After the Detroit Lions drafted Nick Fairley in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, they instantly became a playoff team and getting him automaticly means they will beat us twice this year and challenge Green Bay for 1st in the division. Wait..... what? How can a rookie DT propel a team into 9-10 win team?
I've been hearing here and at other blogs that Detroit is going to be great this year and even that they will be second in the division and get in the playoffs. If you can't tell by now, I do not think the same. Inside, I'll break down their real chances of being a 9-10 win playoff team, and give a reasonable prediction or two.
(This is Ndamukong Suh, he'll squish the jelly from your eyes and whatnot...)
(Stats courtesy of PFR)
The Detroit Lions finished off the 2010 campaign on a four game winning streak (Packers, Buccaneers, Dolphins, Vikings) to claim third place in the NFC North and finish 6-10. However, none of this impresses me BECAUSE.... The Packers were Rodger-less and ran around like chickens with their heads cut off for four periods, they played a decent game against the Bucs, but got a garbage call to go their way (it was so bad, the refs apologized for it), the Miami Dolphins are the Miami Dolphins, and we had a 3rd string rookie QB calling the shots and injuries in the backfield; so they easily could have been a three-4 win team.
For all of the love they're getting this year, they didn't have anything special last year. Their offense was 17th best with 100 yards rushing/game (23rd) and 238 yards passing (12th), and their defense was 23rd best with 124.9 yards/game given up rushing (which is 24th, their D-Line is way overrated) and 218.6 yards/game given up passing (15th). Shortened up, they have no running game and their QB situation is worse than ours with Mattew Stafford not making it through a season yet(though I don't think he's a great QB anyway). Their out of division schedule isn't doing them any favors either with the likes of Tampa Bay, KC, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, New Orleans, Oakland and San Diego; seven over .500 teams.
They did improve in the draft however. Nick Fairley will be a good player in the NFL, but he won't be dominant if he continues to take plays off. I like Titus Young too, who was a stud at Boise State. Quick feet, soft hands, and crisp route running makes this kid have a bright future.
Assuming Stafford plays all 16 games (I know, it's a longshot) I think they are a 5-11 minimum, 7-9 maximum team. Their wins coming against Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Carolina, Oakland. Maybe another against us in their house (40% chance), and maybe another in their house against San Diego (yeah that's right, Phillip Rivers can't carry that team forever) 35% chance on that one.
Tell me what you think. I encourage you to do your own research before you vote if your not sure.