August 25, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) stands in the huddle during a timeout against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

11-5 Sounds About Right for the Detroit Lions

Do I have my years mixed up here? Before the 2011 season started last year, everybody and their fantasy playing little brother knew that the Lions were on the brink of finally being ready for the playoffs after the “Lost Decade” thanks to THE WORST GENERAL MANAGER IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS. So what happens, most of the prognosticators have picked the Detroit Lions to finish out of the playoff race this year because of a shaky running game and a defensive backfield that’s recruiting players off of Craig’s List to fill the roster. Newsflash, they had those problems last year and made the playoffs and that offense is only going to get better.

I’m picking the Detroit Lions to go 11-5 this year. I see them still building momentum and finishing one game better than they did last year. More importantly, I see them finally winning a playoff game after a two decade drought. Yes, the defense is going to give up a lot of points. But I see the Lions winning a bunch of 45-38 type of ball games this year. They’re going to be a lot of fun to watch, at least on offense. Everybody says they have to see more of Matthew Stafford before they consider him a great quarterback. If number 9 progress the way he has been, then this is the year Stafford will be spoken of in the same breath as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.

The offense will be better simply because Stafford and Calvin Johnson will only get better with experience. They still haven’t invented a defense that can stop Megatron. Mikel Leshoure is extremely important to the Lions success this year as he alone could provide a running game. I expect Titus Young to step up and take advantage of the defensive backs always having one eye on Calvin Johnson. Hard to believe, but I expect that offense to be even more prolific this year.

The charmed life of the Packers is coming to an end this year and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Lions won the division. I don’t for the life of me understand all this love the Bears are getting in the preseason predictions. Brian Urlacher is aging rapidly and the offensive line is going to get Jay Cutler killed.

Apparently the “experts” believe that the Lions are still somewhat of the old Lions and last year was a fluke. To them I quote the ageless Darth Vader, “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” Play ball.

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