Days Until Football is a series in which I preview every NFL team, one a day at a time until the NFL season starts on September 6th. It will preview offense, defense, and give a prediction for the team’s record. Also, I will list a fantasy star and sleeper. Here is the Detroit Lions preview.
Last year, the Lions were a letdown because of a couple close losses. After almost winning the division and getting a Wild Card two years ago, they missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record. Over the offseason, Jim Caldwell was let go and Matt Patricia was brought on from New England to become the new head coach.
The Lion’s wide receiving corps is pretty good. Marvin Jones and Golden Tate have been the 1-2 punch for a while now, and Kenny Golladay is a good number three wideout. Detroit’s tight ends, however, don’t seem to be very good. After letting Eric Ebron go, the team brought in Luke Wilson from the Seahawks and Levine Toilolo from the Falcons. Luke Wilson is not good enough to be a starting tight end, and Toilolo isn’t any better. The Lions did address their backfield. Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah are the familiar faces, and they drafted Kerryon Johnson and signed LeGarrette Blount. Matthew Stafford has been the quarterback since he was drafted in 2009, and has always been good, but never great.
The front four for the Lions is below average, other than Ziggy Ansah, who tallied 39 tackles last season. They brought in defensive tackle Sylvester Williams from the Titans. He has not lived up to the hype Broncos fans had when the team drafted him in the first round, but Detroit is hoping that under a coach like Patricia, Williams can finally reach his potential. There is also nobody notable at linebacker, with Devon Kennard, Jarrad Davis, and Christian Jones the projected starters. The secondary is by far the best defensive grouping for the Lions. Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson will be the starting cornerbacks, Glover Quin will be the starting free safety, and Quandre Diggs is the starting strong safety. If the front seven can generate some pressure, the back can certainly make quarterbacks pay.
Predictions for Lions
I think the Lions will go 7-9, third in the NFC North. I think Matt Patricia will be a dud at head coach because he was overrated as defensive coordinator for New England. The offense is good, but nothing special. The defense lacks playmakers in the front seven. They also play in a tough division, so wins against the Vikings and Packers will be tough to come by. Overall, the Lions are a decent team that will compete, but they have a rookie head coach and no players that can put them over the top.
Fantasy Star – Golden Tate
Fantasy Sleeper – Kenny Golladay