This week's question from Marshall Faulk revolves around similar NFL teams. Specifically, he wants to know which team is most similar to the 2014 Detroit Lions in terms of playing style.
To answer this question, we first need to determine what the Lions' playing style is. In the past, they were known for their explosive passing offense, but that was really it. Now, their offense isn't quite as explosive, but their defense is among the best in the NFL, especially when it comes to stopping the run.
Just based on looking at the raw statistics, I think the NFC-leading Arizona Cardinals are most similar to the 2014 Lions. Just look at how similar some of their rankings are:
Points per game: Lions 24th, Cardinals 22nd
Yards per game: Lions 16th, Cardinals 23rd
Passing yards per game: Lions 9th, Cardinals 14th
Rushing yards per game: Lions 29th, Cardinals 30th
Points per game: Lions 1st, Cardinals 3rd
Yards per game: Lions 2nd, Cardinals 17th
Passing yards per game: Lions 10th, Cardinals 27th
Rushing yards per game: Lions 1st, Cardinals 6th
On offense, the Lions and Cardinals score a similar number of points per game, and neither team can run the ball very well. And on defense, neither team gives up many points, and both teams are quite strong against the run. There are some more significant differences when it comes to defending the pass and overall yards allowed per game, but generally speaking, these two teams match up pretty well.
Which NFL team do you think is most similar to this year's Lions?