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2011 Detroit Lions - I'm Not Afraid To Say It

"The Lions are a much improved team. A good team, but I am not ready to say they are Superbowl contenders. Maybe Next year!"

How many times have you heard someone say that this year already? I have lost track. I have heard it on the radio, by callers as well as the hosts. I have heard it said at work. I have heard it said on television. Some may believe it, but most who do are afraid to say it because it is such a high praise for a team that has not had a winning season since some time before Moses' hair turned white. So please, let me be one of the few who are not afraid to say it....

"The 2011 Detroit Lions are good enough to win the Superbowl!"

Now is when you try to say I am crazy right? That I am drinking too much cool-aid. I have to lay off the corn bread or stop eating paint. Today at work, when I stated the Lions are a top-5 team, the first reply was... "In the division?" When I said in the NFL, another guy turned around with his eyes wide and said... "You are on crack!" No, I am on a dose of reality and I am not afraid to say it.

Maybe you think I am living in a fantasy world. Well come walk with me through the enchanted forest, deep in the midst of LaLa Land and let me show you what I see.

In the 2011 season, what quarterbacks would you rather have on the team than Stafford? Peyton Manning? Not a chance, since he is out for the year. Who is left? Rodgers, Brees, and Brady. Those are the only QB's that one can make a substantial argument about being better than Stafford. Schaub might fall in there as well, but it would not be as strong of an argument.

I can make a list of around 11 running backs who are better than Best at this time. Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Jones-Drew, Arian Foster, McCoy, Turner, Stephen Jackson, Ray Rice, Mendenhall, Gore and McFadden. Charles is now eliminated as he is out for the season with an ACL tear. I also believe that by the seasons end, Best will be above 4 or 5 of these guys as well.

Look at the Receivers. Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson and Titus Young. How many teams have a better set of WRs than the Lions? I can see the Saints being argued. They may be the only strong argument there is. Teams like the Packers, Patriots, and Cardinals can be mentioned but I would not put their three receivers above those of the Lions.

The Lions Tight End tandem is easily one of the best in the NFL. Ask someone to find better TE's than Pettigrew and Scheffler on one team, and they will be hard pressed. The best hope would be the Patriots with Hernandez and Gronkowski.

The Lions O-line has been a topic of debate every year. The simple fact is however, only two or three teams protected their quarterbacks better than the Lions did in 2010. When looking at how many sacks were allowed compared to how many passes were attempted, the Lions were in the top 3 or 4 in the NFL.

With Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams, Sammie Lee Hill, and Rookie Nick Fairley manning the interior and the likes of Vanden Bosch, Avril, Brown and Lawrence Jackson patrolling the outside, there simply is no better defensive line in the NFL.

The Lions went out and added Tullock and Durant to team up with Levy. In doing so, the Lions have created a very strong crew of starting linebackers. Are they the best in the NFL? Likely not, but you would be hard pressed to find ten teams with better.

Adding Eric Wright to play opposite of Chris Houston was a good move. There were questions about him but so far they are playing very strong. I would not go so far as say the Lions CBs are top-10 in the NFL, but I would list them in the top half of the NFL.

Detroit already had Louis Delmas playing strong for his first two seasons. Last year they added a cornerback, Amari Spievey and turned him into a Safety. He was not good in 2010, it is that plain. However, 2011 is a different year and Spievey has shown he can be a very good safety. There are likely a few teams with a better tandem manning the back of their defenses, but I would list the Lions safeties as top 5 in the NFL.

NOW I ASK YOU.... How many teams can you run down this list and say they rank as high as the Lions do across the board? Patriots? Not quite. Great players but they have an average O-line, average running backs, and their defense is decent but not great. How about the Packers? They have an awesome offense but their defense is lacking. They are bottom in the NFL right now against the pass. They just let a rookie quarterback throw for over 400 yards against them!

In 2010 the Lions played close games against top teams without their starting QB, their RB hurting and a horrible linebacker crew. In 2011, there is not a team that stacks up as strong as the Lions do across the board.

So no, I am not afraid to say it. The Detroit Lions are good enough to win the Superbowl. Does that mean I am predicting them to win it? Nope! Not because I am afraid to do so, but simply because I wont predict a Superbowl winner until the play-offs begin. There are too many things that can happen to any team and in the NFL, 16 games is still a long season and a lot of time for things to happen. But at this point of time, I believe the Lions have as good of a chance as ANY team in the NFL of doing it. I believe that the Lions are the team to beat.

Yes I know the Lions haven't won enough yet. Some believe the Lions need to prove they can win a lot first before they can be called a good team. I believe that you have to be good first in order to win those games. Bad teams don't win games to become good. Good teams win games to be called good. The Lions are good and they will win a lot of games this year.

1 comment:

  1. Winning breed winning this Sunday's game with the Vikings will go a long way in telling us who the Lions are. Division game are tough, the Lions are by far the better team but we know how these kind of games go. The Lions have yet to play a team team they need to beat to move up, however so far so good.