‘Tis the season
It’s that time of year folks. The NFL season officially has kicked off, and I am ready for my Detroit Lions to make that jump to becoming an elite team.
As an avid Lions fan, I have gotten into a bit of a routine every year as they always find a way to disappoint me. Here is how my optimism grows every year as the NFL season approaches.
In January, I am feeling pretty awful about how the season went. Usually, there has been an injury to some key player or young star. (See Brandon Pettigrew from last seaon).
February comes and some obscure team rises from out of dumps to win the Super Bowl. Who could have predicted that the Giants would beat the Patriots, the Cardinals would even make it to the Super Bowl, or that the New Orleans Saints could go from the Aint’s to the top of the football world.
Now the wheels in my brain begin to turn against my better judgment. “Well, what if the Lions are only a few players away from being like the Saints?” I will ask myself.
Then comes April and the NFL draft. Until Matt Millen was fired, everyone knew that the Lions would be taking a wide receiver with their first pick. But now the Lions are making moves. In the last two drafts, the Lions have picked up Matt Stafford, Pettigrew, Ndamukong Suh, and they even traded up to pick running back Jahvid Best.
Now I am excited for the season, but not entirely. I look at the schedule when it comes out in the summer, and I pick the games that I think the Lions can win. For example, the St. Louis Rams are coming to Ford Field on Oct. 10. That’s an easy win right? Well the Lions let me down and lost to them last year, but this time it will be different — I hope.
I see a few wins on the ballot this year. Both games against the Chicago Bears should be easy. They can beat the Philadelphia Eagles, the Rams and the Washington Redskins. And at the end of the year, the Buffalo Bills, that’s a freebie.
Before I know it, the preseason has begun and the Lions are looking decent. Remember 2008 when they went 4-0, what a preseason that was! So what if the Lions then lost every game in the regular season. No one can take away the year they were the world champions of the NFL preseason.
But now the regular season is about to begin. The Lions are tied with the Saints, Colts, and the dreaded Green Bay Packers at 0-0. Now I am thinking they won’t lose a game. I am on top of the world, and my team can’t be beat.
As we all know, that has not been the case in the past, but I can dream, can’t I?
So now I will give you my educated pick on how the Lions will finish this season. I will put my fandom aside at be serious.
I truly believe that the Lions are now the third best team in the NFC North. The Bears have taken a step back recently, and Lions fans know how that world famous Mike Martz offense works.
The Packers and Vikings are both playoff teams looking at a shot for a Super Bowl appearance.
The Lions have a tough schedule and are still young. Holes in the secondary will hurt them against teams like the Patriots and the Cowboys.
I look to see Stafford make strides and stay healthy. Also this needs to be the season where Calvin Johnson becomes a top five receiver in the league. With the additions of Best and Suh, the Lions have new young talent on both sides of the ball.
So here is my prediction. Are you ready? This year the Lions will finish with 6-10 record.
Not great, but not bad either.