In the past couple of days, Iâ€™ve been reading NFL articles and statistics to get myself prepared on the new NFL season. And one thing caught my attention - almost every expert says that Detroit Lions is the team to bet on NFL football this season. Expert says that Detroit Lions can finish third or higher this season. As for me, I predict they will come at first and take home the Superbowl championship. Since there is a need to back up that statement, here are some facts that will tell why Detroit Lions are the team to bet on NFL football this 2012 season. Key One: Matthew Stafford - He may not show it, but I'm betting he's pretty ticked off at Ron Jaworski at being ranked the 14th best QB in the NFL after having such a great season last year. 5,038 yards, 41 TD against 16 INT's and a passer rating of 97.2. How that doesn't at least get him into the top 10 is beyond me. So Mr. Stafford will be having some serious motivational factors thanks to Jaworski. Granted, Jaws did admit Stafford is an elite top-10 QB and the main reason for ranking him 14th was due to injury and durability. So an equal or better season by Stafford is in the cards for 2012. Key Two: Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Titus Young, Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler & Ryan Broyles. So many weapons. Which is what you want to give your top-10 elite QB, right? Granted, Calvin Johnson is the undisputed star of this squad and the only receiver to break the 1,000 yard barrier (1,690). But lets look at the yards per catch for each of these players: Johnson (17.5), Scheffler (13.3), Young (12.6), Burleson (10.4), Pettigrew (9.4) and Ryan Broyles averaged 13.1 yards per catch. Average that out for the players listed, that's a collective 12.7 yards per catch. Impressive! Key Three: Defense - No one can argue against the fact that the Lions defensive line is one of the best in the NFL. In the last two years, they have made significant strides in overall improvement. Pair that with a year of experience and maturity, and I suspect the D-line will rise above all the negativity from last year and the offseason and put together a season for the ages. The line backing corp and the secondary are still issues, though. Detroit's linebackers did improve last year with the addition of Stephen Tulloch. But the playoff loss against the Saints exposed how poorly the linebackers played against the pass. Gone are Eric Wright and Aaron
Berry. And outside of Louis Delmas and Chris Houston, most of the secondary are second- and third-tier players. But then again, if they can find a way to play as a unit and forget about trying to play for stats, perhaps they can surprise a lot of teams. Some expert says that the Packers and the Bears are strong contenders too this year. But I still believe in the Detroit Lions and it is the team I will bet on NFL football this year. I believe they have made solid improvements. I also think that all the negativity that surrounds this team will pull them together, and if head coach Jim Schwartz is any kind of coach, he'll get them in an "us against the world" mentality. Letâ€™s give a cheer for our Lions!