2013 Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions had high hopes for last season as they were coming off a postseason berth in 2011, a feat they had not previously achieved since 1999. The Lions wanted to prove oNCe and for all that they were done being a cellar dweller team, but they greatly underperformed last season, forcing their fan base to be disappointed yet again. Detroit started out 4-4 both straight-up and against the spread but then absolutely fell apart, losing eight consecutive Games to finish the season at 4-12 overall and in last place in the NFC North. The Lions were also very cruel to their backers in the second half of the season, going a miserable 2-6 ATS down the stretch.
The one huge bright spot for Detroit last year was wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who proved he is clearly the best at his position, recording 122 receptions for 1,964 receiving yards and five touchdowns while shattering Jerry Rice’s NFL single-season record of 1,848 yards. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford took a step backwards from his career year of 5,038 yards and 41 TDs in 2011 with 4,967 yards but only 20 TDs to go along with 17 interceptions. In his first full season after coming off an ACL tear that sidelined him for all of 2011, second-year running back Mikel LeshOure registered 1,012 yards of total offense and nine TDs. Detroit’s Achilles’ heel last season was a defense that ranked 27th in the league, giving up 27.3 points per contest.
Many NFL experts thought the Ford family would fire head coach Jim SChwartz after the team endured an eight-Game losing streak to close out last season, but they chose to retain him. SChwartz will really be on the hot seat this year and could very well be coaching for his job. The Lions made a real effort to upgrade the running Game this offseason with the addition of veteran all-purpose RB Reggie Bush, who should greatly help the Lions running Game as well as provide Stafford with another big-time weapon besides Johnson. They also added safety Glover Quin and defensive end Jason Jones, who both expect to be immediate starters this season. Detroit has high hopes for rookie DE Ziggy Ansah as well, but it could take some time for the No. 5 overall draft pick to develop. Key departures iNClude DEs Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch, WR Titus Young, offensive tackle Jeff Backus, defensive tackle Corey Williams and linebacker Justin Durant. Young’s departure should only help inside the locker room as well.
The oddsmakers at 5Dimes have the Lions at O/U 8 wins for this season. The ceiling for this team could very well be seven wins. Stafford and Johnson will continue to be a lethal combo, but Detroit will still struggle to get others involved on offense, and this defense will likely continue to give up too many points to allow the team to have a winning record and a shot at the playoffs.
Recommended Play: UNDER 8