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Tru Predictions 2017

You’ve been waiting all year for it. My Tru Predictions are back. I will make my predictions for the Detroit Lions 2017 season. I’m riding high after a correct playoff appearance prediction in 2016 with a dominating Stafford performance (pre-injury). Let’s get to the predictions.

NOTE: All of these predictions are valid but void for caveats for major injuries, concentrated injuries, flukes, unregistered glove use, referee blunders against the Lions, the Bubonic plague, the cost of the Trump Wall for Mexico and extreme poor weather at my discretion including but not limited to hurricanes, Hurricane Ditkas, blizzards, tornados, extreme wind gusts during Stafford’s throws and 1 inch of snow or more in Atlanta.

Matt Stafford- 100+ QB Rating (106.5 QB rating)

Matt Stafford had a great season in 2016 until he injured his throwing hand. Stafford earned a 100.5 rating in the first 12 games and was playing like a MVP player. Stafford earned a contract and is now the league’s highest paid player. Stafford accomplished this despite no run game, the most drops in the league and a lack of short fields (only six all year which is worst in the league).

Matt is healthy once again, has even more weapons, an upgrade offensive line, an upgraded running game and an updated defense/return game to provide short fields.

Stafford will throw for 4,600 yards (8.0 YPA on 575 attempts) at 68% completion with 35 TDs and 8 interceptions.

4,600 yards would have been the 4th highest total in 2016. 575 attempts would have been 11th in 2016 and 8.0 YPA earns the 4th best YPA mark in the league from 2016. 35 TDS total would be 4th best in 2016 as well. The 106.5 rating equals the 3rd highest mark in 2016 and 68% completion would have been 4th best. Clearly, Stafford will be a top 3-4 QB in the league in 2017.

Stafford is an elite top 4 QB. He will show that with proper support in 2016 barring injury.

Protection- 28% pressure on drop backs and 34 sacks allowed

The Lions upgrade their offensive line with TJ Lang and Rick Wagner at right guard and right tackle. Left tackle Taylor Decker tore his labrum and will miss 4-8 games in 2017. Detroit added Greg Robinson to ease the loss of Decker. Graham Glasgow progresses in year 2 and Travis Swanson returns from a concussion (miss the final 4 games and playoff game). The Lions have a good offensive line.

Detroit will allow 28% pressure on his drop backs and 34 sacks. This will give Stafford plenty of time to accumulate that 106.5 QB rating.

Weapons- 4,600 yards and 35 TDs

I already predicted 4,600 yards and 35 TDs from Stafford. Let’s see how that is accumulated among the weapons. The Lions have plenty of good weapons to spread the ball around for 2017 with good RB and TE depth.

Golden Tate 1,000 yards and 5 TDS

Marvin Jones 900 yards and 8 TDs

Kenny Golladay 600 yards and 6 TDs

Theo Riddick 400 yards and 5 TDs

Eric Ebron 800 yards and 8 TDS

Ameer Abdullah 350 yards and 1 rec TD

TJ Jones 150 yards and 0 TDs

Michael Roberts 150 yard and 1 TD

Darren Fells 100 yards and 1 TDs

Zach Zenner 150 yards and 0 TDs

The Lions will spread the ball around with a plethora of weapons. Barring injury, this is the Lions best weapon collection they have ever had.

Bonus Prediction: The Lions will be in the middle of the pack in drops.

Run Game 1,803 yard and 13 rushing TDs

Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick both return from injuries to bolster the Lions run game.

Abdullah will have 175 carries at 4.6 YPC for 805 rushing yards.

Riddick will earn 4.0 YPC at 80 carries for 320 rushing yards.

Zach Zenner gets 4.0 YPC at 70 carries for 280 rushing yards.

Dwayne Washington will have 30 carries for 3.8 YPC for 114 yards rushing.

Stafford scrambles 35 times for 200 yards.

The Lions WRs get 12 carries at 7 YPC for 84 additional yards.

The total all the yards equals 1,803 yards for Detroit. 1,803 yards tallied the 12th best rushing attack in 2016. 402 carries is the 10th most in the league. 4.48 YPC is the 10th best in the league.

The Lions will tally 13 rushing TDS on the year.

Short Fields and Turnovers 28 Turnovers Forced for 18 Short Fields

The Lions will force 28 turnovers (17 interception and 11 fumbles recovered) from their defense and earn about 18 short fields (league average) through defense and special team returns.

Detroit will turn the ball over 18 times. They will have the 8 Stafford picks and lose 10 fumbles for 18 turnovers lost.

This leaves Detroit with a +10 turnover differential. This is the 6th best turnover differential in the league in 2017.

Offensive Points Per Game. 28.9 PPG

Stafford tossed 35 TDS and the Lions rush for 13 TDS. Detroit gets 4 return/defensive TDs on the year. Prater nails 33 of 38 field attempts.

48 offensive TDS times 7=336 points

4 TDs times 7= 28 points

33 made field goals equals 99 points

Detroit scored 463 points in 2017 for 28.9 PPG. 28.9 PPG would have been good for 3rd best in the league in 2016.

Defense

Pass Rush- 35% Pressure and 42 Sacks

Detroit will get 35% pressure on drop backs. The Lions will notch 42 sacks in 2017 (42 sacks is 3rd in 2016).

Ziggy Ansah 12 sacks

Cornelius Washington 6 sacks

Ashawn Robinson 3 sacks

Haloti Ngata 2 sacks

Akeem Spence 1 sack

Armonty Bryant 5 sacks

Anthony Zettel/Valoaga 2 sacks each for 4 sacks total

LBs 4 sacks (2 Davis, 1 Whithead, 1 Williams)

DBs 4 sacks (2 Killebrew, 1 Wilson, 1 Quin or CB)

1 sack from rookie DT Jeremiah Ledbetter

Other Defensive Stats 20.4 PPG Defense (10th best)

Detroit will allow 3,800 yards with an 85.1 rating with 17 interceptions. The QB rating is good for 10th best in the league.

Lions allow 1,650 yards at 4.2 YPC in 2017 in rush defense which is average at 16th.

Finally, the Lions will allow 20.4 PPG which is 10th best in the league in 2016.

The Lions will have a top 10 defense (PPG) with the 10th best coverage, top 5 pass rush and average run defense. The Lions will force 28 turnovers which is 4th best in the league.

Record 11-5 (4-2 division)

Detroit will have the 3rd best offense and the 10th best defense with high turnovers forced (28). We should be expecting big things from Detroit at this point.

The Lions will earn an 11-5 record with a tough schedule (though plenty of home games against tougher teams). Detroit will be 6-3 in one score games and go 4-2 in the division. Detroit will start 5-3 and finish the season 6-2.

Detroit wins the NFC North at 11-5

Other North Teams

Minnesota will be 10-6 and earn a wild card berth. Green Bay misses the playoffs at 8-8 for the first time since 2008. Chicago is improved at 7-9. The Vikings and Packers go 3-3 in the division and the Bears earn a 2-4 mark.

Bonus Game Predictions:

Green Bay lose at Atlanta (or Carolina), at Pittsburgh, at Dallas, at Detroit, at Chicago and at Minnesota for 6 road losses. The Packers lose at home to Seattle and Tampa Bay (or the Bengals) for two home losses. Green Bay finally missed the playoffs with eight losses.

The Vikings lose three division games on the road. The Vikings also drop games at Pittsburgh, at Atlanta and at Washington (or home to Bengals/Tampa) for six total losses.

The Bears lose three road away games and to Detroit at Soldier Field. The Bears lose at the Bengals, at the Eagles, home to the Falcons, home to the Steelers and at Tampa Bay for 9 losses.

Playoffs

Detroit will win a home playoff game in the wild card round as Seattle and Atlanta will both get the bye week. If Detroit gets hot in January and stay relatively healthy, we’ll see what can happen the rest of the playoffs. Boombaya