2014 Detroit Lions Odds | Season Preview | NFL Predictions

2014 Lions NFL Handicapping

Lions In Tough To Challenge For Playoff Spot In First Year Under Caldwell

Jim Caldwell didn’t mince words when he was introduced as the Detroit Lions’ head coach. He believes Detroit is ready to challenge for a Super Bowl.

The Lions have assembled a talented roster around franchise quarterback Matt Stafford and All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson but change was needed after missing the playoffs in consecutive years.

Jim Schwartz was fired and Caldwell was hired to replace him and take this team back to the postseason. Regardless of what Caldwell thinks Detroit still isn’t ready to challenge for a Super Bowl just yet.

In fact, just getting back to the postseason will be a tough task with the other NFC playoff contenders also making improvements.

2014 Detroit Lions Team Preview/Predictions

  • 2013 Record: 7-9
  • ATS Record: 6-10

2014 Lions Futures

  • Super Bowl Odds: +4000
  • Conference Odds: +2000
  • NFC North Odds: +320
  • 2014 NFL Regular Season Wins: 8

Stafford was signed to a massive three-year, $53 million extension in the offseason and the Lions are convinced he can take them to a Super Bowl.

However, Stafford has been prone to inconsistent bouts throughout his career and one of them came down the stretch last season when he completed just 54-percent of his passes and had 14 turnovers as Detroit went 1-6 down the stretch to finish 7-9 following a 6-3 start.

Stafford has a great arm but must make better decisions and the franchise feels Caldwell and new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi can really help him reach his potential.

Johnson overcame finger and knee injuries last season for another strong year and the Lions added free agent receiver Golden Tate and rookie first-round pick tight end Eric Ebron to take advantage of the constant double-teams that Megatron draws.

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Tate is a burner that is coming off a career-year in Seattle and will compliment Johnson and Ryan Broyles well while Ebron will pair with Brandon Pettigrew to give Detroit a solid tandem in 2TE sets.

Running backs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell became the first teammates in NFL history to both record over 500 yards rushing and receiving in a single season.

The Lions drafted Travis Swanson in the third round to eventually replace veteran center Dominic Raiola. Left tackle Riley Reiff is solid and right guard Larry Warford could easily go to the Pro Bowl this season.

The Detroit defense improved significantly in 2013 as it ranked No. 1 in both the red zone and on third downs.

The Lions finished 16th in total defense but failed to substantially upgrade in the offseason. Defensive end Darryl Tapp and rookie second-round pick linebacker Kyle Van Noy were the two biggest additions but Detroit didn’t add a starter at cornerback.
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Tapp will look to contribute as a pass-rushing end behind Jason Jones and Ziggy Ansah while Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley are back to form one of the NFC’s best tandems at tackle.

Van Noy is an excellent playmaker that should start immediately on the strong side with DeAndre Levy back on the weak side and Stephen Tulloch back to hold down the middle. Rashean Mathis returns as the projected nickel cornerback despite that he actually played better than starters Chris Houston and Darius Slay last season.

Houston will try to bounce back after getting burned time and again down the stretch in 2013 while Slay could lose his starting job to Mathis if he doesn’t bounce back.

Free safety James Ihedigbo was signed to be the quarterback of the defense after he started for coordinator Teryl Austin in Baltimore and he will be paired with a solid run stopper in strong safety Glover Quin but depth is an issue throughout the secondary.

The Lions should have one of the top offenses in the NFC once again but the defense and in particular the secondary still has to prove it can be a top-15 unit.

A lack of depth could hurt Detroit if injuries become an issue but if they can stay healthy they should be able to challenge the Chicago Bears for an NFC Wild Card spot.

The Lions will take a step forward in their first year under Caldwell but whether or not it’s enough to get back to the postseason could come down to one or two key games against fellow playoff contenders.

2014 Lions Predictions

  • Place they’ll finish in NFC North: 3rd
  • Place they’ll finish in NFC Conference: 8th 
  • Over/Under Wins Prediction: OVER


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Articles on are written by Q (the Head Honcho) at Cappers Picks or by our resident "in house" handicapper Razor Ray Monohan! Enjoy the free picks folks! "Pad that bankroll one day at a time!"