NFL training camps are winding down and the preseason is in full force. So what do we expect from the Detroit Lions in 2017?

It’s safe to say we’re not shy when it comes to getting you ready for the upcoming NFL season. Since March, we have strung together four different series in preparation for the fall. We have looked at all 32 teams’ most improved area. That was preceded by pieces on a club’s best offseason addition, some facts, figures and feats for each squad, as well as an up-and-coming player for each roster.

So call this one for the thumb. With the regular-season rapidly approaching, we’ll take a look at what we could expect from each team. Every team wants to win the Super Bowl. However, 31 teams will obviously be disappointed. So we have been taking a look at all 32 clubs (in original 2017 draft order) and doing a little analysis. You can play catch up right here. So what are we really expecting from the Detroit Lions in 2017?

You keep waiting for this franchise to truly return to its glory days. But the Detroit Lions remain hard to figure. Last season’s late collapse saw them squander a two-game lead in the NFC North with three weeks to play. Jim Caldwell’s team goes out with a whimper in a wild card loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

So general manager Bob Quinn upgrades the right side of the offensive line with the free-agent additions of guard T.J. Lang (Green Bay Packers) and tackle Ricky Wagner (Baltimore Ravens). If running back Ameer Abdullah stays healthy, perhaps the ground attack can finally get back on track. All told, quarterback Matthew Stafford is a one-man show as of late.

On defense, there are quite a few new faces such as rookie middle linebacker Jarrad Davis, veteran defensive tackles Akeem Spence and Jordan Hill and cornerback D.J. Hayden. All told, a lot of youth is going to be served on this unit this upcoming season.


Many NFL fans are familiar with the woes when it comes to the Men from Motown. The Detroit Lions are the only team currently in the NFC that hasn’t reached the Super Bowl. The team hasn’t won an NFL title since 1957 and has not posted a postseason win since ’91. In fact, the club’s last division crown came in 1993 when they grabbed the then-NFC Central. That’s a lot of history to overcome and Caldwell has done his best. He’s guided the Lions to two playoff appearance in the last three years.

The team improves the offensive line and hopes to field a better ground attack. But the defense remains questionable and a year ago faded down the stretch. The Lions can’t keep relying on Matthew Stafford to save its skin. An 8-8 finish may wind up being this club’s best-case scenario.

Russell S. Baxter is the NFL lead columnist for and the founder of Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

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