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Detroit Lions 2018 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 8/27/2018.


Detroit Lions Free Agency Recap


Detroit added LeGarrette Blount as their starting running back in Free Agency. They also added Sylvester Williams as a defensive tackle. Detroit added Devon Kennard as a Free Agent. Detroit doubled up at tight end with two backup tight ends in Luke Willson and Levine Toilolo. Detroit also brought in Matt Cassel as a backup to Matthew Stafford. Detroit signed Robert Ayers to provide depth behind Ziggy Ansah and Anthony Zettel.



Detroit Lions Draft Recap


The Lions drafted Arkansas center Frank Ragnow in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He will start right away, and Detroit kicked him inside to left guard.




Detroit Lions Quarterback Summary: Matthew Stafford is Detroit's starting quarterback. Matt Cassel is the new backup quarterback. Jake Rudock has impressed since being demoted to third stringer. Offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter is back. George Godsey is the new quarterbacks coach. He used to be the Houston Texans offensive coordinator for two years in 2015-2016. He was a defensive assitant with Detroit in 2017 before moving back to offense as a quarterbacks coach with the Lions in 2018.


Detroit Lions Running Back Summary: Detroit finally has just as much depth as the New England Patriots when it comes to the running back position. They have a two back system with LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick anchoring their two back by committee system. They also have Ameer Abdullah and Kerryon Johnson their 2018 second round pick out of Auburn for depth. Bob Quinn, the former Patriots executive who took over as the Lions GM is modeling Detroit the same way he helped Belichick model the New England Patriots. David Walker has done well as Detroit's running backs coach and I expect him to continue developing this backfield with even more options at running back for Detroit.


Detroit Lions Wide Receiver Summary: Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are the Lions two best receivers. Tate is in a contract year. Kenny Golloday is the slot receiver. Robert Prince is a good wide receivers coach when you consider how he turned this group around after Calvin Johnson retired.


Detroit Lions Tight End Summary: The Lions have Luke Willson, Michael Roberts, and Levine Toilolo three mediocre tight ends competing for a starting tight end spot. Detroit really needs to get their tight end situation handled. Chris White a quality control coach at Connecticut is the new tight ends coach for the Detroit Lions.


Detroit Lions Offensive Line Summary: Taylor Decker did well at left tackle and he's healthy in 2018. Frank Ragnow is starting at left guard. Then you got Graham Glasgow at center. Detroit has T.J. Lang at right guard with Ricky Wagner at right tackle. This is Stafford's strongest offensive line in his entire career. Stafford had to carry the Lions for years with a lackluster offensive line for what was most of his NFL career. Detroit finally has a strong offensive line to build around Matthew Stafford. That's one reason why I believe the Lions have a two to three year window of opportunity to put together a team that is good enough to get Matthew Stafford his first career playoff win.


This is Detroit's deepest offensive team in years. I think Detroit can be a top 10 team in points scored, a top 15 team in total yards, a top 5 team in passing yards, and a top 20 team in rushing yards. This is Detroit's most complete offense in years and I think Stafford finally puts everything together with this supporting cast.



Detroit Lions Defensive Line Summary: Ziggy Ansah and Anthony Zettel make a great tandem of 4-3 defensive ends for the Detroit Lions. Robert Ayers gives Detroit depth Ansah and Zettel. Ansah is one of the NFL's best sack artists. A'Shawn Robinson and Sylvester Williams are the starters at 4-3 defensive tackle.


Detroit is going to run a hybrid defense with both 4-3 and 3-4 packages though. In that situation you'd have Robinson as a 3-4 right end, Williams at nose tackle, and Zettel as a 3-4 left end.


Detroit Lions Linebacker Summary: Detroit went from DeAndre Levy to Tahir Whitehead to Devon Kennard as their 4-3 right outside linebacker. Jarrad Davis hopes to build on his rookie season as Detroit's middle linebacker. Christian Jones is the 4-3 left outside linebacker on the Detroit Lions.


Eli Harold and Jalen Reeves-Maybin are great outside linebackers for depth. As long as Jarrad Davis stays healthy this will be a lethal linebacker unit.


The Lions can put Ziggy Ansah at 3-4 right outside linebacker, Davis and Kennard at 3-4 middle linebacker, and Jones as a 3-4 left outside linebacker. Detroit has the personnel to do that.


Head Coach Matt Patricia specializes in developing linebackers. Al Golden is transitioning from tight ends coach to linebackers coach. Those were Miami FL's two strongest positions when Golden was head coach for the Miami Hurricanes.


Detroit Lions Defensive Backs Summary: Darius Slay will be the #1 field cornerback with Nevin Lawson complimenting him at boundary cornerback once again. Teez Tabor will play nickel cornerback.


Glover Quin will start at free safety entering a contract year with Quandre Diggs starting at strong safety. Secondary could end up being an issue for Detroit down the road though. Brian Stewart the defensive coordinator at Rice takes over as the defensive backs coach.


The Lions should be a top 20 team in sacks and points allowed. I think they have the ability to be a top 15 team in total yards allowed and rushing yards allowed. I see a top 25 team in passing yards allowed.



Detroit Lions Special Teams Summary: Detroit has Matt Prater at kicker. Sam Martin is a quality punter. Ameer Abdullah is the teams kick returner and Jamal Agnew is the teams punt returner. Joe Marciano is back as Detroit's special teams coordinator this season once again.




Detroit Lions Worst Case Scenario: Detroit goes 3-13. Patricia does a horrible job as Detroit's head coach. His defense gets exposed in Detroit just like it did in Super Bowl 52.


Detroit Lions Best Case Scenario: Detroit goes 10-6 and manages to get the top wild card spot. This is a best case scenario for this Detroit Lions football team.


Detroit Lions 2018 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 10
VS
7:10 PM EST
ESPN
W
Week 2
September 16
AT
4:05 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 3
September 23
VS
8:20 PM EST
NBC
W
Week 4
September 30
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 5
October 7
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 6
Bye Week
Week 7
October 21
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 8
October 28
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 9
November 4
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 10
November 11
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 11
November 18
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 12
November 22
VS
12:30 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 13
December 2
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 14
December 9
AT
4:25 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 15
December 16
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 16
December 23
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 17
December 30
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L


Detroit Lions 2018 Projected Record (10-6): Detroit will improve quite a bit this year. They are healthy unlike last year, and Matthew Stafford is really coming into his own as a starting quarterback. Patricia can get this team back to the playoffs. I'm not sure if Detroit is experienced enough to supplant a team with a road playoff win. The talent for Detroit to return to the playoffs is there though.









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