The Detroit Lions finished the 2012 season with a 4-12 record, and ended the year on an 8-game losing streak.
This offseason, the Lions brought in a lot of talented players, including running back Reggie Bush, defensive end Jason Jones, safety Glover Quinn, defensive tackle CJ Mosley, and kickers David Akers and Havard Rugland.
To make room for these new players, Detroit had to let some talented players go as well. These players include defensive linemen Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril and Sammie Hill, and offensive linemen Gosder Cherilus and Steven Peterman.
After a very disappointing 2012 year, head coach Jim Schwartz’s seat is getting very hot. The Lions will need to have a good 2013 season if he wants to keep his job. Here is the Lions 2013-2014 season preview.
The Lions put up some pretty solid offensive statistics in 2012, finishing 2nd in the league in pass yards per game and 23rd in the league in rush yards per game. These numbers can be a little deceiving however, as the Lions were often playing from behind.
Matt Stafford has one of the best arms in the NFL, and his numbers should improve in 2013. The Lions had more receivers tackled inside the 5-yard line than any other team in 2012.
With a receiving core led by Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew, Stafford will have plenty of weapons to use on offense. Detroit also signed RB Reggie Bush this offseason, and he should be a great addition to this offense. Rush ran for 986 yards for the Dolphins last year and also caught 35 passes out of the back field. Look for the Lions to utilize Bush a lot more in the passing game than the Dolphins did a year ago.
Mikel Leshoure is Bush’s backup, and he was the Lions leading rusher in 2012. The Lions running game should be improved in 2013, but this is still a pass first team.
The Lions offensive success will be determined by the play of its offensive line. If the o-line can give Stafford time, he’ll find the open receiver and the Lions will be one of the most explosive teams in the NFL. If they can’t give Stafford time, he’ll make some questionable throws and turn the ball over a lot more than his coaching staff would like.
In 2012, the Lions finished 14th in the league against the pass and 16th against the run.
The weakest part of the Lions defense in 2012 was their secondary, and bringing in veteran safety Glover Quinn should be a great addition to this team.
The key to the Lions defense however is their defensive line led by Ndamukong
Suh and Nick Fairley. When Detroit made it to the playoffs in 2011, their defensive line was consistently putting pressure on the opposing QB. Last season, the Lions only recorded 34 sacks (9 by the departed Cliff Avril), and that number will have to improve in 2013. Detroit will be relying on newly acquired Jason Jones and 2013 first round pick Ziggy Ansah to step in a produce immediately.
If the d-line can get pressure on the opposing QB, it’ll take a lot of pressure off of the Lions secondary which is not the most talented group in the league. Adding Quinn helps, but the cornerback duo of Ronald Bartell and Chris Houston isn’t that great. Houston is a decent CB and Bartell still has a lot to prove. When healthy, safety Louis Delmas has been productive, but there is a major emphasis on the word when. Delmas has missed 13 games over the past two seasons.
Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy were the Lions leading and third leading tacklers respectively in 2012, and they’ll both return to their linebacking spots in 2013. Ashlee Palmer is slotted in to start at the other outside linebacker spot for the Lions, and he hasn’t proven himself yet in his 4-year NFL career.
If Detroit’s defensive line plays well, it’ll hide a lot of the other flaws on this defense.
2013 Prediction: 6-10
The Lions offense should put up a lot of points in 2013, but the Lions are also going to be giving up a lot of points.
Detroit is one of those teams that is impossible to predict right now. It wouldn’t be a shocker to see this team win 9 games, and it wouldn’t be that shocking to see them win 4. But for now, until their defense proves they can stop somebody, the aren’t going to compete for an NFC North title.
Wins: Minnesota, @Cleveland, Dallas, Tampa Bay, @Philadelphia, Baltimore
Losses: @Arizona, @Washington, Chicago, @Green Bay, Cincinnati, @Chicago, @Pittsburg, Green Bay, New York (Giants), @Minnesota