Sunday, August 21, 2011

2011 Season Preview: Detroit Lions

2010 Record: 6-10

2010 Rankings:
Total Offense - 17
Passing Offense - 12
Rushing Offense - 23
Scoring Offense - 15
Total Defense - 21
Pass Defense - 16
Rush Defense - 24
Scoring Defense - 19


The long and the short of it is, if Matthew "China Doll" Stafford can stay injury-free for a whole season, this could be a very, very good offense. Megatron Calvin Johnson, one of the top receivers in the league,  is always a threat to take it to the house. Nate Burleson is a solid #2 receiver, and the Lions have a plethora of young receiving talent led by TE Brandon Pettigrew and WR Titus Young. This should give Stafford plenty of weapons. Jahvid Best was on the verge of being in the hunt for offensive rookie of the year last year before he suffered a turf toe injury. He needs to stay healthy this season with rookie RB Mikel LeShoure going down with a season-ending injury. The Lions continued to add depth to their offensive line through free agency, and should be a little better this year.


The Lions might just have one of the best 4-3 defensive fronts in the entire league. With Defensive Rookie of the Year Ndamukong Suh digging in next to this year's first round pick Nick Fairley (Auburn) and Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch on the outside, this is a formidable front four. The Lions added Stephen Tulloch to the linebacking corps to give them a solid tackler behind the front 4. The Secondary remains a bit of a question mark, but Louis Delmas and Amari Spievey make for a decent young tandem at safety. On the outside, the Lions brought in former Browns corner Eric Wright, who may or may not have used to roll around with Dr. Dre.


I can't believe I'm about to say this, but if Matt Stafford can stay healthy, the Lions have a legitimate shot to go .500 this season.  Shaun Hill is a serviceable backup, but Stafford has the keys to the kingdom and the Lions need him healthy to have a chance to actually look like a legitimate football team this year. Their defense is vastly improved over the collection of players that made up the 2008 crapshow, and just 3 years removed from 0-16, the Lions might, just might, win half their games this year.

If the Lions were a Beer, they would be:


Is this a cop-out because it has "Lions" in the name? Maybe. But here's the logic: Lionshead is a vastly under-rated beer considering it's on the cheaper end of the scale. It still has a good taste and it's something you can drink pretty much any time. It probably won't win any awards for the "best" beer, but it's something a lot of people over-look that actually has some decent quality.

Also, this picture was too good not to post:

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