Good morning and ROARRRRRRRR!
Hopefully everyone is having a fine Labor Day weekend. The holiday itself is a work day in the NFL, with many teams returning from final cuts to get in an extra practice day as preparations begin for the first game of the regular season. (!)
The Detroit Lions happen to be off, but we'll roll on here as best we can.
I'll start the day by pointing you to ESPN.com's annual season preview, which offers a dedicated page to each team. The Lions preview, which includes a consensus division prediction along with an Intelligence Report and some notes from ESPN Stats & Information, is here.
I picked the Lions to finish third in the NFC North, but the consensus was that they will wind up in fourth.
My favorite nugget from the page illustrates how important safety Louis Delmas is to the team. Per ESPN Stats & Information: Opponents posted a 96.6 Total QBR on passes thrown 15 or more yards downfield when he was off the field and a 79.7 Total QBR on those throws when he was on.
Continuing our tour of the Lions den:
Here's my closer look at the Lions' five drafts under general manager Martin Mayhew. Some of the numbers, relative to the Green Bay Packers, might surprise you.
And here's an explanation for why the Lions rank as the NFL's oldest team.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press analyzes who won the Lions' position battles and why.
Lions running back Reggie Bush, via Carlos Monarrez of the Free Press: "Er, I've enjoyed it, but I would say that it's been OK. I haven't accomplished I think half of what I set out to. So I still feel like I have a lot to give to this game and I have a lot left to prove. So I'm still going. And I don't feel old. I still feel very young and my body hasn't taken a ton of carries over these seven years."
The Lions' final cuts suggested they are in a win-now mode, writes Kyle Meinke of Mlive.com.
The folks at Mlive.com agree that the Lions will finish third in the division.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News rounds up the Lions' news from Sunday, which included the release of linebacker Rocky McIntosh and the continued expectation that running back Montell Owens will be placed on short-term injured reserve.