Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions: Grading the offense

One of the best words to describe the Detroit Lions offense of this season would have to be ambitious. While they struggled throughout the year, they maintained just enough talent to keep the team alive and propel them into the playoffs, at which point they had one of their better games this season.
For those of you who want to hear all about the offensive grades, here is the report card from the 2014-2015 season:
Quarterback: C+
Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford finished the season with 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, ranking him No. 20 among all quarterbacks this season. How Stafford was eventually chosen for the Pro Bowl this year is anyone’s guess because honestly there is a lot of room for improvement.
While Stafford seemed to lead the team in a positive direction overall, his play in important games was below average. The biggest issue seems to be the consistency to have a string of impressive games throughout the season. This offseason, if Stafford can prove to increase his consistency and con

How far away are the Detroit Lions from getting to the Super Bowl?

It was a rough year for the Detroit Lions, who showed massive improvement only to fail in the playoffs in heartbreaking fashion. Still, it feels that they’re a team on the rise that might be competing for bigger things some day soon.
Meanwhile, this weekend the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks will play in the Super Bowl. They’re the top two seeds from their respective conferences and some people (present company included) predicted they would play in this year’s big game.
So, should we just assume that the Seahawks and Patriots are the best of the best and nobody else had a chance to get this far?
Nope, according to ESPN’s new feature that determines how many new pieces a team needs to become a legitimate Super Bowl contender…

Check out all the photos of #Lions players in action at the 2015 @NFL Pro Bowl: http://t.co/5IITYCSKL3. pic.twitter.com/iMyvTWd3cj
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 26, 2015

For the Lions, ESPN projects that they need five above average replacements to reach the

Detroit Lions QB Mathew Stafford Becomes Second Player to Throw for 300+ Yards in the Pro Bowl

Fans of the Detroit Lions are going to need some time to get over how the season ended in Dallas and can only hope that the team stays relatively intact so it can have a good chance of getting back to the post season next year. While it is only a small consolation they can be proud of their quarterback for doing something only one other player, Peyton Manning, has done before in the Pro Bowl.What ever could that be? Stafford became only the second QB next to the elder Manning to throw for 300+ yards in a Pro Bowl (316 yards on 15-26 passing).Read more »

The 4 best moments of the 2015 NFL Pro Bowl

The Pro Bowl will never be perfect, but there were still plenty of moments to look back and smile at as a football fan.
The post The Best Moments Of The 2015 NFL Pro Bowl appeared first on The Sports Fan Journal.

The Detroit Lions: 2014 Final Report Card

OffenseThe Lions were well-known for having one of the most productive offenses, at least in terms of yardage, but they took a step back. The Lions ranked just 12th in passing while Matthew Stafford recorded his lowest yardage total (4,257) since 2010. He also threw just 22 touchdowns, as opposed to 29 in 2013 and 41 in 2011. On the bright side, he threw just 12 picks after throwing an average of 17 in his previous three years.The receivers performed well this year, with Calvin Johnson topping 1,000 despite missing time due to injury while Golden Tate had a career year, with 99 receptions for 1,331 yards.What this offense was really missing was their rushing attack, with Reggie Bush dealing with injuries and Joique Bell struggling early on. When Bush was in, his production was inconsistent while Bell was not able to take advantage of his increased workload. Neither back recorded over 500 receivers yards as they had last year and both averaged under four yards a carry.The Lions avera…

2014 NFL Draft Grade A Day | Detroit Lions

With the NFL season winding down it’s time to look at each team’s draft class and grade them on a PRODUCTION ONLY basis.  Let’s see what teams had first year success and which ones are hoping for better in year two. POINTS SCALE Round 1: 0-5Round 2: 0-4Round 3: 0-3Round 4: 0-2Round 5: 0-1Round 6 & 7:  Same system as undrafted. Points only awarded if player was productive, no scale.Round 1 - Eric Ebron TE, UNCAnalysis - Ebron was pretty disappointing for the 10th overall pick.  He ended the year with just 25 receptions for 248 yards and one touchdown.  The good news is he can only go up from here.Score - 1.5/5Round 2 - Kyle Van Noy OLB, BYUAnalysis – Van Noy was an even bigger year one flop that Eric Ebron.  He appeared in only 8 games and made just 6 tackles.  That’s very discouraging from a position that often sees year one success.Score –  0/4Round 3 -  Travis Swanson C, Arkansas Analysis - Swanson appeared in all 16 games and started 5 of those at guard.  He’ll like

Detroit Lions: Top 3 Free Agents To Target This Offseason

  The Detroit Lions have the look of a team ready to contend after having made the 2014 playoffs. They are at a major crossroads though with a number of starters set to test the open market. The Lions have to make some tough decisions. With Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley both unrestricted free agents it’s doubtful they will keep both. This is the most crucial decision to be made. Some believe that the Lions will do everything they can to sign Suh to a longterm deal. I disagree with that thought. It’s my belief the Lions should part ways the the often troubled defensive tackle and save the salary cap numbers he’ll command. He’s a boneheaded mistake away every year from being suspended.  With guaranteed money I believe he’ll feel above the law. I feel sorry for the team that locks Suh up to a longterm astronomical contract as I believe he has all the making of being the next Albert Haynesworth.Step 1. Sign Nick Fairley.  Part ways with Suh and lock up Fairley to a much less expensive …

Lions Not Expected To Franchise DT Ndamukong Suh

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the belief around the NFL is that the Lions will not use their franchise tag on impending free agent DT Ndamukong Suh in the coming weeks.

Schefter suggested that the Lions could consider using their transition tag on him, which gives Detroit the right of first refusal to match any offer Suh would receive on the open market.
The transition tag is equal to the average of the top-ten salaries at his position.
This probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise given that it would run Detroit $26.9 million to apply the designation.
However, Lions GM Martin Mayhew mentioned a few weeks ago that they are willing to franchise to Suh in order to keep him in Detroit for another year, per Dave Birkett.
Mayhew said that they will have to “step up financially” in order to retain Suh. Although, he wouldn’t commit to keeping Suh at any cost.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports previously reported there are as many as 10 NFL teams prepared to make “titanic pitches” to Suh

Ryan Broyles Could Be Entering His Final Season With Lions

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes that former second-round pick WR Ryan Broyles is likely down to his final opportunity with the Lions.
Lions GM Martin Mayhew mentioned a few weeks ago that he’s looking forward to seeing Broyles develops in the coming months after he was relegated to the bench for much of the 2014 season.
“I would have loved to have seen him get out on the field and play for us,” Mayhew said earlier this month. “Unfortunately, there were guys ahead of him, and they stayed relatively healthy for the most part. So the reason why he didn’t play was because nobody got hurt. The other guys were featured in our offense, we had plans for those guys in the offense, and he was our first reserve off the bench.”
Head coach Jim Caldwell has said that Broyles is directly behind Golden Tate, who managed to put together a Pro Bowl season during his first year in Detroit.
One of the issues for Broyles has been the fact that he’s sustained serious injuries dating back to his fina

The Lions Should Not Re-Sign Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh, who will easily be one of the most coveted targets in free agency, stood upon the podium after the Detroit Lions’ playoff loss against the Dallas Cowboys, with tear-filled eyes and a muffled voice.
Suh asked the media to shy away from questions upon his future with the team. Though his tears seemed sincere, his attitude in many other regards didn’t.
It appears Suh knows it’s time for him to part from Detroit, seeking new avenues of opportunity.
That’s not a bad thing. In fact, the Lions need to let him walk, investing that big-time money in other areas that’ll benefit the team tremendously. Suh is a very talented defensive tackle, but he’s overrated. He’s more hype than he is action. He’s more about himself than he is the team. His attitude merits no evidence that he wishes to remain in Detroit.
Certainly, many Suh defenders will snub these points — though, they can’t be ignored. If Suh demands a big contract, like Houston Texans Defensive end J.J. Watt, he needs to …

Life Doesn’t Suck At All For Detroit Lions QB Mathew Stafford

If there was one person in the NFL most guys wouldn’t mind trading places with it would probably be Detroit Lions quarterback Mathew Stafford. Yes, there are guys on better teams that are more likely to make it to the Super Bowl, but the Lions are a pretty good team. As long as they don’t lose any of their key pieces they should be in the mix again next season as well.When it comes to trading places with Stafford though there is more of a reason to trade places with him than football.via FandsidedGIF/TwitterRead more »

Levy’s snub from Pro Bowl glaring mistake

The Pro Bowl can be considered a farce for many reasons, but this year none more so than the absence of Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy.
All Levy did was lead the NFL in solo tackles with 117 — 16 more than anybody else — and finish second overall in combined tackles (151), two behind Carolina’s Luke Kuechly.
A total of six outside linebackers were selected for Sunday’s game being played in Glendale, Ariz., but Levy wasn’t one of them.
There’s always going to be so-called snubs with these types of all-star games. That’s inevitable.
But most aren’t quite as glaring as this one.
With all of the players who back out each year from the Pro Bowl, citing injuries most of the time, it seemed that justice would prevail in the end and Levy would eventually get a spot.
However, there was no such turnover at linebacker. Not this time.
Fan voting is what typically gets blamed for these oversights, but in this case, it’s the players and coaches who should be embarrassed they apparently d…

Detroit Lions: Five Most Surprising Defensive Players of 2014

The Detroit Lions, fronted by their second-ranked defense, made it to an 11-5 record and their first playoff berth since 2011.The Lions’ defense was a hard-nosed, rugged entity that slammed the door shut on many opposing teams. Detroit’s stingy defense ranked first against the run, while accumulating 42 sacks.First-year defensive coordinator Teryl Austin did a marvelous job with Detroit, who hosted a squad of fine defensive players.Here’s a look at the Lions’ five most surprising defensive players:1. Darius Slay: Detroit’s secondary had been a detriment until this season; Slay’s improved performance helped turn the page. Coming off of a sub-par rookie season, the expectations for Slay were low — until Slay silenced his critics, racking up his first two career interceptions, and defending 17 passes. Slay proved to be a solid outside corner, often guarding some of the best receivers one-on-one, limiting their stats tremendously. In Detroit’s playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys, C…

Golden Tate addresses Russell Wilson, Percy Harvin rumors

We’re seeing an increasing number of professional athletes attempt to eliminate the middleman of sports media or team public relations machinery by speaking directly to fans, addressing detractors and dispelling rumors. For some, that might be as simple as using social media to interact with people.
Yet several athletes are taking that effort further through ventures where they can post first-person narratives, such as Derek Jeter’s The Players’ Tribune. LeBron James and his management team partnered up with Bleacher Report to create the video site Uninterrupted. Players are also writing longer-form accounts for themselves on sites like The Cauldron.
Detroit Lions receiver Golden Tate recently used this forum to refute rumors about him and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Last April, news of Wilson divorcing his wife became public. A salacious subplot to that story was Tate denying that he had an affair with Wilson’s wife, something that evidently became enough of a thing on social media

Three things the Detroit Lions need to do this off season

Signing Suh is priority #1 for the Detroit Lions this offseason (Credit: Bleacher Report)
Now that the season is over for the Lions, it is time to focus on what to do in this off season. Now, there is still plenty of time before the next season starts, but they need to consider these three things in order to make their team better next year.

Find a 3rd wide receiver. It was obvious that this was the key part missing in the Lions offense. They had Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, who had spectacular years, but if you add one more weapon on this offense that can play in the slot and also switch off with Golden Tate so that he is in the slot, then defenses should look out. Some names to consider to make this move would be free agents Eddie Royal (most realistic choice), Randall Cobb (I don’t see GB letting him go though), or even Wes Welker even though his productivity has declined drastically over the years.
Eddie Royal would fit perfectly in Joe Lombardi’s scheme (Credit: Washington Post)
Figure out whe