Training camps are just around the corner, as is the preseason. With that comes the time where everyone will make their predictions of who will win the Super Bowl, who will win each division, and so on. Some of those predictions are made right here on blogs, others on television or radio, and also in magazines. The preseason preview magazines are my favorite because it gives you lots and lots of insight that you can go back and look at after everything is said and done. Over at my other blog, the Michigan Sports Center, I talked about going to different stores to find preview magazines. While I was just looking for college football ones at the time, I did end up buying a Lindy's preview magazine for the NFL.
Lindy's is probably my favorite preview magazine for any sport for many reasons. One, they provide not only in-depth previews for every team, but they also provide interesting stories to go along with that. Plus, you've got to love the specific team-oriented covers. Roy Williams graces this year's cover.
Via Lindy's, this is what one previewer is saying about the 2006 Detroit Lions:
Running Backs 7.0
Offensive Linemen 7.5
Defensive Linemen 7.5
Special Teams 8.0
Those were the ratings for each separate unit. There's a lot of 7.0's and 7.5's on there, which is probably somewhere around the average area. The strongest rated unit is special teams, which received an 8.0. With solid kicking, punting, and returning, the Lions do deserve a good rating there. The lowest units received a 6.5. Those two units were coaching and secondary. Coaching is probably right because there isn't much experience on the coaching staff and whenever there is a first-time head coach, you can't rate it too high. The other lowest unit is the secondary. Lindy's nailed it in saying that the secondary isn't very good because it's true. The cornerbacks are weak at best, and even though the Lions did fill some gaps in the draft, it's not enough to make it great.
Next up Lindy's gives the Lions their draft rating. After the draft ended I gave the Lions a rating of a B+ overall for their picks. The readers of Pride of Detroit voted and gave Detroit a B for the 2006 draft. Both the readers and myself were perfect in their ratings as Lindy's gave Detroit a B for their draft.
Overall, the final part of this preview is the predicted finish of all the teams. In the NFC North, the Lions are predicted to finish 3rd in the division, behind Chicago and Minnesota. Some how Favre isn't projected to have a very good year as another last place finish is what the Packers are predicted to have. The best team in the entire NFL is predicted to be Indianapolis Colts. While the worst is the San Francisco 49ers by a very big margin.
It'll be interesting to see if any of these predictions pan out to be correct. Football is just a month or two away, so the predictions have officially started.