The offense will be the key to everything the Lions do this season. Their passing offense should be elite once again and the ability of Stafford alone will keep them relevant in the majority of their contests. A run game that was infused with talent this offseason can finally get out of the depths of the league’s rankings. Detroit should have one of the best offenses in the NFL this season.
Defense will be a concern, though. The front seven failed to effectively pass rush or stop the run last year and none of the moves Detroit made this offseason should make you confident that will change. Their secondary is still full of playmakers and in a pass heavy NFL that is more important than anything on that side of the ball.
Even though it is only the first year of the Matt Patricia era the expectations should be high for the Lions. Their schedule lines up well for them as they play the AFC East and NFC West, two divisions which are full of beatable teams. Finishing in second place in the NFC North last season pits them against the Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers who both are teams expected to take a step back.
They may get some trouble from within their division, though. The Minnesota Vikings reloaded this offseason and should yet again be among the NFL’s elite class. Green Bay is a weaker team than Detroit on paper but the return of Aaron Rodgers should make them competitors as well. As talented as the Lions are, and easy as their schedule may be, a third place finish in the NFC North is still very realistic. Hope shouldn’t be lost, though, as they will probably be competing for a wild card spot in 2018.
Standings: 3rd in the NFC North
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