Leshoure was Joique Bell, who averaged 5.0 yards per carry and became a real threat out of the backfield. Together, Leshoure and Bell gained the most yards by a Lions RB duo since Jones and Shawn Bryson in 2004. A pair of Lions RBs hasn't combined for more touchdowns since Sanders and "Touchdown" Tommy Vardell combined for 13 in 1997. I'll consider this a nice breakout.
Sean Yuille | Prediction: Titus Young | Actual pick: Joique Bell
Based on what he did in the preseason, I fully expected Bell to contribute to the Lions in 2012. I did not expect him to have 899 total yards, though. Bell emerged as the Lions' closer at running back early in the season, and he became a regular part of the offense by season's end. He showed great ability as a running back (average of 5.0 yards per carry) and also was an excellent receiver (485 yards on 52 catches). He broke out in 2012 and should be a big part of the Lions offense going forward.
POD readers | Prediction: Titus Young
50 percent of the 816 votes in our poll were for Young. Leshoure received 40 percent of the votes, with the rest going to the "somebody else" category.