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Detroit Lions 2016 stats projections

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If you’re like me, you’re excited that the Detroit Lions have started to show some real spirit. I’m also impatient, so I’m skipping ahead to see what the team’s offensive stats will look like at season’s end.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

I’m an impatient fan. That sounds a bit crazy, being a Detroit Lions fan, as we’ve been waiting for pretty much all of our adult lives for a championship. Due to that impatience and a skill for math, I’ve developed a neat little tool to project out player stats over the course of the rest of the season, assuming they play in every game and play at their present per game averages. A bit of a disclaimer, the quarterback and receiving numbers were calculated separately, so those aspiring mathletes among you may notice they differ. I was going to do a market share projection, but that’s for later in the season (Next week, when the math is easier).

Quarterback: MVP Candidate?

The answer to the above question is yes, but I’ll let his numbers speak for themselves. We’ve already heard about how his pace since last season is nearly historic, but the pace he’s set over the first seven games of 2016 are pretty noteworthy in their own right. Stafford is presently sitting at 1,914 yards, 15 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. He’s already on pace to shatter several of his career records and put any future Lions quarterbacks in the unenviable position of having to shine in a very long shadow. Here’s how he’ll look if his per game pace continues.

Matthew Stafford

Cmp Att Cmp% Y/A Rate
375 551 68.1 7.9 105.6
Yds TD Int Sk Yds
4375 34 9 41 229
Games Rush Yd Y/A TD
16 48 288 6.0 0

Running Backs: No trend setters, no standouts

This is a pretty sad bunch when you take into account the amount of injuries they’ve had to endure and the line they’ve had to run behind. The current stats bear that out as the leading rusher is Theo Riddick with only 50 rushes for 171 yards and just a single TD. Second on that list is Matthew Stafford, so the rushing offense is in a bad way. It doesn’t look a whole lot prettier when the season finishes.

Theo Riddick

Yards Rushes Y/A TD
479 140 3.42 3
Rec Yards Catches Y/R TD
532 73 7.3 8
Games Targets Catch %
14 90 81%

Zach Zenner

Yards Rushes Y/A TD
302 92 3.28 3
Rec Yards Catches Y/R TD
179 14 12.8 0
Games Targets Catch %
14 20 70%

Dwayne Washington

Yards Rushes Y/A TD
247 59 4.19 3
Rec Yards Catches Y/R TD
16 7 2.3 0
Games Targets Catch %
13 7 100%

Justin Forsett

Yards Rushes Y/A TD
209 72 2.90 0
Rec Yards Catches Y/R TD
83 11 7.5 0
Games Targets Catch %
11 17 65%

Receivers: A dominant bunch

Unlike the running backs, you could make a much better case for dominance with the Detroit Lions receiving corps. While drops are not recorded at Pro-Football-Reference, where I gather my data, this group would look pretty solid even if I had added that negative statistic. Marvin Jones has gelled superbly with Matthew Stafford, while Golden Tate is finally coming into his own and Anquan Boldin has been a welcome addition. Eric Ebron, when healthy, has been a very reliable target and is poised for even more work when he returns.

Marvin Jones

Rec Yards Catches Y/R TD
1,424 75 18.99 9
Targets Catch % Y/Tgt TTD
119 63.0% 11.97 9
Rush Yards Rushes YPC TD
7 2 3.5 0

Golden Tate

Rec Yards Catches Y/R TD
896 71 12.62 2
Targets Catch % Y/Tgt TTD
121 58.7% 7.40 2
Rush Yards Rushes YPC TD
7 14 0.50 0

Eric Ebron

Rec Yards Catches Y/R TD
683 59 11.58 3
Targets Catch % Y/Tgt TTD
81 72.8% 8.43 3
Rush Yards Rushes YPC TD
0 0 0 0

Anquan Boldin

Rec Yards Catches Y/R TD
622 73 8.52 9
Targets Catch % Y/Tgt TTD
94 77.7% 6.62 9
Rush Yards Rushes YPC TD
0 0 0 0

Andre Roberts

Rec Yards Catches Y/R TD
112 11 10.18 2
Targets Catch % Y/Tgt TTD
18 61.1% 6.22 2
Rush Yards Rushes YPC TD
0 0 0 0

Overall

That would be a great season statistically for Stafford and his receiving targets, but would be a clear indictment against both the offensive line and the running backs. These two groups continue to underperform, but the Lions have gotten away with it so far. Will they continue to for the rest of the season, or will that beating begin to wear on Stafford’s newfound dominance? Let us know in the comments what you think of these statistical projections or if you think any of these players will change course for better or worse in the final half of the season.