The start of the Detroit Lions season is just a few weeks away. The team is learning a lot about them self through their first series of preseason games. In a narrow defeat against Cleveland, and a narrow defeat against Oakland, the Lions have really shown what they needed to. Their first team players have been great all around, and even some of the guys that will up on the practice squad have impressed.
The season will kick off September 8, when Detroit will take on the New York Giants at home. This is a crucial point for both teams, and the Lions starters are not figuring to go down opening night at home. The starting defensive front looks abominable, thus far. The first game of the season is what gets the momentum going. For the Detroit Lions that game has got to be a win.
Every NFL season is full of surprises, and upsets. Each season has its own storyline that could be viewed through the eyes of 32 teams. For the Detroit Lions, there are bound to be a few great story lines. That is why I am going to predict a few possible story lines that could come to be for the Lions in the near future. Here are a few of my own bold predictions.
Matthew Stafford – My bold prediction for the Lions’ franchise quarterback is that he will cut down on the interceptions, and increase his production to mimic that of the 2011 season. If Matthew Stafford can get back to prime form he will no doubt receive a few votes for MVP of the NFL, and he will be a front runner to win the NFL’s AP Comeback Player of the Year Award. In fact, my prediction is that Stafford wins the Comeback POY Award for his 2nd time.
Dominic Raiola – Dominic Raiola has often been associated with losing, simply because he has played 13 years in the NFL, right here in Detroit. That is not the case, however. Dominic Raiola is possibly the best center in the NFC, and my bold prediction is that he will represent the NFC for his first appearance in the Pro Bowl. It really has been a long time coming for Raiola, and he is already being considered for the honor because of his commitment to the Detroit Lions organization.
Ziggy Ansah – Ziggy Ansah is the real deal at defensive end. That much was apparent in 2013, as he led all rookies in the NFL in sacks. Although he is coming off of an off season surgery and has not played in the Lions’ preseason games, I think that Ziggy Ansah will be a wrecking ball in 2014. He is an athletic freak, and with more help from the Detroit linebackers he will get to the quarterback even more. How much more? If Ansah can start 16 games for the Lions, I do not see any reason that he can’t record 16 sacks. That makes my bold prediction for the Lions’ sophomore pass rushing sensation Ziggy Ansah is that he will double his sack total from last season.
Darius Slay – “I have not seen anything from Slay that shows he is ready to be a starting cornerback,” says about half of the Detroit Lions’ fan base. Well, the reality is that you probably haven’t. You are not at training camp with Darius Slay every day, like his coaches are. And he only started 4 games for the Lions in 2013, so you more than likely did not see much from him his rookie season. Well, keep your eyes open in 2014, because this guy has ball skills. No matter how bad people want to discredit Darius Slay, it is not going to happen. My bold prediction for Darius Slay is that he has at least 3 interceptions, and over 12 passes defended.
Golden Tate – Matthew Stafford probably is not going to win the Comeback POY award without the assistance of Golden Tate. He has looked phenomenal, so far, and he does not look like he is slowing down. Golden Tate was able to accumulate 898 yards in 2013, and he also had 5 touchdowns. That was with a Seattle Seahawks power football, run heavy offense. The Lions have a pretty good running game of their own, but there is no reason that Golden Tate can’t top his numbers from last season with a more potent Detroit offense. I think that Golden Tate finally becomes a member of the 1,000 yard club, and that he finishes the season with around 1,200 yards.
Detroit Lions – Don’t think I am going to give you a bold predictions set without a prediction about the Detroit Lions themselves. Jim Caldwell is no slouch. He has started to put together a winning attitude in Detroit, and I think that Lions may make the playoffs with Caldwell in his first season as head coach. Most people are not counting on that to happen, but I think there are at least 10 winnable games on Detroit’s schedule. If I am right, that will put the Lions at 10-6 for the 2014 football season.