Team Report - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions 2012-2013 Season Odds
The Detroit Lions finally returned to the postseason last season after posting their first winning season in 11 years at 10-6. The Lions playoff run was a short one, losing to New Orleans in the Wild Card round, but it could be just the first step for a young and talented squad.
Odds to win NFC North: +450
Regular Season Win Total: 9 (Over +105)
Props: NFL MVP Odds Matt Stafford 12/1
Lions' quarterback Matt Stafford stayed healthy for a a full season for the first time last year and may have joined the ranks of the NFL's elite quarterbacks. Stafford passed for more than 5000 yards last season with 41 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
Of course Stafford does get to throw passes to the best wide receiver in the league. Calvin Johnson was the only wideout to average more than 100 yards receiving per game last season with 1681 yards and 16 touchdowns. Johnson is just the top of many dangerous weapons at Stafford's disposal, including veteran Nate Burleson, Titus Young and rookie Ryan Broyles.
The Lions only real question on offense entering the season is at running back. Jahvid Best continues to recover from a concussion that ended his 2011 season early and there's no telling when he'll be ready to return. That leaves the running game in the hands of Kevin Smith and Mikel LeShoure. Best was done after Week 6 last season and so was the Lions running game which ranked 29th in the league.
Some big things were also expected from the Lions' young and improving defense last season, but they struggled and were ranked 23rd, allowing 367.6 yards per game. Ndamukong Suh went from 2010 Defensive Rookie of the Year to the doghouse in 2011 after some questionable on-field acts earned him a suspension. To get their defense on track Detroit needs Suh to make people talk about his play again instead of his antics.
Odds to win NFC North at Bovada as of August 20
Green Bay Packers -275
Chicago Bears +350
Detroit Lions +450
Minnesota Vikings +3500
2012 Detroit Lions Schedule (All times Eastern)
01 Sep 9 STL @ DET (Ford Field 1:00pm FOX)
02 Sep 16 DET @ SF (Candlestick Park 8:20pm NBC)
03 Sep 23 DET @ TEN (LP Field 1:00pm FOX)
04 Sep 30 MIN @ DET (Ford Field 1:00pm FOX)
06 Oct 14 DET @ PHI (Lincoln Financial Field 1:00pm FOX)
07 Oct 22 DET @ CHI (Soldier Field 8:30pm ESPN)
08 Oct 28 SEA @ DET (Ford Field 1:00pm FOX)
09 Nov 4 SEA @ JAC (Everbank Field 1:00pm FOX)
10 Nov 11 DET @ MIN (Mall of America Field 1:00pm FOX)
11 Nov 18 GB @ DET (Ford Field 1:00pm FOX)
12 Nov 22 HOU @ DET (Ford Field 12:30pm CBS
13 Dec 2 IND @ DET (Ford Field 1:00pm CBS)
14 Dec 9 DET @ GB (Lambeau Field 8:20pm NBC)
15 Dec 16 DET @ ARI (University of Phoenix Stadium 4:05pm FOX)
16 Dec 22 ATL @ DET (Ford Field 8:30pm ESPN)
17 Dec 30 CHI @ DET (Soldier Field 1:00pm FOX)
Detroit Lions 2011-2012 Season Odds Preview
What a difference a few years makes. In 2008, the Detroit Lions became the first team in NFL history to compile an 0-16 record. Now, just three seasons later, they are a popular pick to make the playoffs.
Detroit hasn’t been in the playoffs since 1999, and hasn’t had a winning season since 2000. But on paper, the pieces seem to be in place to buck those trends if everything comes together.
Odds to Win NFC North: +450
Regular Season Win Total: Over 7.5 (-145)
Props: MVP Odds Matthew Stafford 40/1
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After years of draft futility, the Detroit Lions finally seem to have figured it out. High first-round picks in 2007 and 2009 yielded wide receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Matt Stafford, and the 2010 draft yielded superstar defensive end Ndamukong Suh and running back Jahvid Best.
Suh gave an ailing defense an immediate boost, racking up 66 tackles and 10 sacks to earn a trip to the Pro Bowl and defensive rookie of the year honors. This season, he will be joined on the line by first-round pick Nick Fairley, who was a star at Auburn. The addition of Fairley along with free agents Eric Wright and Erik Coleman in the secondary should give Detroit another big step forward on defense this season.
The running game took a big hit when rookie Mikel Leshoure was lost for the season with a torn Achilles’ tendon, but they still have Jahvid Best who had 1,042 total yards last season (555 rushing, 487 receiving) and a deep backfield of capable veterans to support him.
In the end, the weight of the season rests on whether or not Matt Stafford can stay healthy all year for the first time in his young career. Stafford has the tools to be a great quarterback at the NFL level, and with Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, rookie Titus Young, and Jahvid Best, he’s got no shortage of talented weapons.
Detroit won the final four games of their 2010 season with Drew Stanton and Shaun Hill under center; imagine what they could do with a real quarterback.
Week 1: at Tampa Bay
NFC North Odds at Bodog as of August 22:
Green Bay Packers -220
Detroit Lions +450
Chicago Bears +500
Minnesota Vikings +1000
2011 Detroit Lions Schedule (All times Eastern)
01 Sep 11 DET @ TB (Raymond James Stadium 1:00pm FOX)
02 Sep 18 KC @ DET (Ford Field 1:00pm CBS)
03 Sep 25 DET @ MIN (Mall of America Field 1:00pm FOX)
04 Oct 02 DET @ DAL (Cowboys Stadium 1:00pm FOX)
05 Oct 10 CHI @ DET (Ford Field 8:30pm ESPN)
06 Oct 16 SF @ DET (Ford Field 1:00pm FOX)
07 Oct 23 ATL @ DET (Ford Field 1:00pm FOX)
08 Oct 30 DET @ DEN (Sports Authority Field at Mile High 4:05pm FOX)
10 Nov 13 DET @ CHI (Soldier Field 1:00pm FOX)
11 Nov 20 CAR @ DET (Ford Field 1:00pm FOX)
12 Nov 24 GB @ DET (Ford Field 12:30pm FOX)
13 Dec 04 DET @ NO (Superdome 1:00pm FOX)
14 Dec 11 MIN @ DET (Ford Field 1:00pm FOX)
15 Dec 18 DET @ OAK (O.co Coliseum 4:05pm FOX)
16 Dec 24 SD @ DET (Ford Field 4:05pm CBS)
17 Jan 01 DET @ GB (Lambeau Field 1:00pm FOX)