By: Dennis Fithian

The good news is that the Lions return 10-of-11 starters on defense this upcoming season. After watching Detroit’s defense last year you could say that’s the bad news too. What stood out last year about the Lions on defensive side of the ball? In the playoffs, in a 17 point New Orleans win, the Saints put up 626 total yards and never using their punter.

Matt Flynn throwing for 480 yards and six touchdowns in the season finale against the Packers. The biggest positives that stood out for the defense last year? A second half shut down at Minnesota where Detroit was down 20-0 at the half but came back and won 26-23. A week later on Monday night against the Bears the Lions defensive line was dominate. The blue print that the Lions would love to look to for this year was the game on Christmas Eve against the Chargers. Detroit’s line swarmed San Diego quarterback Phillip Rivers. The Lions secondary was one of the teams top units that night leading Detroit to a playoff berth.

That secondary should have two new faces as starters this upcoming season. Chris Houston and Louis Delmas have earned their spots. Amari Spievey and Aaron Berry would be best case backups at safety and corner respectively. The starters at linebacker Justin Durant, Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy are set. The Lions defensive line should open with Kyle Vanden Bosch, Corey Williams, and Ndamukong Suh. Cliff Avril will eventually sign a long term deal but if he doesn’t Lawerence Jackson and Willie Young will rotate in at defensive end if Avril leaves. Lions need to get Avril signed (my estimate 5-59 million) keep Delmas healthy and get sustained pressure up front. Lions do those things I can see them getting back to the post season and being dangerous once they are there.