Fixing the Detroit Lions will take several seasons but 2010 at least promises a step in the right direction.
Off-season changes The worst defensive line in the NFL is now staggering towards some level of competency thanks to two big additions. In literally the first minute of free agency, Jim Schwartz turned up at Kyle Vanden Bosch’s door with a four year contract worth $26 million. It worked and the defensive end is now a Detroit Lion. Defensive tackle Corey Williams arrived from Cleveland in exchange for a fifth round pick. Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh joined the duo in Detroit as the second overall pick in the draft.
The other big draftee for Detroit was Jahvid Best. The speedy running back out of Cal should be able to compensate somewhat for the Lions ineffective offensive line. That line might have a slightly different look in 2010. If former first round pick Gosder Cherilus fails to deliver then I like Jason Fox, a fourth round pick this year, to possibly start.
Mark your calendar This team is still a long way from winning consistently but there are two early games where Detroit could pull off an upset. If the Lions catch the Bears cold in week 1 then an upset on the road could be on the cards. NFL betting fans should keep an eye on the week 5 game at home to the Rams. The revamped defensive line may have its biggest day of the season against St. Louis.
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The opportunities for victories thin out somewhat after the bye week. Detroit should have a shot at an upset at Buffalo in week 10. The Lions travel to Tampa in week 15 where once again they will hope to pull off a shock over a team in a rebuilding year.
The verdict This Lions team isn’t as bad as the ‘perfect’ 0-16 team of 2008 or even last season’s 2-14 edition but it’s tough to see Detroit making much progress in 2010. The secondary is simply begging to be exploited, the offensive line remains a joke, and Calvin Johnson simply doesn’t have the support necessary to provide a winning difference out wide.
Some of the problems in Detroit have been fixed. For that, Lions fans should take heart. Unfortunately when you start with nothing, the climb back to respectability is long and painful. It’s a sad day when predicting a 3-13 season represents an improvement for any NFL franchise. Take the under of 5.5 wins at -200 with Sports Interaction.