After the Seattle Seahawks won the 2013/14 Super Bowl, every team wants a Legion of Boom of their own, including our Lions. But, that is not happening with only Keith McGill and Stanley Jean Baptiste as the only Cornerbacks being 6'3 or above and teams will reach for them in the draft. I am a fan of tall defensive backs, but we will require major changes to have our own LOB, so I will look at how the Lions can become successful with their current roster and by adding pieces through the draft and next year's FA period to imitate the dominant New York Giants of 2011-12.
Offence - Passing Attack
Quarterback: Eli Manning posted 4,933 yards, 29 TD, 16 INT, a 59.39 QB Rating, 13.7 Yards Per Completion and 61.8% Completion Percentage, those numbers are better than those of Matthew Stafford's 4,650 yards, 29 TD, 19 TD, a 52.5 QB Rating, 12.5 Yards per completion and a 58.5% Completion Percentage.
Running Backs: The New York Giants posted 1,427 yards, 17 TD and 3.5 yards per attempt, the Lions posted a larger 1,792 yards, 15 TD and 4.0 yards per attempt. The New York Giants used two running backs a lot, much like the Lions do. Ahmad Bradshaw was the feature back posting 659 yards, 9 TD, 3.9 YPA and 54.9 Yards Per Game, while Reggie Bush posted 1,006 yards, 4 TD, 4.5 YPA and 71.9 Yards Per Game. The Giants second back was Brandon Jacobs with 571 yards, 7 TD, 3.8 YPA, 40.8 Yards Per Game, the Lions had Joquie Bell, who posted 650 yards, 8 TD, 3.9 YPA and 40.6 Yards Per Game (Very similar numbers, Bell played more games).
Receivers: The Giants had 4,933 passing yards in 2011-12 and the Lions had 4,650 passing yards, so you can imagine there will be some similar numbers here. Victor Cruz posted 1,536 yards and Megatron had 1,492 yards in 14 games, Hakeem Nicks had 1,192 yards, while Golden Tate had 896 in the run based Seattle Offence, Jake Ballard had 604 yards, Joquie Bell had 547, while Mario Manningham had 523 and Reggie Bush had 506. The Giants had 1 other player that had 300+ yards, while Detroit had 3 (including Burleson).
Offence - Offensive Line
Giants allowed 28 sacks, while Detroit allowed 23 sacks. Detroit gained 4.0 yards per attempt, while the Giants gained 3.5 yards per attempt. LT - Reiff, LG - Sims, C - Raiola, RG - Warford, RT - Hilliard and Waddle, the Giants had LT - Will Beatty, LG - David Diehl, C - David Baas, RG - Chris Snee, RT - Kareem McKenzie.
Defence - Front 7
DT: The New York Giants ran a 4-3 with 1-Tech Linval Jospeh who racked up 2.0 sacks, 5 Pass Deflections and 36 Tackles, while 3-Tech/5-Tech (DT/DE) Chris Canty had 4.0 Sacks, 2 PD and 32 Tackles. The Lions also ran a 4-3 with two 3-Tech DTs in Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, Fairley had 6.0 sacks, 2 PD and 24 Tackles (2 FF), meanwhile Suh had 5.5 Sacks, 6 PD and 36 Tackles (1 FF).
DE: The Giants had the best DE group I have ever seen in 2011. They had Jason Pierre Paul - 16.5 Sacks, 7 PD and 72 Tackles, Osi Umenyiora (9 games) - 9.0 sacks, 1 PD and 19 Tackles, Justin Tuck (12 Games) - 5.0 Sacks, 4 PD and 30 Tackles and David Tollefson (1 Start) - 5.0 Sacks, 1 PD and 11 Tackles. On the other hand our Lions had Ezekial Ansah - 8.0 Sacks, 1 PD and 17 Tackles, Devin Taylor (2 Starts) - 2.5 Sacks, 1 PD and 9 Tackles and Willie Young (Now with Chicago) - 3.0 Sacks, 5 PD and 29 Tackles. (Jason Jones was injured)
OLB/DE: The Giants had Mathias Kiwanuka, who can play either DE or LB, so I made an exception for him. He had 3.5 Sacks, 1 INT, 2 PD and 62 Tackles.LB: The Giants did not have the strongest linebacker core either, with Mathias Kiwanuka played the Strongside, Greg Jones - 1 INT, 2 PD and 20 Tackles and Chase Blackburn (5 Games) - 22 Tackles played middle linebacker and Michael Boley - 1 Sack, 3 PD and 74 Tackles and Jacquain Williams - 1.0 Sacks, 5 PD and 51 Tackles played on the Weakside. Stephen Tulloch played as the middle linebacker in our Defence where he had 3.5 Sacks, 2 PD, 1 INT and 92 Tackles, Deandre Levy racked up 6 INT, 15 PD and 85 Tackles, whilst Ashlee Palmer had 1 PD and 24 Tackles.
Defence - Secondary
CB: Neither team had a star at the position, but the Giants were more productive due to their pass rush. Corey Webster had 6 picks, 16 PD and 45 Tackles, Aaron Ross had 4 Picks, 13 PD and 47 Tackles and Prince Amukamara (7 Games) had 1 INT, 3 PD and 12 Tackles. The Lions had Rashean Mathis - 16 PD, 44 Tackles, Chris Houston - 2 INT, 10 PD and 38 Tackles, Darius Slay - 6 PD and 27 Tackles, Bill Bentley had 5 PD and Jonte Green had 3 PD. Our acquisition Cassius Vaughn had 2 INT for the Colts.
S: Both teams were solid at the position, producing multiple picks. The Giants had Antrel Rolle - 2 INT, 4 PD and 86 Tackles, Kenny Phillips - 4 INT, 11 PD and 63 Tackles and Deon Grant - 1.0 Sacks, 1 INT, 6 PD and 43 Tackles. The Lions also gave 3 Safeties a couple hundred+ snaps with Louis Delmas (Now with Dolphins) - 2.0 Sacks, 3 INT, 9 PD and 49 Tackles, Glover Quin had 2.0 Sacks, 2 INT, 9 Pass Deflections and 44 Tackles and Don Carey had 2 PD and 24 Tackles. James Ihedigbo had 3 INT, 11 PD and 62 Tackles for the Ravens.
Lions: Sam Martin had an average of 47.2 Yards per punt and was blocked one time and David Akers (K) also had 19/24 (79.2%) of field goals and made 42/43 PATs.
The only thing separating the kickers was 1 PAT, the other stats were identical.
Offence: QB: Eli Manning outperformed Matthew Stafford by 283 yards, 3 less INT, 1.2 more yards per completion, 3.4% more accuracy and a 6.89 better QBR. They were very similar and Manning had 5 more years on Stafford, so there is a good chance Stafford outperforms Eli Manning's 2011-12 season.
HB: The Lions outperformed the Giants with 1,792 yards, 15 TD and 4.0 YPA, whilst the Giants had 1,427 yards, 17 TD and 3.5 YPA. The Lions #1 back Reggie Bush averaged 30 more Yards Per Game than the Giants #1 Ahmad Bradshaw.
WR: The Giants had Victor Cruz receive over 1,500 yards and Hakeem Nicks had 1,192 yards. Megatron less yards than Victor Cruz due to sitting out 2 games, but averaged more per game, so we have a better #1, but it is yet to be seen if Golden Tate can outperform Hakeem Nicks' mark from 2011. The Giants had more yards from their 3rd and 4th Options than the Lions did.
TE: The Lions got 623 yards and 9 TD from Pettigrew and Fauria last year and the Giants got 604 yards and 4 TD from Jake Ballard, their clear #1 TE. It is very likely that Joseph Fauria develops further, thus him and Pettigrew outperform this mark.
O-Line: As mentioned earlier the Giants allowed 28 sacks, while Detroit allowed 23 sacks. Detroit gained 4.0 yards per attempt, while the Giants gained 3.5 yards per attempt.
Defence: D-Line: The Lions allowed 1,596 yards, 10 TD and 4.2 YPA, whilst accumulating 25.5 Sacks, 15 PD, 2 Safeties and 7 FF. Meanwhile, The Giants allowed 1,940 yards, 15 TD and 4.5 YPA, whilst racking up 41.5 Sacks, 22 PD, 2 Safeties and 7 FF.
Linebackers: Neither team had a great LB corps, but the Lions' out performed the Giants', with 3.5 Sacks, 7 INT and 18 PD compared to 5.5 Sacks, 2 INT, 10 PD.
Cornerbacks: The Giants cornerbacks produced 11 INT and 32 PD, whilst the Lions corners had 2 INT and 42 PD.
Safeties: Both teams produced at the position, with the Giants 1.0 sacks, 7 INT and 21 PD, whilst the Lions had 4.0 sacks, 6 INT and 18 PD.
Why am I showing you all these stats?
Because I am showing you what areas we need to improve in order to become a successful team.
WR - The Lions have Megatron and Golden Tate, whilst the Giants had Nicks and Cruz, so why do we need improvement, because the rest of our yards cannot come from #4 receivers like the drop machine also known as Kris Durham. If a trade for Watkins is reached, he would become Megatron's successor and so far I don't see any Sammy Watkins in the next two drafts.
TE - The Giants did not use this at all, but Pettigrew can be cut after 2 years and we will save a lot of money, so this might not be a bad idea. Teams like the Patriots use tons of 2-TE formations and slot TE are the craze at the moment, so Eric Ebron could be a good choice.
DE - The Giants had JPP, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and David Tollefson, they produced a combined 35.5 sacks. Our Lions had Ezekial Ansah, Willie Young (gone) and Devin Taylor, they produced 13.5 Sacks, with Willie Young gone that makes 10.5 Sacks, that is 25 sacks short of the Giants. The Lions need two productive pass rushers (our Umenyiora and JPP) in order to move up from that 28th ranking in sacks last year.
DT - The Lions played Suh and Fairley on the field at the same time, they were both 3-Techs. Although we did not let much of the run game through, we did not sack the QB enough. The giants on the other hand used too many pass rushers on the outside and although they got to the QB, they sucked against the run. They may have not done well against the run, but the key to their sacks was Linval Jospeh, who is a 1-Tech, we need a 1-Tech to complement our DTs.
OLB - Altough the Giants did not have that superstar linebacker, the Detroit Lions could get a versatile 'flamethrowing' linebacker to lead their defence for years to come.
CB - The Giants did not have a much better cornerback corps, but their CBs had 9 more interceptions than the Lions who had 2 picks from theirs.
What we need to get to the next level
A 2nd/3rd WR, Megatron successor (for the future) WR, slot TE, Backup QB, Younger interior lineman, a 1-Tech DT, 10 sack edge rusher, a cornerback that produces interceptions
Major Next Level Need - 2nd/3rd WR, Backup QB, 1-Tech DT, 10 sack edge rusher (not on roster) and intercepting corner.
Next Level Need - Megatron successor, Slot TE, Younger Interior Lineman.
Sorry for this being so long, and having too many stats, but I wanted to show how we can become a Super Bowl winning organisation. Let me know what you think in the comments below.