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2011 Detroit Lions Odds | Preview | Picks

2011 Detroit Lions Team Preview | NFL Predictions

By the Detroit Lions’ standards, the 2010 season was a successful one. Detroit, which finished the season 6-10, closed the season with a four-game winning streak and tripled last season’s win total.

2011 Detroit Lions Team Preview/Predictions
2011 Record: 6-10
ATS Record: 12-4

Also, Detroit avoided finishing alone in last for the first time in three years and put Minnesota in a last-place tie for first time since 1990.

The Lions have been taking baby steps since their record-setting season in 2008 when they didn’t record a victory. They took a step forward in 2009, when they improved by two wins, but made far bigger strides in their evolution in 2010 when they nearly avoided a double-digit loss total.

Moreover, their record could have been even better. Recall week one, when receiver Calvin Johnson had a game winning catch against Chicago that wasn’t called as such because of the poorly-crafted NFL rulebook?

The Lions also endured five other losses by only four points or less, and they finished the second year of the Jim Schwartz era with four straight wins including a 7-3 victory over Super Bowl champion Green Bay. There finally is some optimism in the Motor City for the first time in a decade.

Over the long offseason, Detroit faced a vital question in the draft. Would the Lions address their needs in the secondary or would they take the best defensive lineman in the draft and secure the best defensive line in the league? The Lions went with the latter in selecting tackle Nick Fairley over Prince Amukamara.

The Lions used their two second round picks to help improve quarterback Matthew Stafford’s support system. Running back Mikel Leshoure should improve the running game and Titus Young finally gives Detroit a receiver who can stretch the field and allow Calvin Johnson to do his thing in single coverage. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

If Stafford stays healthy and continues to progress, the Lions should improve and finish with eight wins, enough for an outside shot at a wild card berth.

The key for success on offense is Stafford and the passing attack he leads. Stafford had an up and down rookie season, but looked a lot more consistent in his second season until injuries cut it short. The key in 2011 will be to stay injury free.

Stafford has the luxury of throwing to one of the best pass catchers in the game in Pro Bowl wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Last season Johnson had 77 receptions for 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns.

As noted above, the Lions’ strength on defense has to be the defensive line. They are led by defensive rookie of the year Ndamukong Suh. Detroit turned 10.48 percent of opposing teams’ pass plays into a turnover which ranked them sixth in the National Football League.

However, once you get past the defensive line the Lions have huge question marks. The Lions secondary allowed opponents’ signal callers to finish with an 89.17 QB rating which was 23rd in the NFL.

Meanwhile, running backs ran all over the Detroit defense in 2010 when they averaged 4.53 yards per carry.

If Detroit can fix these holes, watch out – the Lions could be battling for a playoff spot the last few weeks of the season.

2011 Lions Futures:

Super Bowl Odds: +2550
Conference Odds: +1600
NFC North Odds: +400
2011-2012 NFL Regular Season Wins: Over 7½ (-110), Under 7.5 (-120)

2011 Lions Predictions:

Place they’ll finish in NFC North: 2nd
Place they’ll finish in NFC Conference: 9th

Over/Under Wins Prediction: Over

With NFL football just a short time away, Cappers Picks Football handicappers have been hard at work putting out the team by team NFL previews for those of us who can’t wait.

Bet on the 2011 SuperBowl winner, plus Conference and Divisional winners.

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About Dave Golokhov AKA Vegas Dave

Dave Golokhov has written for Playboy.com, BETUS Sportsbook, Sportsfanmagazine.com, FOX, Askmen.com, Sports-central, and the FOXSports.com Funhouse.


Comments

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    What have you got to say Lions fan? Is this finally the year? Revamped DL, a nice looking QB. Man oh man…could they actually have an 8 win season? Weigh in!

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