I AM BACK!!!!!

IMaybe not quite yet
Ndamukong Suh's Sack List
Keep track of which quarterbacks Suh has faced and which ones he has taken down.

Are you looking for equipment for football? Look no further because Sports Unlimited has everything you need at great prices. Check them out.


A Different Look at Detroit Lions Improvement

Everyone keeps looking at the Lions roster and talking about how improved they are on paper. It is only natural for Detroit fans to try and predict how many wins the Lions should actually get in the upcoming 2010 NFL season. Instead of trying to look at their schedule and predict how many wins they will get, I decided to look at how many wins they would have gotten last year with this years team. The biggest question at this point however, is just how much did they improve?

First lets take a quick look at the offensive line. The line should be improved for a few reasons. One is that Jon Jansen is healthy and ready to play better. Another is the addition of left guard Rob Sims. He will do two things. Improve the run blocking and allow Backus and Raiola to play their own positions. Another reason they should be improved is the addition of Jahvid Best. His speed should force defenses to play more honest rather than pinning their ears back and going after the quarterback every play.

Then as already mentioned, there is the addition of running back Jahvid Best. His speed will help more than the offensive line. There were several times in 2009 when Kevin Smith broke into open territory only to be tackled ten to twenty yards down field. Best should have the speed to turn a couple of those runs into long touchdowns. Turning a 20 yard gain into a 60 yard touchdown can be the difference between a win and a loss all on its own. Along with the score, it can be a complete momentum shifter.

With the improvement of the offensive line and the lightning speed of Jahvid Best, quarterback Matthew Stafford should have every opportunity to improve his play from 2009. On many of his plays, he should have more time to look through his reads and that extra time should give the receivers more chances to break into the open. His natural maturity alone should show improvement in his accuracy and putting touch on the ball as well as reading the defenses.

Another addition not mention very much is receiver Nate Burleson. If he can play up to his abilities, he will take pressure off of Calvin Johnson and give Stafford another target. Along with Burleson, the Lions have also brought in tight-end Tony Scheffler. If Pettigrew is not healthy, Scheffler will take his place without missing a beat, but if Pettigrew comes back healthy, they will play together. This two tight-end scheme will create a lot of mismatches giving the Lions a strong advantage.

As we see, there are a lot of reasons to believe the Detroit Lions offense will be much improved. Is there any reasons to believe they might be worse than last year though? Many fans might point out that left tackle Jeff Backus and center, Dominic Raiola will be another year older and one never knows when they will hit their wall and start getting worse. Though they are getting up there in years for football players, it is the common belief that they should still have another two years in them for offensive linemen. So reasonably speaking, the Lions offense should be much improved with little reason to think they will decline.

Then there is the defense which was the worst in the NFL in 2009 and in my opinion might have been the worst in NFL history. The additions of Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams, and Kyle Vanden Bosch should move the Lions defensive line from the worst in the NFL to possibly a top 10 defensive line in the NFL. DeAndre Levy and Louis Delmas will have another year experience. The cornerbacks, Chris Houston, Jonathan Wade, Dre Bly, and Amari Spievey will be a much faster unit and likely a better unit over last years.

The only worry where they might be worse than in 2009 on defense would be with the loss of Ernie Sims who was just starting to come around in the second half of last season. In his place is the fan favorite but still questionable Zack Follett. Follett, known also as the "Pain Train" should put some hurt into opposing quarterbacks, but will sorely be tested when it comes to pass coverage.

All in all however, the Lions defense should be greatly improved over last years catastrophe. They will put a lot more pressure on quarterbacks and that alone will be worth a few points they will take off of the board from opposing scores.

So how would this years team have done in 2009? That would depend on how many points difference you think the two units would have made. Would the new Lions score 3 points per game more than last years team? Maybe 7 points more per game? Do you believe they truly would have scored 13 points more a game? How about the defense? How many less points would they give up? If you think the Lions offense would put up 3 points per game more and their defense would allow 6 points less every game, then that would make it a 9 point difference per game. As little as that sounds, I think that could be a fair opinion. Nine points difference in a game can be a big difference in the NFL. That 9 point change over would have given the Lions 5 wins in 2009.

The following is a list of what the Lions record would have been with each point difference.

3 to 6 pt dif. = 2-wins, 0-ties, 14-losses (same as 2009)
7 point dif. = 2-wins, 2-ties, 12-losses
8 point dif. = 4-wins, 1-tie, 11-losses
9 point dif. = 5-wins, 0-ties, 11-losses
10 point dif. = 5-wins, 1-ties, 10-losses
11 point dif. = 6-wins, 0-ties, 10-losses
12 point dif. = 6-wins, 1-ties, 9-losses
13 point dif. = 7-wins, 0-ties, 9-losses
14 point dif. = 7-wins, 3-ties, 6-losses
15 point dif. = 10-wins, 0-ties, 6-losses

You can see how big of a difference 2 touchdowns makes per game, whether it is the offense scoring more or the defense allowing less scoring. The thing that scares me is that the difference in 9 points would have been 3 games in 2009. None of those would have been again division rivals. Only one of those teams will the Lions play in 2010. The St.Louis Rams!

The closest the Lions came to a division rival in 2009 was 14 points. They did that twice. Once to the Vikings and once to the Bears. In the other game against the Vikings the Lions lost by 17 points. The other three losses were by 22, 24, and 26 points. It is a heart wrenching thought to think that for the Lions to improve enough to even split the games with their division rivals, they would have to improve by 17 points per game. Seventeen points would be enough improvement for the Lions to have had a 10-6 record in 2009. As much as I would like to think it, I just don't see 17 points improvement.

No comments:

Post a Comment