I've got to say, there was a ton of talk about how disappointed some people were when the Lions hired Jim Caldwell to take over for the departed Jim Schwartz. I remember not being blown away by the hire myself. I kind of just shrugged. However, with the staff the Lions have assembled, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a Lions fan who isn't excited about the possibilities the team has on defense, and especially on offense.
Jim Bob Cooter, Joe Lombardi, and Teryl Austin join a staff that somehow managed to hang onto Kris Kocurek, Jeremiah Washburn, and John Bonamego. I've got to say, the Lions could've hired a blind monkey as head coach and I'd be excited about that coaching staff.
With all that said, I'm expecting Matthew Stafford to have a seriously impressive year. I think you'll see Stafford throw less for the same amount of yards with a career high completion percentage. Here's my Stafford stat line prediction:
Matthew Stafford 400 / 600 66.7% 4,700 yds 28 TDs 12 INTs
As far as Calvin Johnson goes, I think his numbers will be down a bit this year, mainly because the ball will be spread out a lot more under Lombardi. That bodes well for Tate and Ebron, but I think CJ puts up human numbers this year:
Calvin Johnson 92 recs 1,096 yds 8 TDs *finishes season healthy
Here's my prediction for Eric Ebron. I think the coaches will think he's ready to dominate before he'll believe it. I think we'll see him struggle a bit early on with sticky coverage due to his route running, and some drops, but the coaches will keep feeding him the ball, and he'll finish the season strong.
Eric Ebron 60 recs 790 yds 5 TDs
Since I don't want to sit here and make predictions for every single player, I'll wrap this up by predicting how the team defense will fair:
Lions D 48 sacks 14 INTs 12 FFs
Basically, I think we'll get to the passer much more than the past few seasons, but I don't think that will necessarily translate to more turnovers. This is mostly because of our lacking coverage skills.
So those are just some of my predictions. What do you guys think?