It is time for the Preseason previews, I hope to get to all six of the teams that I tried to follow last year but as always no promises. I will do them in this order Detroit, Atlanta, Oakland, Miami, New England, New York Jets. I’m also going to break it up into 2 sections offense and defense with the kicker being addressed with the offense and the punter with the defense.
Key Additions: T Taylor Decker, WR Marvin Jones, WR Jeremy Kerley, RB Stevan Ridley, OL Geoff Schwartz, WR Andre Roberts
Key Losses: WR Calvin Johnson, RB Joique Bell
Synopsis: Calvin Johnson’s retirement leaves a rather large hole in the offense. The addition of Marvin Jones opposite Golden Tate should help pick up some of the slack. Kerely and Roberts should dangerous in the slot. Geoff Schwartz if he can be healthy will be a pivotal swing man on an offensive line that is getting younger. Taylor Decker taking over at LT means Riley Reiff moves to the RT position which should help keep Matthew Stafford upright as well as create holes for the running backs. Stevan Ridley combined with Theo Riddick should create matchup nightmares for opposing linebackers.
Projected Starting Lineup: LT Taylor Decker, LG Laken Tomilinson, C Travis Swanson, RG Larry Warford, RT Riley Reiff , TE Eric Ebron, WR1 Golden Tate, WR2, Marvin Jones, RB Ameer Abdullah, QB Matthew Stafford. K Matt Prater
Key Additions: DE Wallace Gilberry, LB Jonathan Bostic, LB Zavier Gooden, SS Rafael Bush, SS Miles Killebrew
Key Losses: SS James Ihedigbo, SS Isa Abdul-Qudus, CB Rashean Mathis
Synopsis: The addition of Wallace Gilberry who will most likely rotate with Jason Jones and Devin Taylor at the LE position can only help Ziggy Ansah get free. While Mathis’ retirement leaves a hole in the Lions secondary, Nevin Lawson or Quandre Diggs should be up to the challenge of stepping up as the CB2 opposite Darius Slay. While the departure of both Ihedigbo and Abdul-Qudus hurts on the back end Rafael Bush and Miles Killebrew should be more then up to the task of replacing them. Bostic and Gooden provide depth in the linebacking corps and with things looking grim for Stephen Tulloch and Tahir Whitehead most likely moving to the middle and Josh Bynes as your swing linebacker, the addition of Bostic and Gooden as depth pieces can’t be understated.
Projected Starting Lineup: RE Ziggy Ansah DT1 Tyrunn Walker DT2 Haloti Ngata, RE Devin Taylor WLB DeAndre Levy, MLB Tahir Whitehead (assuming that Stephen Tulloch is released) SLB Kyle Van Noy CB1 Darius Slay CB2 Quandre Diggs FS Glover Quin SS Miles Killebrew P Sam Martin
Final Analysis: I see this Detroit Lions team getting back to where they were in 2014, I want to say I think the Lions will at least make it to the conference championship with that said I think this team gets bounced in the wildcard round just like the 2014 team.
Record:10-6 2nd in NFC North