This is a deliberately provocative title but, so what, I wanted you to read this.
Why I suddenly see 10-6 or better.
First the stats.
The first stat gives the effectiveness of each team in the NFL and it’s quite easy to look at previous years. What I’m looking at is from 2010 through 2012.
The point I’d like to note is that the Lions, irregardless of record, for the years wind up in the midst of the 8-8 teams. This, as I noted in other comments, suggests to me that the median for the Lions is 8-8. Given such a median, why would I suggest they will be at least 10 and 6?
Note the ranking of the defense. In 2012, it was 24th. The previous year is was 9th. Note the fact that, even though the Lions won only 4 games last year, they still moved up in efficiency for the offense. The downside was the defense and, of course, the division that we play in.
Now the second stat. The Lions on some random basis were purely were one of thee most unlucky teams in the NFL. The truth is, I think that this is more than about luck. I believe that it is about depth at important positions.
In 2012, we had no real secondary. QB’s could almost count on picking up that 6 to ten yard by throwing or running against our DE’s who couldn’t contain much of anything. This left the defense on the field for far too long and eventually led to scores.
So what do we have now?
Bartell and Quinn to buttress the Secondary and competent depth. What do we have at DE? Run stoppers. Neither Jones or Ansah, at this point, are big pass rushing DE’s but they’ve shown the ability to stop the run.
On the other side, what do we have? We have Burleson and Broyles picking up our 2 and 3, who have shown they can work through the tree and pick up yardage and a guy named “Bush” who can run routes and run the ball to the outside. The big question is the O Line. Will they be able to drive for that one yard that gives the ball carrier the extra room to exploit a gap and then do decent in pass protection? I’m thinking they will make their name first in the run and be competent as pass protectors. This, in itself, should slow the pass rush down a bit.
My expectation is for the Lions defense to move to the single digits in efficiency and for the offense to maintain its momentum and move even lower, let’s say 6. This is 10-6 or better territory.
They may or may not make the playoffs this year but if they progress, I can see them going deep into the playoffs next year.
Okay, What do you think?