For a team that has won only three games per season over the last four years, there certainly seems to be a lot of optimism surrounding the Detroit Lions’ franchise. Perhaps it’s well-founded. After all, the Lions finally have their quarterback of the future in place in Matt Stafford, they have one of the league’s best wideouts in Calvin Johnson, and now, they have added several other potential breakout players through the draft and free agency. Will the results finally show on the field? Let’s take an early look at the 2010 Detroit Lions. Odds
DETROIT LIONS 2009 Record:2-14 (-10.6 ML Units), 4-10 ATS DIVISION:NFC North COACH:Jim Schwartz, 2nd year (2-14 SU, 4-10 ATS) STADIUM:Ford Field Odds to win Super Bowl XLV:100 to 1, NFC Title:50 to 1 StatFox Power Rating:7 (#31 of 32) StatFox Outplay Factor Rating:-13 (#31 of 32)
2009 Key Team Stats & NFL Ranks Scoring Differential: -14.5 (#31 of 32) Yardage Differential: -93.1 (#30 of 32) Yards Per Play Differential: -1.49 (#31 of 32) Yards Per Point Differential: -5.54 (#30 of 32) Turnover Differential: -19 (#32 of 32) Total Offense (Yards Per Game): 299 (#26 of 32) Total Defense (Yards Per Game): 392.1 (#32 of 32)
2010 SCHEDULE: Strength – 21.75 (3rd toughest of 32) DATE – OPPONENT, TIME 9/12/10 – at Chicago, 1:00 PM 9/19/10 – PHILADELPHIA, 1:00 PM 9/26/10 – at Minnesota, 1:00 PM 10/3/10 – at Green Bay, 1:00 PM 10/10/10 – ST LOUIS, 1:00 PM 10/17/10 – at NY Giants, 1:00 PM 10/31/10 – WASHINGTON, 1:00 PM 11/7/10 – NY JETS, 1:00 PM 11/11/10 – at Buffalo, 8:30 PM 11/21/10 – at Dallas, 1:00 PM 11/25/10 – NEW ENGLAND, 12:30 PM 12/5/10 – CHICAGO, 1:00 PM 12/12/10 – GREEN BAY, 1:00 PM 12/19/10 – at Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM 12/26/10 – at Miami, 1:00 PM 1/2/11 – MINNESOTA, 1:00 PM
Sample StatFox Power Trend for 2010
DETROIT is on a 0-9 ATS (-9.9 Units) skid vs. teams scoring 14 or less PPG The Average Score was DETROIT 20.7, OPPONENT 22.82010 OUTLOOK
Remember where you read it first—the Lions will be tougher to tame in 2010. A major splash in the draft, a couple of key free agents and a year of experience under QB Matthew Stafford’s belt are three reasons why Detroit is a strong candidate to take a considerable step up the ladder just two years removed from a winless season…The two-win Lions of ’09 had their moments on offense while Stafford got acclimated to coordinator Scott Linehan’s playbook and is bound to improve with a better supporting cast. Calvin Johnson (67 catches, 984 yards, 5 TD’s) is quickly developing a rapport with Stafford and is joined in the receiving corps by WR Nate Burleson and TE Tony Scheffler. The running game disappointed, ranking 24th in yards. Enter Jahvid Best (1b-California), who brings speed and big-play ability to a unit in desperate for both…In the big picture, Detroit improved its defense during the offseason but is moving forward without its most productive member in recent years, LB Ernie Sims as well as tackle leader Larry Foote. The Lions allowed more yards (392.1 per game) and points (494) than anyone and managed only 26 sacks. A major facelift on the front four can help fiery coordinator Gunther Cunningham get things moving in the right direction via warp speed. Tackle Ndamukong Suh (1a-Nebraska) is a rare talent and was the most dominant player in college football last season. Schwartz put most of his free-agent eggs in the basket of veteran end Kyle Vanden Bosch (Titans) as well…Nobody’s expecting the Lions to go from worst to first in a division likely to produce two playoff teams, but maybe they can show they’re no longer pushovers. The rookies will contribute on each side of the ball, and as long as the Stafford-Johnson combination is healthy it won’t be such a terrible year. Scores
Sportsbook.com Regular Season Wins Prop: Over/Under 5 StatFox Steve’s Take: Most experts believe that Detroit will be improved in 2010, but by how much? One game, two, three? It would take a 3-win improvement to reach the 5-11 mark. That may be optimistic considering the Lions face the 3rd toughest schedule in the NFL. I’ll pass on this one. Las Vegas Odds
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