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The Lions took a step back in 2012, but at least according to defensive tackle Nick Fairley, they're about to take a huge step forward in 2013 -- the Super Bowl.
"I expect big things," Fairley told The Detroit News. "I am going to say we are going to the Super Bowl because I am competitive, and that is what I want for the team, and it is one of the goals. I am sure we are going to take it game by game and day by day."
The Lions finished 4-12 last season, dropping back from their breakout 10-6 finish in 2011 that earned the team its first playoff berth in 12 years.
History suggests that a Super Bowl is a long shot for the Lions. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only one team (the 1999 St. Louis Rams) has won a Super Bowl after winning four or fewer games the previous season.
Fairley, however, pointed to what he thought was a strong draft by his team as a reason for a Lions resurgence.
The Lions also added potential impact players on offense (running back Reggie Bush) and defense (safety Glover Quin) in free agency.
"We are going to do some big things this year," Fairley told the newspaper.
Fairley finished with 5.5 sacks in 13 games last season, his second in the NFL, before a shoulder injury put him on the shelf in December. He told The Detroit News that he has been watching tape of Hall of Fame defensive linemen Reggie White and Warren Sapp, trying to "pick up things" to take his game to the next level.