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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Five reasons Detroit Lions won't collapse like they did in 2012

It was all good in 2011 when the Lions went to the playoffs for the first time in a dozen years. Then in 2012 they took a dive, finishing 4-12.

Lions fans have good memories. They have not forgotten the miserable 2012 season.

So once again the Lions are coming off a trip to the playoffs in the 2014 season and skittish fans don’t want to see another slide.

Here are five reasons these Lions won’t have the same backslide that they did in 2012:

1. The coaching staff has changed. Team president Tom Lewand was asked this question at a season ticket holders’ event this week. His first response was to look at Jim Caldwell and his coordinators. They weren’t around in 2012. They’ve already started working on the mindset for the team in 2015. It happened immediately after the devastation of the playoff loss at Dallas.

2. After a season under Caldwell, the Lions have are stronger mentally. Yes, they play the game on the field, but they have to have the right mindset. Caldwell worked on that from Day One.

3. They were a better team in 2014 than they were in 2011 — their last two playoff seasons. 

4. With the help of Caldwell, they are finishing better. In 2012 Matthew Stafford had three fourth-quarter, game-winning drives but none after Week 7. In 2014, he had five such drives in weeks 7, 8, 9, 14 and 15. 

5. The defense is so much better. In 2014 it was ranked second in the NFL at the end of the season and was in first place for several weeks. In 2011, the defense was ranked 23rd in the NFL. Yes, they have lost Ndamukong Suh but they’ve gained Haloti Ngata. Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said this week that the defense will be better in 2015. After seeing what he did in one season, it’s hard to doubt him.  When he took over, the defense had been ranked 16th in the 2013 season.

OK, OK. There are some things that could happen — like catastrophic injuries to key players — over which there is no control. Still, things are looking up for the Lions.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats what coaching can do.

1:22 AM 
Blogger TuffLynx said...

I agree that the Lions will not take the same kind of nosedive in 2015. Of course, there are concerns. The 2015 schedule looks tough. Even if the team is better than 2014 they could still end up with a worse record because of the level of competition. The saving grace is that the rest of the division has to play most of the same teams.

I will be upset if the schedules give the Packers their harder opponents at home and a consequently easier road schedule. Having home field advantage help teams overcome some of those tough opponents. Especially in a place like Ford Field that can get really loud and rowdy. Hopefully the Lions will get some of those schedule breaks too.

5:28 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The opponents each team plays home and away is out already. You can see that pretty much for the next 100 years, just Google nfl futures schedule.(You just won't be able to see who they play based on final standings, obviously).

8:23 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's one reason that negates three of yours. Simply put, Caldwell himself. His history clearly shows he has excelled as a coordinator under other successful head coaches, but runs into the Peter Principle when given the head job. There's a reason he was fired before and was amongst the last of the "free agent" coaches to still be on the board when the Lions finally got around to making a decision last year after the disastrous Schwartz years. Throw in the tougher schedule that comes with being a playoff team the year before, and the Lions will be lucky to finish 8-8.

5:26 AM 
Anonymous Cody said...

Lions season schedule is out? You've taken the time to analyze each game? broken down key match ups? (Sarcasm) So maybe hold off on your expertise until there is something to base your uneducated guess on.

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