The Detroit Lions Bold Predictions for 2015


The 2015 season is still six months away and there is still a bevy of burning questions that still need answering when it comes to the Lions. These questions range from “will the Detroit Lions take a step back?” to “What will the Detroit Lions do in the NFL Draft?”

Today I would like to throw my bold predictions out there and try to answer these questions. Enjoy!

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The Lions will go offense in the 1st round.

Anybody that watches the Lions knows that the offense was the major problem last season. For that reason I believe the Lions will make a move in the draft to bolster the offense. I believe that move will be at the running back position. While the popular notion is that the Lions must address the offensive line or defensive tackle positions in the 1st round, the Lions have shown in the past that they like to draft the best player available when their number is called.

Due to the needs of the 22 teams ahead of the Lions, the best player available at the positions of need will likely be off the board. Leaving running back Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin as the B.P.A. Gordon can provide the Lions with what they have been missing since Barry Sanders retired in 1998, an every down back that can be a game changer.

The Lions will sign a cheap wide receiver.

The market is still flooded with serviceable wide receivers that can provide depth for the Lions at an economical rate. Names to pay attention to are Robert Meachem, Denarius Moore, Jarrett Boykin and Greg Jennings. Jennings is the popular fan choice, but in my opinion the Lions could get a younger and cheaper value from Boykin.

Special teams will not improve.

One thorn in the Lions side over the years has been the special teams unit. While the legs there are quite serviceable, the rest of the unit has struggled mightily over the years. With the signing of Jeremy Ross its evident the Lions don’t plan to move on from him at the return spot.

This hurts the Lions as Ross is a do or die home run hitter that rarely shows up at the plate. Also the Lions lost Jon Bonamego to Central Michigan and replaced him with a less than favorable option in Joe Marciano who led the Houston Texans Special teams unit to a 29th DVOA ranking in 2013 per Football Outsiders.

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Detroit Lions place DT Alim McNeill on IR amid flurry of roster moves
Detroit Lions place DT Alim McNeill on IR amid flurry of roster moves /

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  • The defensive line will take a step back, but not a big one.

    With Suh and Fairley gone the notion is that Lions lost the heart of their 2nd ranked defense. While the hole left by Suh will be difficult to fill, the Lions did a heck of a job temporarily plugging it. The acquisition of Haloti Ngata will bridge if not improve the Lions #1 rushing defense. Ngata in my opinion is a better run stuffer than Suh, in fact Fairley may also have been a better run stuffer than Suh.

    The loss of the oft-injured Fairley has paved way for the signing of Tyrunn Walker, who will provide an excellent pass rush that will be missed from Suh. Along with the ever improving Ziggy Ansah as well as the flexible Jason Jones and the speed of George johnson, the Lions still have an imposing defensive front.

    This will be Teryl Austin’s final season in Detroit

    My belief all along has been that the strength of the is Teryl Austin. The Lions had Suh and Fairley for many years and the defense struggled. Austin turned the Lions into a legit defense and in the process made himself a desirable candidate for a head coaching gig in the NFL. Austin will likely be a head coach in 2016 and wouldn’t hurt so bad to see him coach Miami?

    Caraun Reid will be this years Darius Slay

    There is little evidence to support this theory. Then again there was little evidence to support the theory that Slay would have the season he had. Rumor has it, Reid has been working with a defensive tackle guru. While haven’t found anything to support that, I wouldn’t find it surprising if it were true. I’m not saying that Reid won’t still be little raw, I’m saying that a major improvement should be seen from the young defensive tackle.

    Matthew Stafford will make his second Pro Bowl appearance.

    The common thought about Matthew Stafford is that he regressed drastically in 2014. While Stafford didn’t have an incredible 2011 like season, he did improve on many facets of his game. Decision making is easily the biggest of them all. Stafford threw a career low in interceptions and finished with the second best quarterback percentage of his career. Stafford also improved his footwork which probably saved him from getting sacked 10 more times.

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    With an improved line next season and another year in Lombardi’s scheme Stafford should have another Pro Bowl caliber season. But as a disclaimer to fans: If you’re expecting another 2011 like season you may be placing your expectations a little high.

    The first Lions loss will be blamed on the loss of Suh.

    We all know this is coming. Whether it be by fans or the media, the first time the Lions lose a game and likely each time they do after that, it will be blamed on the loss of Ndamukong Suh. Mayhew and Lewand’s jobs will be called for and the sky will fall for an entire week or until the Lions win another game.

    The Lions will return to the playoffs.

    The thought that this team is done for after the loss of Suh and Fairley is a sign of misunderstanding. The Lions will return 9 of 11 starters to the defense as well as the addition of Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker. The offense is still intact and should improve in its second year of the scheme. This team is still entering it’s prime and while the schedule looks daunting it’s rated as the 15th easiest schedule in the league.

    I’m not saying the Lions will win the Super Bowl or even win a playoff game, but the step back isn’t nearly as far as you may think it is. The Lions still have a great coaching staff and a lot more depth than that 2012 team that regressed after what now looks like a fluke 2011 season. 2015 could be a very exciting season.

    What do you think? What bold predictions do you have? Leave your comments below

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