Regardless What Experts Say, Detroit Lions Will Be a Good Team


The off-season in the NFL is nauseating at times. Teams that showed a little bit of hope are coined as “breakout teams”. Take the Minnesota Vikings as an example. No one denies Minnesota has talent, and can be good, but they might be another few seasons before they are.

Outside experts say losing Suh is a “blow” to the Detroit Lions defense. Is this because outside experts have basically ignored how good the Lions Deandre Levy has been? When talking about the best linebackers in football they bring up Luke Kuechly, Clay Matthews, Von Miller and Lavonte David. They never bring up Levy. His numbers stack up with the best, but are discredited because of who he played with?

Via Detroit Lions Media Guide

Then looking at the Lions offense, last season they dealt with injuries. When I say injuries I mean they played a majority of their games with their starting offensive line out. Quarterback Matt Stafford played relatively well, but not as well, as most hoped. How could you expect Stafford to be at his best? His offensive line was complete garbage. Yet, most are willing to point out that Aaron Rodgers has had some pretty bad offensive line play at times too and has managed to succeed.

However, Stafford isn’t Rodgers. Even with having a less than stellar season in statistical terms. Analytically, Stafford was proven to be a top 10 QB.

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The statistic win probability added or WPA, determines how a player adds to his team chances to win, specifically for a quarterback it’s crucial. Stafford played well and he didn’t turn the ball over. For as much pressure as he faced he could have done what he did in years before and forced the ball down field. However, with Stafford spending two seasons in the Lombardi offense he should be even better. The Lions went the Dallas Cowboys method and realized it’d be a wise choice to make an investment in the offensive line.

The Lions offensive line should be much improved in 2015. They added depth with the acquisition of Manny Ramirez, they drafted Laken Thomlinson and Corey Robinson to help bolster an offensive line which, they badly needed.

So why the blatant disrespect by everyone outside of the Detroit sports market?

Well, how does Ngata stack up to Suh? Analytically he stacks up.

Win Probability Added: 

Suh: 1.27

Ngata: 1.51

Positive Expected Points Per Game:

Suh: 2.51

Ngata: 3.52

Tackle Factor: 

Suh: 0.94

Ngata: 0.70 

Ngata is better in two of the three categories mentioned above, so why are we talking about how Suh will be so badly missed.

The national media is a bit out of touch, of course losing a player that is the caliber of Ndamukong Suh is a critical loss. It’s not a death-blow, when Suh came to Detroit in 2010 he came to a defense that was terrible and to be brutally honest the Lions were a train wreck. Yet Detroit’s talent got much better, and the defense in 2013 became a top 15 defense then in 2014 became a top 5 defense. They progressed which is something teams need to do to get better.

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Can you reasonably tell me that Suh made such an impact he single-handedly made the Lions defense better from one year to another? The truth is, Detroit has gotten more talented. Detroit got more talented in the secondary and they have one of the best hidden secrets at linebacker in Deandre Levy.

Losing Suh hurts and I don’t think you can dispute that, but getting Ngata to replace Suh is a great plan B. Moving forward the Lions will be better off letting Suh walk, Suh was paid in Miami and you should never be faulted for taking the money, but I can replace a defensive tackle. I can’t replace a linebacker like Deandre Levy or a pass rusher like Ziggy Ansah, who are tougher to replace then a defensive tackle.

Detroit isn’t a favorite, but they have the talent to surprise people. Regardless what the national media says, Detroit will give Green Bay a run for the NFC North.

Do you think losing Suh is a death-blow for the Detroit Lions? Is this team going to be as good as they have in the prior seasons? Let us know below and as always stay tuned for the latest Detroit Lions news coverage on Detroit Jock City.

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