NFL Preview- Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions come into the 2014 season hoping to be able to put together a complete season and get themselves into the postseason. They stumbled down the stretch last year when they had the best opportunity to win the division. The late season swoon cost Jim Schwartz his job a coach. In comes Jim Caldwell to lead the club.
Caldwell has an extremely talented quarterback in Matthew Stafford. Stafford will throw for a lot yards and touchdowns. He also has a tendency to take risks that lead to interceptions, which end up hurting the team. If Stafford get injured, Dan Orlovsky and Kellen Moore are standing by to take over.
Stafford has hands down the best wide receiver in all of football to pass the ball to in Calvin Johnson. Megatron can up and make the catch even when he is triple-covered. Kevin Ogletree and Golden Tate give Stafford other reliable hands to get the ball. Detroit also likes the talent of Ryan Broyles and hope he can stay healthhy and contribute. Brandon Pettigrew remains the top tight end on the team, but rookie Eric Ebron is set to take over soon-- Ebron is one of the most talented TEs to be drafted in the last few years.
Reggie Bush and Joique Bell return as the 1 and 1A choices at running back. Both backs have big play ability, with Bell having more punch between the tackles. Together they make one of the top five tandems in the NFL. If one gets hurt, the other is more than able to carry the load but they're more dangerous together.
Even though he has been given a bad reputation, Ndamokung Suh is one of best defensive tackle in the league-- and quite feared by offensive linemen. For all of his talent, Nick Fairley has been an underachiever. The Lions need him to step up the effort to force offenses to not pay as much attention to Suh. Stephen Tulloch returns as the top linebacker and Rashean Mathis leads the secondary at cornerback. They're ready for Ezekiel Ansah to take over the pass rush.
This is how their 2014 season will look:
Week 1- Detroit handled the New York Giants to an easy 35-14. They are 1-0.
Week 2- Lions head to Carolina and a really tough Panthers' defense. They lose and are now 1-1.
Week 3- They host the Green Bay Packers for a top-notch offensive showdown. Packers are better overall and Detroit falls to 1-2.
Week 4- Detroit heads to New Jersey to face the Jets. Lions get the tough win and get back to .500 at 2-2.
Week 5- Lions host the Bills and get themselves a big win to get to 3-2.
Week 6- They head to Minnesota and find a way to drop a winnable game. Lions now 3-3.
Week 7- Detroit hosts the Saints and another offensive shootout. The Saints' defense will force Stafford into a late mistake that drops the Lions to 3-4.
Week 8- They travel to Atlanta and another game of two high-scoring offenses. This Stafford proves to be better with Megatron and they get to 4-4.
Week 9- Bye Week
Week 10- Lions host the Dolphins and an underrated pass rush, but Detroit pulls out the victory and are now 5-4.
Week 11- Detroit heads to Arizona and struggle against a truly tough defense. They lose and drop to 5-5.
Week 12- They go to New England and get a tough lesson from Tom Brady and company. Lions now 5-6.
Week 13- Lions host the Bears and a tough division match-up. Unfortunately, Chicago proves to be better; they now stand at 5-7.
Week 14- Detroit welcome Tampa Bay, an up-and-comer, but the Lions win and are now 6-7.
Week 15- They host the Vikings and get the split. Detroit gets back to .500 at 7-7.
Week 16- They head to Chicago and are dropped again to drop to 7-8.
Week 17- Lions close out in Green Bay and the third consecutive division game wears down Detroit. After going back and forth for most of the game, Aaron Rodgers again to be better. They finish the season at 7-9.
The Detroit has plenty of talent, but Stafford tends to force too many throws that lead to interceptions in crucial moments. On defense, they need to become more consistent in rushing the passer and forcing turnovers or it will cost them some potential wins.