First and foremost, I want to make it clear that this is merely just my OPINION.
Sure, you can say that it’s “just the preseason” and that it doesn’t matter. But, I believe that I can safely speak for most Lions fans when I say that we didn’t see a whole heckuva lot to be excited about from the Lions in their four scrimmages.
There are some things, of course, that are naturally exciting. The return of the high-flying offense, headlined by Matthew Stafford. The new bruiser in LeGarrette Blount, the potential emergence of the offensive line, and the addition of a potential top-tier running back in Kerryon Johnson.
But, there is also inevitably hard schedule to consider. Considering the idea that (in my opinion) every team but Detroit actually improved their roster since the end of last season, the thought of playing all of Green Bay, Minnesota, and yes, even Chicago twice is daunting. By my count, I see one win out of those six games (which would come from Detroit’s home matchup with the Bears).
Yes, the offense is going to be good. I feel very safe in making that assumption. But, I also feel safe in saying that we’ve seen this offense stall out numerous times in the past. Also, and quite possibly more daunting, the defense is going to be bad. I mean… really bad. This is a defense that last year allowed 112.5 rushing yards a game. They also allowed 243.3 yards a game through the air. They intercept 19 passes, but eight of those came from Darius Slay. Why anyone would throw against Slay this year is beyond me, considering the number two cornerback on this roster is likely Nevin Lawson, and the difference in talent level between the two is astounding.
My biggest problem with the defense is that the team is no better than they were at the end of last season at any position. I argue, in fact, that they are worse now than they were at the end of last season at a good portion of those positions. Sure, Ziggy Ansah is a workhorse at the end position. But, who else on that line is capable of creating pressure? Kerry Hyder, who missed last season? A’Shawn Robinson, who was passed on the depth chart this summer? You see my point.
Surely, you must think that I’m a stereotypical Lions naysayer. That I’m the average “Same Old Lions” guy. Let me assure you that I am not. In all reality, my goal here isn’t even to rip on the Lions. I actually want to see that Lions Super Bowl banner someday (preferably sooner than later, too). Maybe all the years of being a fan of a team that has consistently ripped my heart out are finally catching up to me. But, if I look at this season through a pair of normal glasses, I have a hard time seeing this team win more than seven games.