The Detroit Lions stormed back into the playoff conversation in 2014, using a balanced offensive attack behind new head coach Jim Caldwell. The real reason the Lions surged back to relevancy was their elite defense. Their greatest strength was having a stacked defensive line, anchored by defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
Just when the Lions were starting to figure things out, Suh jetted to Miami in free agency. On top of that, the Lions lost fellow defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Detroit did an admirable job replacing their major losses, as they traded for Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Haloti Ngata and added Tyrunn Walker for depth. The Lions also held onto cornerback Rashean Mathis. On offense, their only key loss was aging running back Reggie Bush.
While making up for the loss of Suh—the heart and soul of the defense—the Lions could still pick up where they left off in 2014. Their balanced offense and sturdy defense should have them back in the playoff mix, and after a successful 2014 run, Lions tickets should see a minor bump in price. Lions fans won’t mind the extra coin, however, since they know they’ve got a winning product going back on the field in 2015.
There’s no better time to go watch the Lions, as they look to make the next step in the playoffs. Hipmunk.com will help you get to any game— home or on the road—with flights to and from Detroit, including hotels in Detroit from $17 around Ford Field and in the heart of the Motor City.
Detroit may have a shot at reaching the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, but they’ll have to make it through an improving NFC North first. They’ll also have to endure a tough home schedule, with Arizona, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Denver and Oakland all coming to Ford Field. Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ high-flying offense will be a stiff test, while Detroit’s offense will undoubtedly be tested by elite defenses in the Cardinals and 49ers.
Things stay interesting on the road, as the Lions head to St. Louis, Seattle, New Orleans and San Diego. Winning in Seattle against the 12th Man will be as tough as it gets, while the Lions should be heavy favorites in their clash with the Rams. The game to monitor heading into November may be Detroit’s meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs, when both teams will touch down in London. According to TiqIQ.com, Lions tickets have an average price of $255.34 with a get-in price of $98 for the overseas matchup.
A game across the ocean, some tough defensive battles and a few elite offensive clashes have the Lions set up for a thrilling 2015. If Ngata and the defense can come together and make Suh a forgotten man, the Lions just might make it two successful years in a row. Whether that ends up being the case or not, a first glance at the schedule suggests Lions fans will at least thoroughly enjoy the ride.