Headed Into Their Bye, The Detroit Lions are the NFL’s Ultimate Wild Card

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The Detroit Lions Are Showing Signs Of Improvement And Hope To Get Healthy During A Timely Bye Week In Preparation For A Playoff Run. 


Where The Detroit Lions Stand After Five Weeks

Standings

Fourth Place NFC North, 1.5 Games Behind Chicago

T-ninth Place NFC, three Games Behind Los Angeles

Generally 23-17 in most power rankings

Statistics

Offense: 13th PPG, 18th Total Yards, 16th Passing, 21st Rushing

Defense: 26th PPG, 17th Total Yards, 5th Passing, 32nd Rushing

Observations Through Five Games

The Team Is Finally Capable Of Beating Anybody… And Losing To Anybody.

A common theme during the Jim Caldwell era of Detroit Lions football was the steady feel of the team from year to year. You could almost look at the schedule and say ok they’ll beat them, them, and them for sure, but they’ll definitely lose this game, that game, and the other game. That feeling seems to have gone by the wayside and with it comes potential to be great and potential to be terrible.

For the most part, the team took care of business against teams like the Jets in years past, but they almost never took down teams like New England or Green Bay when it mattered. It’s a pretty new feeling to beat elite teams like the Packers and Patriots. The team has actually shown that it can beat the big boys and even though they have some bad losses, there’s hope for a run down the stretch because of this newfound potential.

Getting Early Leads Is Extremely Vital To This Teams’ Success

It’s been well documented that the Lions have the worst run defense in the league. Stopping the run is a tall order when you don’t exactly have world beaters on the defensive front. The best way for this team to hide their weakness is to start quickly on offense and force the other team to keep pace on the scoreboard rather than run down the clock and the Lions’ defensive stamina.

If you don’t give the other team a chance to run the ball, they can’t beat you that way. We saw this in the New England game and the Green Bay game. Neither team was able to run the ball and instead had to play catch up against the Lions top five rated pass defense. Steer the other team toward your strengths and don’t allow them to have their way is something that head coach Matt Patricia probably preaches on a regular basis.

GM Bob Quinn Doesn’t Nail Every Pick, But He’s Made Some Damn Good Ones

If you look at Taylor Decker, Jarrad Davis, and Frank Ragnow you see three mid-late first-round picks. They all start and play a large role on the team, but most wouldn’t consider any of them to home runs in the first round and that’s okay. Bob Quinn has yet to legitimately blow a first-round pick and despite a couple of head-scratchers (I’m no longer a Tabor guy and Jimmy Landes is still puzzling), he deserves a lot of credit for his mid-round production so far.

Kenny Golladay and Kerryon Johnson look like stars in the making. Graham Glasgow, DaShawn Hand, and A’Shawn Robinson are starters. Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Jamal Agnew, and Tracy Walker are all decent contributors. These are guys that I would already consider to be hits and picks like these go a long way in building a championship caliber squad.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow @charleskelbel on Twitter and leave me your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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