Lions Preview Capsule
DETROIT LIONS (9-7)
New faces: Coach Matt Patricia, RB LeGarrette Blount, RB Kerryon Johnson, TE Luke Willson, C Frank Ragnow, DT Sylvester Williams, LB Christian Jones, LB Devon Kennard.
Key losses: Coach Jim Caldwell, TE Eric Ebron, DT Haloti Ngata, LB Tahir Whitehead.
Strengths: Passing game. QB Matthew Stafford threw for 1,000-plus yards to WR Marvin Jones and WR Golden Tate last year and has pass-catching RB Theo Riddick. All-Pro CB Darius Slay among NFL’s best in coverage.
Weaknesses: Running game. Ranked last in rushing last year, second time in three seasons, and may struggle again on ground despite investments. Front seven on defense lacks playmakers.
Fantasy Players To Watch: Tate has averaged 93 receptions, 1,056 yards receiving and nearly five TDs over four seasons in Detroit. He may surpass those numbers entering last year of contract.
Vegas Says: Super Bowl 65-1. Over/under wins 7.5.
Expectations: First-year coach Patricia might not make average team better and third-year GM Bob Quinn might be questioned for record in draft and free agency. Franchise leaders will be patient with former Patriots defensive coordinator and executive, but fans fed up with pulling for team with one playoff victory since winning 1957 NFL title.
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