Detroit Lions 2008 NFL Projection:
Jim Colletto replaces the pass-happy Mike Martz as offensive coordinator for the Lions in 2008.
Certainly the Lions will attempt to balance their offensive play calling this season.
However, after years of drafting WR with their first pick, the Lions are preparing to call fewer plays geared for the
strength of their team.
In the draft,
for the first time in ages the Lions didn't select a wide receiver with their top pick.
Instead they snatched right tackle Gosder Cherilus from Boston College.
After giving up 54 sacks in 07 and sporting the league's 31st ranked rushing offense, it was painfully obvious that Detroit needed help on the
offensive line... But did they take it far enough?
With their third pick they were right back to selecting a skill position player, picking up running back
Kevin Smith. But perhaps they would have been better served holding on to Kevin Jones and using the pick
to grab another top young lineman-- especially considering their depth issues on the o-line, compounded by the departure of Damien Woody
to the Jets.
This off-season the Lions also found themselves in desperate need of defensive improvement after surrendering the most points in the
league thanks to fielding the NFL's 32nd ranked defense in 07... So they grabbed Colorado linebacker Jordon Dizon in the second round.
With the linebacking group looking like the strong point of their defense,
Detroit will be relying on the rookie perhaps a little too much.
Detroit also revamped its secondary by acquiring Leigh Bodden, Brian Kelly, and Dwight Smith. Anything should be better than last
season's porous pass defense.
On the defensive line Detroit parted ways with Shaun Rogers who had 7 sacks last season.
This unit looks to be the weakest element of the Lions defense heading into 2008 which could spell trouble with the likes of
Adrian Peterson and Ryan Grant running wild in the NFC North.
In 2008 Detroit will play almost half their games against teams that made the playoffs in 07, thanks to drawing the AFC
South which fielded three playoff teams last year.
The saving grace here is that most of these games are at home.
Toughening up their schedule are the annual two games against
(projected to be playoff caliber)
in weeks 6 and 14.
The Lions certainly had a lot of needs heading into this season.
And there's only so much improvement a team can make in one off-season.
With a tough schedule ahead, a new offense in place, and rookies at some key positions,
the Lions might take a step back in the record
department before they make progress.
Last season's sweep of the Bears should be hard to duplicate given the Bears' defense
is healthy again. Meanwhile, splitting with Minnesota again could be a tall order
as their defense looks ferocious.
Overall we're predicting a record of just (2-14) for the 08 Lions as we think it will take time
to right the ship.
The high point of 2008 may be Detroit's preseason week 1 victory over the Super Bowl champion
New York Giants which we predicted in our weekly picks located in the member area.
Hopefully next season's preview will be more upbeat. Stay tuned.
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Free 2008 NFL Predictions Note:
these now archived 2008 NFL forecasts were made
during the 2008 preseason.
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