ESPN's John Clayton recently wrote about five teams he could see as surprises this coming season, partially due to the schedule. With the five teams, Clayton says to watch them to see if they could end up as surprises. His first for include Tampa Bay, Arizona, San Francisco, and Miami. I would say that all four of those teams do have a chance to make a surprise, specifically Arizona in San Francisco in my opinion.
Coming in at #5 on his watch list is none other than our own Detroit Lions. I like the optimism everyone is putting out there, but we have seen it before and nothing has changed.
The schedule isn't bad. The Lions play a .504 schedule compared with last year's .523. The NFC North is the ripest division for gain because the Bears are the only team in it with a winning record. The schedule alone should add two wins to the Lions' total. That might not meet Kitna's expectations of a 10-win season, but it's a start.
When you start something off with the phrase "I don't have a strong conviction about this one," then it shows Clayton isn't all that optimistic, but there's a chance. You know what, with the Lions, just having a chance is a good thing.
Looking at this year's schedule shows that it is actually a pretty tough lineup of opponents. Sure, the actual W-L percentage is lower than 2006, but overall, I think it'll give a tougher test to Detroit.