Why we’re going all the way In 2016, Matthew Stafford took a poor, beat-up Detroit Lions team and had them a game away from winning their first division title in over 15 years. This year, the team is undoubtedly better. With a beefed-up offensive line, a handful of defensive draft picks and free agent acquisitions, and a healthy backfield, this Lions team is more well-rounded than ever. All Stafford needs is just a little improvement in the supporting cast around him to take the Lions to a new level in 2017.
The season is hopeless if [THIS] happens Like a lot of teams, the Lions are done if their quarterback goes down. Though Stafford has strung together a streak of 96 straight games, this year presents a new challenge. With starting left tackle Taylor Decker likely to miss at least six games this year, Stafford’s blind side will be protected by Greg Robinson. Both are high draft picks who have been cast off by their original teams, and neither has shown any promise in training camp.
Who is your biggest rival and why? Not long ago, I would have said the Chicago Bears, but the Lions have won seven of the past eight matchups between the two teams. Therefore, I have to say the Green Bay Packers. In both 2014 and 2016, the two teams played for the division title in Week 17. The Packers may have won both of those games, but the rivalry has been fairly even over the past four years.
Tailgate food that best describes your team? Chili. Nothing is more thrilling than the sight of chili at the beginning of the tailgate. You spend so much time preparing it, building up the hype along the way. And when you first get a whiff of it, everything seems perfect. The chili tastes awesome and warms your soul when it hits your taste buds, but at the end of the adventure: disaster.
What does your team do better than anyone else? Special teams. The Lions have one of the best -- and most underrated -- punters in Sam Martin. They have a reliable kicker in Matt Prater. And they have an extremely dependable coverage team. Now the Lions have added rookie Jamal Agnew, who has brought some optimism to the return game. If he turns out to be as explosive as advertised, I don’t think there’s a better special teams unit in the entire NFL.