Over the course of 32 days (or so) I will be previewing all 32 NFL teams, followed by an overall season prediction post, leading up to the start of the 2014 season. This post is previewing the Detroit Lions.
With one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, Calvin Johnson, leading the offense, finishing under .500 the past two seasons has to be a disappointing result for LIons fans. The team’s passing game was fine in 2013 — with QB Matthew Stafford finishing in the top seven in completions, attempts, passing yards and passing TD — but the running game, led by RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell, could be better as it ranked 17th in rushing yards for the season.
For the 2014 season, the team should improve at the number-two WR position after the offseason signing of veteran Golden Tate, who was a key offensive piece of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl-winning season in 2013. If the middle-of-the-pack defense can see some improvement and keep opponents out of the endzone more than last year, the Lions’ offense won’t have to score as many points to win games.
A third-place finish in the division last year gives the Lions a fairly easyschedule, with the toughest non-divisional battles being a home game against the Saints in week 7 and a road game against the Patriots in week 12. Other out-of-division opponents include the Jets, Bills and Buccaneers. With the Bears and Packers in the division the Lions likely won’t get a division title, but the team could contend for one of the NFC’s wild-card berths.