Tag Archive | Matt Stafford

NFC North 2015 Preview – Detroit Lions

This week is my NFC North preview of the Detroit Lions.

I’m not sure what to think of the Lions.

Lots of teams build off of what they did the season before. However, when I think of the Lions, I really just feel like they missed their opportunity.

I really hope I’m not jinxing the Packers with that statement.

Here is how their last season turned out.

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 9.16.40 PM

They went 11-5 finishing in second place in the NFC North division and earned themselves a 6th seed in the NFC playoff picture. They ended up losing to Dallas.

I missed this man of many expressions

The coaching staff is the same, at least for the big 3. This will be Jim Caldwell‘s second year as head coach. The offensive coordinator remains Joe Lombardi (last year was his first year as an offensive coordinator, previously a QB’s coach for the Saints) and the defensive coordinator remains Teryl Austin (previously a secondary coach for the Ravens from 2011-2013).

Matt Stafford is back again. Eh.

Weapons on offense at wide receiver are still Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. As for a third receiver, there really isn’t much of a choice. There is Fuller and then there is Jeremy Ross, whom I hate because he screwed up so many kick returns for the Packers, then goes to the Lions and does a bang up job. Screw you Jeremy Ross, screw you.

Really, the next best weapon for the Lions is at their tight end position. Pettigrew is someone on paper that you want to love, but having had him on my fantasy team I can tell you he is not what he is all cracked up to be. Fan favorite Fauria could emerge as a threat as well. Last season he was severely limited with an ankle injury. The other possibility is Eric Ebron.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000248117/Fauria-5-yard-touchdown-catch

As for running back, thank God the Lions finally released Reggie Bush. Why give him the ball? He made matters worse every time he handled the ball last year. It looks like this year Riddick and Bell will again be sharing the carries.

The biggest offseason change is a tremendous one. Ndamukong Suh is no longer a Lion. I do not see how you let him go. It’s insane. He, like many others, has found his way to the Dolphins. I know Suh’s contract was huge, he got 60 million guaranteed and 114 million 6-year contract, but still … how do you let him go? In his place they now have Ngata from the Baltimore Ravens. That is so not the same thing, let’s all be honest. The biggest play makers for this team are Suh and Johnson.

Suh will be sorely missed.

Also gone is Fairley. Here is a great article about both their departures from ESPN.

Here is the Lions current project depth chart:

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 12.54.42 PM

I’m not sure what my prediction for the Lions upcoming season will be. I always worry about the Lions. A few plays here, a few plays there and things could have been very different in the playoff picture last year. I still maintain that if Green Bay could have finished the game again Seattle, we would have won the Super Bowl. However, I didn’t see the Lions advancing past the Seahawks or the Patriots.

Here is the Lions schedule for next year:

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 12.53.27 PMLet’s see how they do this year with the coaching staff perhaps more together as a unit and some of the Lions old habits of dirty play out the door with Suh. Perhaps 2015 will be the year for the Lions to shine.

As always, Go Pack Go.

 

 

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Go For Two: NFL week 2 games to watch

I’m not fat anymore!

First let me say I don’t know what is going on in a world where the Packers and the Bears are 0-1 and the Vikings and the Lions are 1-0.

This world is topsy-turvy.

Week 2 is a little early in the season to decide what “big” games to watch. It’s still anyone’s season, no matter what they tell you. However, some are still very intriguing.

What games should you keep your eye on for week 2 of the NFL?

 

 

Dolphins at Bills Sunday 1:00PM ET

The Dolphins and the Bills are 1-0. More importantly, Miami got that “W” by beating the Pats. I don’t care if it was only week one, that’s a big deal. Not only is it a win against the great Patriots, a win for the Dolphins, but a win for the Dolphins in their division. Huge.

The Dolphins had a pretty disappointing year last year. Not only did they go 8-8, but they had a huge scandal with Incognito. Week 2 will be a chance to show whether or not the win was a fluke. However, they do play the Bills, who are also in the AFC East division. If Miami comes out of this game with a 2-0 record overall and a 2-0 record in the division, that my friends is a very dynamic way to start off the season.

The Bills went 6-10 last season. The Patriots went 12-4. This AFC East division was all pretty even, save for the Patriots. That was an easy division champ win for the Patriots last year. The question after this game will be on if the Patriots will be challenged by their in-division opponents of the Jets, Dolphins, and Bills, or if, could it be, the Patriots aren’t that good this year?

I personally would never, ever count out Brady and Belichick.

Miami key players for those who don’t watch this division.

Buffalo Bills key players.

Of note,  EJ Manuel was drafted in the first round in 2013. He played college ball at FSU. On October 3rd against the Cleveland Browns, Manuel sprained his LCL. He missed 5 games of the season.

The rest of the games are kind of random now that I am looking at it. There are only 3 division games. Chiefs at Broncos and Steelers at Ravens. In fact, 8 games this week are AFC teams against NFC teams. Huh. I wonder why it’s like that?

I guess then teams I will keep an eye out for will be:

Has Jacksonville improved this year? They put the Eagles on their toes. How will the Jags fair against the Redskins? Pretty good I must imagine.

Cowboys. Wow. I will be keeping my eye on this game against the Titans as to see how Tony Romo will fair against a defense that isn’t as good as the Niners. This game will see if he and the rest of his offense are really just that bad, or if it was mostly due to the Niners.

Patriots at Vikings. I’ll really be keeping my eye on this game as the Vikings stomped all over the Rams in week one. However, simmer down Vikings fans. You beat the Rams without Sam Bradford. Let’s see how you do against the Pats before you try and claim the NFC North division title.

ESPN reports Cam Newton will play against the Lions

Lions at Panthers. Lions looked improved in their opener. Pudgy-bunny Matt Stafford lost some weight, gained an actual secondary receiver in Golden Tate, and looked to be more mobile. I’m a bit worried. However, they did play against the New York Football Giants, so again, simmer down. However, I reiterate, the Lions did look like they made actual improvements to the team, not just a lucky win.

Jets at Packers. Obviously I will be watching this one. Things I will be watching is how does Boykin do as a third receiver when he isn’t hanging out with Richard Sherman. Also, fuck Dom Capers and get your defense the fuck together. Stop a run. You will be facing this Jets offense. Get it the fuck together. As opposed to the Lions in our division, we did not look like we made any improvements to the things that plagued us last year. What was most annoying is it is the same stuff that plagued us the year before. Remember? We couldn’t seem to stop Kid-Kap and his running? Well, we can’t stop anyone on the run for the last few years and we haven’t made any real improvements to that.  Kaepernick, Lynch, Turner, Peterson … enjoy!

Chicago at Niners. Ah, two hated teams. I will be rooting for the Niners to trounce all over the Bears.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com