Lions Preview Capsule
DETROIT LIONS (6-10)
New faces: DE Trey Flowers, DT Mike Daniels, WR Danny Amendola, TEs T.J. Hockenson and Jesse James, RB C.J. Anderson, Justin Coleman and Rashaan Melvin, S Andrew Adams, OL Oday Aboushi.
Key losses: S Glover Quin, DE Ezekiel Ansah, DT Ricky Jean Francois, OG T.J. Lang, CB Nevin Lawson, RB LeGarrette Blount, QB Matt Cassel, TEs Michael Roberts, Levine Toilolo and Luke Willson, WRs Jermaine Kearse, TJ Jones and Bruce Ellington, LB Trevor Bates.
Strengths: Passing game and defensive line. QB Matthew Stafford has trio of talented WRs: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Amendola. Veteran TE (James) and first-round pick (Hockenson) give him even more targets. Flowers was best player added in offseason, filling void created when team let Ansah leave in free agency. Daniels, former Pro Bowl player in Green Bay, was signed in late July after being cut in salary cap move. Newcomers join returning DTs Damon “Snack” Harrison and A’Shawn Robinson along with DE Romeo Okwara.
Weaknesses: Backup QB and LB pass-coverage woes. Detroit desperately needs to keep Stafford on field. Tom Savage was signed to be No. 2 QB and has spent time in concussion protocol. Other options are Josh Johnson, three-game starter for Washington last season, and David Fales, who has never started NFL game. LB Jarrad Davis out indefinitely with knee injury, a huge setback for position group. Davis, Devon Kennard and Christian Jones are strong against run, but struggle against pass.
Fantasy Players To Watch: Golladay. He may approach double digits in catches and touchdowns after having 70 receptions for 1,063 yards and five scores last year in second NFL season.
Vegas Says: Win Super Bowl 100-1. Over/under wins 6½.
Expectations: Matt Patricia should be able to at least approach .500 after losing 10 games in first season as head coach at any level. New offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell can strike balance with RB Kerryon Johnson and Anderson taking some pressure off Stafford. If defensive line plays to potential, franchise with one postseason victory since winning 1957 NFL title might be playing meaningful games in December.