The Lions offense was one of the worst in the NFL last season (26th overall), but there is a lot to look forward to this season.
The biggest reason, beyond the continued maturation of QB Matthew Stafford, is newcomers WR Nate Burleson and RB Jahvid Best.
But which player is likely to make the bigger impact?
Burleson’s impact will reach far beyond the stat sheet. His ability to beat single coverage means that safeties cannot roll up on WR Calvin Johnson. That should translate into a monster season for Johnson who will become the receiver everybody has wanted him to be for some time.
Burleson has embraced his role as the No. 2 receiver and told the Detroit Free Press that he has encouraged the other members of the Lions receiving corps to — as the Rock would say — know their roles.
- “I said, ‘You know, if everybody takes that approach in this receiving corps, I think on Sundays we’re going to be the best on the field,’ ” Burleson said.
The biggest question regarding Best is if he can be an every-down back. The Detroit News recently said that the Lions will likely use Best in a similar role to what Reggie Bush did with the Saints. Meaning that he is likely to date a Kardashian and then get the University of California put on probation.
Best had some injury problems at Cal, but his talent indicates that he should be on the field and he is likely to make a huge impact. Maybe even challenge Chargers RB Ryan Mathews for top rookie honors. So of the two, I look for Best to have a bigger impact.
With all of this talk about the Lions, maybe I am starting to be swayed that they could actually make the playoffs this year. Though, I am not there yet.