I will admit, when I projected the Detroit Lions 2014 final stats last week, it was pretty ridiculous. Nobody can predict how a season will play out after only one game, that’s absurd! You have to wait until at LEAST two games in to get an idea of how the season will play out. That way you’re multiplying stats by 8 instead of 16. It’s much more accurate this way, and you can totally take my word this is going to be the final stats for the Lions (And the league!)
Stafford finishes the season above 5,000 yards once again with a 3:1 TD:INT ratio. Though his TD numbers aren’t very gaudy, this kind of success shows that the Lions were wise to stick with the young signal caller. Stafford doesn’t end the season as the top signal caller, however. Matt Ryan still takes the passing crown with 5,432 yards. Nick Foles also broke the 5,000 yard mark, ending above Stafford. Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler share the TD crown with 48 a piece, while Eli Manning once again leads the NFL in interceptions with 32, though he’s joined by Matt Cassell.
The Lions aren’t ever able to pick up much of a rushing game and they only just crack 1,100 yards as a team. Joique Bell leads the way with 8 rushing TDs, but lost just as many fumbles making it a pretty rough season. The Detroit Lions end the season without a single run of 20+ yards, pretty embarrassing for a team that claimed to have one of the best RB tandems in the NFL.
The good news here is that the Lions defense remains one of the best in the league, allowing less than 1,000 yards to their opponents at only 2.0 YPC. DeMarco Murray takes the rushing crown from Knowshon Moreno with a vengeance, finishing with a record 2,280 yards on the ground and 16 TDs to boot.
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No surprise that Calvin still ends up the Lions receiving leader, but this kind of record-breaking season is completely unprecedented. Golden Tate still never reaches the end zone, but he ends up with a respectable 1,200 yards. Rookie tight end Eric Ebron ends with pretty standard rookie numbers for a TE, while Jed Collins finishes with an amazing (For a FB) 8 TDs.
If the receiving numbers weren’t impressive enough, the Lions keep their opponents to only 3,552 yards and 16 TDs with 16 interceptions. Who would have thought the defense was that strong against the pass? Johnson doesn’t hold the record this season, however, as division rival Jordy Nelson ends the season with 2,336 yards. He doesn’t come close to Calvin’s 19 YPC however! Julius Thomas and Brandon Marshall wow the world by finishing with an amazing 32 TDs a piece.
Who would have thought that CJ Mosley of all people would lead the Lions in sacks? Or how about DeAndre Levy with 32 TFLs? Tulloch having the same amount of sacks as Ziggy Ansah at 8? What a crazy season from the defense. No record setters in the bunch, however, as it is Washington’s Ryan Kerrigan who leads the league with 32.0 sacks.
A five-way tie for new INT record amazes NFL crowds, even more amazing that two of them (Chris Conte and Kyle Fuller) are Chicago Bears. Atlanta LB Paul Worrilow blows the tackle crown out of the water by finishing with 232, almost 40 more than the next highest tackler!
I love statistics. However, as Andrew Lang once said, “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts—for support rather than illumination.” Don’t be the drunk guy. Projecting stats can be a fun exercise, but if you think the Detroit Lions 2014 final stats, or any team’s final stats for that matter, can be figured out by some magical (Or ridiculously simple) formula, you need to put the Kool-Aid down.
The Lions are expecting big things out of their team, but that doesn’t mean it has to show up on the stat sheet. All that matters is what shows up in that win column at the end of the season, so let’s see if the Lions can keep the good numbers going without raising any of the bad ones!