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The Detroit Lions Fans should use Common Sense.

A shamed Detroit Lions fan
I hear a lot of Detroit Lions fans saying the Lions will win three games at the most in 2009. I have heard others say they will make the play-offs. Among those are Lions running back, Kevin Smith. The truth likely lays somewhere in between.

Let's face one fact right now. The Lions front office did not draft for this year. They have repeatedly said this is a two part draft. They drafted with expectations of putting it all together after next seasons draft. That was why they drafted Quarterback - Matthew Stafford and not OT - Jason Smith. If the Lions were looking to win in 2009, they would have taken Jason Smith in hopes that Culpepper could lead them behind a stronger and improved offensive line. The drafting of Matthew Stafford while not improving the worst offensive line in the NFL, says they want to groom their young quarterback and have him ready for 2010.

The Detroit Lions offensive line has been in the worst three teams for allowing sacks for three straight years. It has been since Barry Sanders retired since the Lions had a running game and let's face it, that was because Barry was great, not because the line was any good. One of the most common cliches in the NFL is... "The game is won in the trenches". The reason that cliche is used so often is because it is true, and until the Lions build their offensive line up, they will not make the play-offs.

Yet it is important for fans not to be too pessimistic. Yes the Detroit Lions were the worst team in NFL history. Yes they still have a horrible offensive line. I understand that they have a choice of playing a rookie quarterback or a veteran who has fumbling issues and has not had a good season since 2005. But there are reasons to be optimistic as well. The Detroit Lions had several games in 2008 which they lost by one touchdown or less. Several times they had the lead only to see their defense lose it in the fourth quarter. As bad as the Lions might be expected to be, I have a hard time believing they are not vastly improved still.

Offensive lineman, Gosder Cherilus was beginning to look like a decent player in the second half of 2008. He will be more experienced and could still improve his game for 2009. The addition of Brandon Pettigrew should help the offense a little as well. Yet the biggest reason to be optimistic is the defense. Of the eleven starters in 2008, the Detroit Lions will go into 2009 with 6 of them replaced. The addition of Julian Peterson and Larry Foote should move the Lions linebacker crew from one of the worst to one of the best in the NFL. If the cornerbacks, both of whom were replaced, play better than last years players, the defense will be far improved. Enough to make a difference in those close games and maybe hold some leads.

There is every reason to believe the Lions will win more than three games in 2009. There is every reason to believe they will not make the play-offs. Very likely the truth lies somewhere in the range of 4 to 6 wins. Of course this is all depending on how much better or worse their opponents are from 2008 as well.

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