Detroit's defense hasn't ranked better than 22nd in the NFL over the past four seasons and as a result, the Lions have 16 wins during that span. Heck, the New England Patriots won 17 games last season alone.
As fans' patience with the team's rebuilding process dwindles, Detroit made a few moves this offseason to improve its struggling defense. The Lions signed free agent strong safety Kenoy Kennedy and cornerback R.W. McQuarters to join Pro Bowl cornerback Dre Bly in a secondary that yielded 29 passing touchdowns in 2004 (only six teams allowed more). Drafting all-American defensive end-turned-tackle Shaun Cody in the second round should help, too.
The offense is of equal concern, particularly the play of fourth-year quarterback Joey Harrington. Detroit has immensely talented players at the other skill positions on offense, so the onus is on him to propel the Lions into playoff contention. Second-year running back Kevin Jones averaged more than 113 yards over the final eight games last season, and the Lions have an enviable receiving trio in Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and rookie Mike Williams.
"If you play football as a quarterback and think there is not going to be any pressure on you, then you are fooling yourself," Harrington said during camp. "That is why I play the position. I love that pressure."