The Lions will be better this season. Then again, that is like saying that a retard who has lived his whole life in diapers, shitting himself, has learned to use the toilet occasionally. It will still be messy as hell, but every once in a while that dumb son of a bitch will do something that everyone else takes for granted, and when he does it will be the cause of great joy and wonderment. The poor fool will likely start clapping his hands and hooting and hollering in raucous celebration while everyone else wonders what the big deal is. And even though he probably won't understand how to properly wipe and the end result will likely just be a turd floating in the toilet, he still did it, and goddamn it, he's going be proud of it.
That is an awful analogy, disgusting and ultimately unnecessary, but what the hell, I suppose it gets the point across. There are going to be terrible times this season, times when we are flung back in Doc Brown's DeLorean to the horrible past, times that will make us begin to tremble and shake like frustrated junkies, times that will make us curse the television screen and want to go to the zoo and scissors kick a lion. But there will also be those times when we manage to make it to the toilet and shit like normal people, and when we do we will feel like everything is going to be okay even while everyone else still makes fun of us.
The final record will probably be very bad this year. That's okay. We have seen the truly horrible, and 3-13 and 4-12 doesn't even begin to compare to 0-16. We can take it.
The offense actually looks like it has a pulse after bottoming out so thoroughly a year ago. Everyone wants to talk about how terrible the defense was, and man, was it ever, but the offense was no great shakes either. Whether it was quarterbacks taking scenic jaunts out of the backs of opponent's end zones, or whether it was star receivers dropping balls and moping their way out of town, the Lions offense was a sloppy mess last season, talent deficient and sad.
This season things look a little different. We have a robot armed quarterback with tons of swagger along with perhaps the best wide receiver in the league and a running back who appears on the cusp of stardom. The offensive line is still shaky, but what the hell, we can't expect miracles. The future looks exceptionally bright, which I suppose, given the horrors of a year ago, is kind of a miracle all by itself.
There will probably be a lot of mistakes, frustrating shit that reminds us how young these guys still are, and a lot of big plays that make us smile and start gushing about the future. There is optimism here, and even if right now some it is blind, that is a hell of a lot better than the alternative, which is something we all experienced a year ago.
The defense on the other hand, well . . . the defense is going to suck. I just don't see any way that they can be vastly improved with the obvious talent deficiencies that still plague this team. Schematically, things look to be much, much better thanks to Gunther Cunningham's blitz happy agro tear their fucking head off approach, but they just don't have the players yet. The linebackers look solid. Everywhere else, well, doesn't.
There are some young players - at least a couple anyway - who should be difference makers defensively. Just not this year. Sammie Lee Hill has a ton of potential but he is raw as hell and he'll probably get pushed around a lot this season. Cliff Avril and Louis Delmas look like building blocks, but they are also both young and just don't have the talent around them to be forces yet.
The special teams should be mostly solid. Jason Hanson is awesome, and Nick Harris is mostly solid and dependable. If Yamon Figurs eventually ends up returning kicks and punts then we should have some explosiveness there that we haven't had in a while.
It will be a hell of a season, exciting and new - at least until the first losing streak kicks in, at which point everyone will probably revert to depressed moaning and shit flinging which accompanies virtually every Lions season. But for now, the Lions are 0-0, and that beats the fuck out of 0-16.
FIVE(OKAY, SIX)PREDICTIONS FOR THE SEASON
1. Calvin Johnson takes yet another step towards becoming the best receiver in the NFL.
2. Kevin Smith accounts for 1,800 total yards from scrimmage, about 1,200 rushing and 600 receiving with, say, 12 touchdowns.
3. Matthew Stafford throws 20 touchdown passes . . . and about 25 interceptions. He starts every game.
4. The run defense is surprisingly improved from a year ago, thanks to the linebackers and Gunther Cunningham's aggressive schemes.
5. The pass defense is terrible once again and the Lions overall defensive numbers are again near the bottom of the league.
6. I rant like a damn lunatic multiple times throughout the year and in the process set records for the most references to Hitler, werewolves on PCP, vampire apes, and for the use of the word gibberish.
FINAL PREDICTED RECORD: The floor for this team is, well, we've seen the floor, or fuck, what's beneath the floor, and it is horrible. Still, I think the worst this particular team can do is somewhere around 3-13. Watch, now they will somehow end up with a negative win total. I don't know how, but fuck it, maybe Roger Goodell will be so disgusted by the Lions that he will issue a statement making it happen, citing the embarrassment they have caused the league as a whole. Shit, maybe he will just suspend the franchise for the whole season. The ceiling for this team is probably somewhere around 7-9, perfectly mediocre but still deeply flawed. I'll go right in the middle, and go 5-11.