A Look Ahead to The Lions 2015 Season

Hey all!  I’m Sonja, ProFootballCentral’s newest writer for the Detroit Lions!  Hope you enjoy my takes on my beloved team that rocks the Honolulu Blue and Silver.

 

The Schedule is out, the Draft is done, Suh is out, Ngata is in, Stafford is a married man, and Teryl Austin stayed.   Let’s take a way too early look at the 2015 Lions season, shall we?

As you all are well aware, this team has looked great.  On paper.  That’s the one thing about football.  It can look great all it wants to on paper, but unfortunately, the game is actually played on a field.   Last year you had Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Joique Bell, Theo Riddick and Eric Ebron on the “What Should Be Awesome”  Lions offense.   DeAndre Levy, Ndmukong Suh, Darius Slay, Rasheed Mathis, Nevin Lawson, and Ziggy Ansah holding down our defense.  All what looks to be the making of a pretty decent team.  In the past, they’ve underachieved.  However under the first year of Coach Caldwell, I must admit, I liked what I saw.   Will that growth continue into 2015 with the additions of Ameer Abdullah, Laken Tomlinson, Manny Ramierez and Haolti Ngata?   It will be a challenge this year.  The Lions start 3 of their first 4 games on the road.  And historically, the road hasn’t been good to them.  And all Lions fans can rattle off that Matt Stafford is 0-18 on the road against winning teams. That will get tested in this season.  They start off in San Diego, at Minnesota, Denver at home, and get the Seahawks in Seattle.   If the Lions end the first quarter with a 3-1 record, I’ll be impressed.  I really don’t see them winning in Seattle.   While San Diego has been making some changes, it will be interesting to see if this defense picks up last year’s pace.  Phillip Rivers was sacked 36 times and threw 18 interceptions.   The Chargers were better defending against the pass last year, so we may see the running game take shape.  Calling Ameer Abdullah!!   Next you have the Minnesota Vikings.  I’m certainly not overlooking them.  While they have had their off the field issues with a certain running back, they’ve got Teddy Bridgewater.  And he could be good.  Very good.  And if AP does decide to come back?  This could be a game.   Then comes Denver.  It’s always awesome to have Peyton Manning in the house.  But will he be the Peyton Manning of old?  That’s what this game will hinge on.  That plus it will be the home opener.  The fans and the team will be fired up.  Cause you know how the saying goes, “It Ain’t no party like a Detroit Party!”  And the Lions home opener will be a crazy, party atmosphere.     Last in that first quarter will be the Seahawks, a game that I don’t think they’ll win.  It’s tough to win out there.  It can be done, but it is tough.

3 of their next 4 games will be at home against the Cardinals, Bears, Vikings.  They will then get the Chiefs in Jolly ol’ London.   The Cardinals have always played the Lions very tough.  However, most of the time, it has been on the road.  It’ll be good to finally get them at home.  Maybe they can shake off that monkey and get a win.  But the Cardinals defense is so good.  I’m expecting a great match up there, with the edge going to the Lions in that one.  The Bears.  I respect my Chicago fans, but Chicago is about to reach “Dumpster Fire” Status in my book.  New coach and all.  Still don’t see them getting by the Lions this time.  The Vikings, again, we will see how that goes.  I’m still a little bit afraid of them.  They’re a young team, building confidence.  Taking out a division rival at home could be a big step towards building the Vikings confidence.  Then they travel over to London where magic happened for the Lions last year.  It may be a little tough again for them this year, but right now, I’m pretty confident that the Lions defense can handle the Chief’s offense.  I think it could happen again, and that the Lions could come home with a big win.  I say they finish this group of 4 games with a 3-1 record again, and coming back from London with a 6-2 record.    But, I would also be happy with 5-3 as well.  As long as they are above .500 going into the bye.

Next up, Green Bay twice, the Eagles, and the Raiders at home.  Lambeau Field hasn’t seen the Lions win there since 1991.  If they get this win, ON the road, especially if the Packers are a winning team (Which who thinks they’re not going to be) this would be a huge win for the franchise.  On the other hand, it HAS been since 1991 since they’ve won.  It’s going to be a hard mountain to climb. But I firmly believe that they can beat the Pack back in the friendly confines of Ford Field.  The Eagles.  I-I-I-I-I-I-I don’t really know about this one.  Chip has done some weird things with this team.  If his evil scheme has worked, the Lions may have their work cut out for them.  However, you ARE relying on Sam Bradford as the QB.  If he goes down with yet another injury, they’ll have to play who, Sanchize?  I think I like the Lions chances with this one.  Last but not least, the Raiders at home.  Win.  I’m just going to say it.  It’s a win.  While I don’t think they’ll finish this next set of games 3-1, because the Lions are the Lions, I’m going to say that they’ll finish 2-2, bringing their record to 8-4.  If I’m being optimistic?  4-0 and be 9-3.  (Show of hands, who really thinks they can be 9-3 three quarters of the way into the season?  Didn’t think so.)

They wind up the season how they started, with the last 3 of 4 on the road.  At the Rams, Saints, and Bears, and home to the 49ers.   This, I think will be the test of if Stafford can really pull off that elusive road win.  His best chance to get it?  Against the Saints. Who I really think will have a turn around year this year, and be the Saints that most of us were expecting to see last year.  If that’s the case, then Lions offense will really be tested.  If the New Orleans defense comes out tough like it has in years past, it may be hard to get by this team.  I’m calling a win against the Rams, and the Bears?  Well, as long as Jay Cutty is there, I’m not putting anything past them.  However, I will say this:   It has been over 730 days since the Bears last beat the Lions.   Can we talk about the Niners for like a minute?  I got 2 words for ya…..Dumpster and Fire.  Win.  Hmm…4-0.  Not bad for the last quarter of the season.

 

Optimistically, how will they end the season?  12-4.  Man, I’m laughing at myself for even writing that.  Realistically how will they end their season? (Didn’t mention this earlier, but I’m quite the realistic fan.  I realize that these are the Lions I’m talking about, and they have a knack for doing crazy weird things.)  I’m going to say 10-6 at best, 7-9 at worst.   By the way, feel free to disagree, agree, or just discuss your feelings about Eric Ebron having a break out year with me on Twitter @Mom23RN!    Looking forward to interacting with ya!!!