The Detroit Lions had a solid 11-5 season last year, but they didn't last long in the playoffs, losing by 4 points to Dallas in the Wildcard round. The Lions look to be a solid team again this year, but their Win Total has been set at just 8.5, with juice to the Under (-130). Vegas odds have the Lions listed at +450 to win the NFC North, +2000 to win the NFC Title and +4500 to win the Superbowl. The Detroit Lions' Season Preview along with their 2015 Schedule are below.
Last year Detroit's offense ranked 22nd in scoring, at 20.1 ppg, while also ranking 19th in total yards (340.8 ypg), 12th in passing (251.9 ypg) and 28th in rushing (88.9 ypg). The Offense was a very mediocre group last year, which is surprising with all the Talent that is on it, starting with QB Mathew Stafford, who didn't seem to like the ball control offense that they ran last year. This year he will be asked to take more chances and why not when you have Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson catching passes for you. Calvin Johnson was the quickest player to 10,000 yards receiving (115 games), while Golden Tate was 6th in the NFL in receiving yards last year with 1331 yards. This is the most potent 1-2 pass catching duo in the league. It's a shock that the running game didn't produce as much last year as Joique Bell and Reggie Bush Both have the talent to be top notch RB's. Well last year Bell solidified himself as the starter, when he rumbled for 860 yards, while Bush had just 297. This year Bush may drop to 3rd on the depth chart with the Addition of 2nd round pick Ameer Abdullah. Ameer has breakaway speed and is a threat to score any time he touches the ball. The skill players are in place, but a big reason for the offensive struggles last year were due to a poor OL that allowed 45 sacks and just didn't open and holes. The did grab Manny Ramirez in Free Agency, plus they took Lake Tomlinson with their first pick in the draft, so I will call for the Line to be much improved this year.
Defensively the Lions ranked 3rd in points allowed (17.6 ppg), 2nd in yards allowed (300.9 ypg), 13th vs the pass (231.6 ypg) and 1st vs the run (69.3 ypg). The Lions had one of the best defenses in the league last year, but this year they will have to do it without some key players, including N. Suh and Nick Fairley and George Johnson. The Lions do have some help coming in in Ngata Haloti, who has been to the Pro Bowl 5 times. The Lions are also looking for Ezekiel Ansah to take the next step, after notching 15.5 sacks he last 2 years combined. DE Philip Hunt and DT Tyrunn Walker were also brought in through free agency and should help with depth. Still this unit is down from last year. The LB corps looks very solid this year and is led by DeAndre Levy, who led the NFL with 117 solo tackles last year. Stephen Tulloch is back after missing time with a knee injury last year, while Kyle Van Noy should be ready to bust out, following a lost rookie season that saw him miss due to a sports hernia operation. Tahir Whitehead and Josh Bynes will supply very solid depth. The Secondary was very good lad year and is led by Glover Quin, who led the NFL in INTs with 7. He will be joined by Darius Slay, who was the Lions most improved player last year and Rashean Mathis, who has a very high football IQ. CB Josh Wilson was brought in to add depth, while 3rd round pick Alex Carter, could make his way to the starting lineup.
The Lions won 11 games last year thanks mostly to their very aggressive defense, but this year they will need to rely more on their offense to get the job done, as they defense will be down a bit this especially with the loss of Suh and Fairley. There is some solid talent on this defense and bringing in Ngata will help, plus they have upgraded their depth some on this side of the ball. Still i don't see them putting up the same numbers as they did last year. The offense last year was very average for a Detroit offense, especially with two 1000 yards receivers on it and a QB that once threw for 500 yards in a season. It was a new offense that Stafford was running last year, plus the injuries and inconsistent play along the line didn't help things either. It really looked as if Detroit got so conservative on offense because they knew that their defense was so good and win games for them. This year the offense will have to make more plays and Stafford will be expected to stretch the field more and take chances, which is something he didn't do last year. The Lions will not reach D in wins this year, but as long as the OL steps up and the defense doesn't drop too much then I feel they can win 9 games this year and contend for another playoff spot.
Info Gathered From Pro Football Weekly & Athlon Sports
2015 Detroit Lions Schedule
Sept. 13 at San Diego Chargers, 4:05
Sept. 20 at Minnesota Vikings, 1
Sept. 27 Denver Broncos, 8:30
Oct. 5 at Seattle Seahawks (Mon), 8:30
Oct. 11 Arizona Cardinals, 4:05
Oct. 18 Chicago Bears, 1
Oct. 25 Minnesota Vikings, 1
Nov. 1 at Kansas City Chiefs (London), 9:30 a.m
Nov. 8 BYE
Nov. 15 at Green Bay Packers, 1
Nov. 22 Oakland Raiders, 1
Nov. 26 Philadelphia Eagles (Thu), 12:30
Dec. 3 Green Bay Packers (Thu), 8:25/NFLN
Dec. 13 at St. Louis Rams, 1
Dec. 21 at New Orleans Saints (Mon), 8:30
Dec. 27 San Francisco 49ers, 1
Jan. 3 at Chicago Bears, 1
-$25 of picks FREE! No Obligation - No Credit Card Required - Becoming a member is Fast and Free!
Stay on top of the latest odds and line moves for NFL Season with our real-time odds from Las Vegas and offshore!
Be sure and check out Pregame.tv for more videos like the one below. Steve and Teddy will be putting out many NFL Preview videos starting in July.
How to Bet Canadian Football: Take Advantage of the Rule Change
Vegas gambling experts Scott Spreitzer and Steve Fezzik offer some winning betting tips for Candian Football fans. A new CFL rule change will result in higher-scoring games, so Fezzik suggests betting the overs on win totals once the season is in full swing in Week 5. Like the NFL, CFL offenses play catch up early in the season, but eventually get in a groove that results in high-scoring games and possibly lucrative wagers.