Lions Looking Up

The Detroit Lions are looking up for the 2009 NFL season. Or at least their players are saying they are. At least two players have blogged that the Lions are looking like playoff contenders for the 2009 season. Before I get to the absurdity of this, let’s look at the proof.

First, in early May, running back Kevin Smith wrote that the Lions will be in the playoffs. Wow.

I won’t make a prediction about how many games we’re going to win, but I will say this: We will definitely make the playoffs this season.

Believe it or not we weren’t far off last year. Almost every game we could have won, we were one play or one player short. Except for Tennessee on Thanksgiving, they just came out and beat us to sleep. They manhandled us, but nobody else did.

Okay, now get all that laughter out.

I’m not totally sure what to think about this.  Part of me likes it.  It’s confidence and a little swagger on a team that had neither last season.  On the other hand, it is rather ridiculous to say that an 0-16 team that has an innumerable amount of weaknesses will turn around and be playing in January 2010.  I just don’t really see it happening.

There is hope for the Lions though.  The 2008 season saw the Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, and Baltimore Ravens all get into the playoffs, showing extreme improvements from dismal 2007 seasons.  This leaves hope for the Lions, especially the fact that Miami came off of a 1-15 season.  However, I see that type of improvement coming more from the Kansas City Chiefs of Seattle Seahawks than the Detroit Lions.

Cliff Avril was a little more judicious in his prediction for the 2009 season.

As for us making the playoffs, I think that is very, very possible. I’m definitely right with Kevin, we have a good enough team. Now it’s all about getting out there and proving it.

Our defense has a lot of new guys like Julian Peterson and Larry Foote, guys who have been in the playoffs and won Super Bowls and know how to win. Larry hasn’t brought out his Super Bowl ring yet, hopefully he’ll do it sometime during the season and we’ll get a few wins.

That sounds more like a guy who knows what’s up.  A “few wins” is a lot more realistic than the playoffs right now.  As for the Lions having a “good enough team,” I don’t think I can roll with that.  Daunte Culpepper is serviceable at best, and it’s hard to tell if he’s even serviceable anymore.  Matthew Stafford has all the potential and Mel Kiper, Jr. hair-grease all over him, but he’s a rookie quarterback, and rookie quarterbacks don’t typically come in and play well.  Some might point to Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan from last year, but they both had great situations.  Flacco had a great defense that didn’t make him do too much on offense and Ryan had a strong running game with Michael Turner, which took a lot of the pressure off of him as well.  Stafford has Smith.  Much work to be done.

It’s nice to see some swagger and confidence in Detroit after watching last year’s pitiful 0-16 season, but I’m still predicting a Packers sweep when the season gets started.

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons Baltimore Ravens Cliff Avril Daunte Culpepper Detroit Lions Joe Flacco Julian Peterson Kansas City Chiefs Kevin Smith Larry Foote Matt Ryan Matthew Stafford Mel Kiper Miami Dolphins Michael Turner Seattle Seahawks

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