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NFL Detroit Lions

5 Early Predictions For The Detroit Lions’ 2014 Season

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Detroit Lions: 5 Early Predictions For The 2014 Season

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With a new coaching staff and some key personnel additions, the Detroit Lions are a big unknown heading into the 2014 NFL season. How well will the players adjust to new schemes on both sides of the ball? Which players will step up or fall? It's still too early to know these answers, but its never too early to speculate. Here are five early predictions for the Lions' 2014 season.

5. Joique Bell Will Have More Carries Than Reggie Bush

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5. Joique Bell Will Have More Carries Than Reggie Bush

Joique Bell Lions
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In Joe Lombardi's previous offensive scheme in New Orleans, the Saints used a backfield-by-committee approach where the lead back only had 147 carries. I expect that same approach this season, but I think Joique Bell will handle the rock more than Bush. That doesn't mean that Bush will be replaced, however. Bush's versatility as a receiver will limit his carries on the ground, and Bell will be featured more in late-game situations.

4. Rookie Nevin Lawson Will Start At Cornerback At Mid-season

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4. Rookie Nevin Lawson Will Start At Cornerback At Mid-season

Nevin Lawson Lions
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In the ever-confusing secondary for the Lions, there are still more questions than answers. While Darius Slay is expected to start and finish the season, no other corner on the roster can be relied on to do the same. With Rashean Mathis, Chris Houston and Bill Bentley all having their various issues, rookie fourth-rounder Nevin Lawson will become a starter at mid-season. Lawson will provide some much-needed speed to a unit that really lacks it.

3. DeAndre Levy Will Be Detroit's Best Defensive Player

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3. DeAndre Levy Will Be Detroit's Best Defensive Player

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Even on a defense that features Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and Ezekiel Ansah, LB DeAndre Levy will replace all of them as Detroit's best defender in 2014. In 2013, Levy finished second in the NFL in interceptions with six behind Richard Sherman, had 117 tackles and deflected 15 passes. Levy is starting to become a great two-way linebacker. Not only will he be a Pro Bowler this year, but he will overtake Suh on the NFL Top 100 list in 2015.

2. Joseph Fauria Will Overtake Brandon Pettigrew As The No. 2 Tight End

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2. Joseph Fauria Will Overtake Brandon Pettigrew As The No. 2 Tight End

Joseph Fauria Lions
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With Eric Ebron guaranteed to be the No. 1 tight end this season, the battle to be his backup will come down to Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. When both played last season, Fauria outperformed Pettigrew, catching seven touchdowns to Pettigrew's two. Pettigrew's receiving ability has regressed in each of the past two seasons, and the Lions won't use a player who is only good at one thing.

1. Nick Fairley Will Play His Way Out Of Detroit

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1. Nick Fairley Will Play His Way Out Of Detroit

Nick Fairley Lions
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Off the field, Nick Fairley has done everything this year to stay in Detroit. After being declined his fifth-year option, Fairley has slimmed down from 312 pounds to 297 this offseason and has said all the right things in a contract year. However, the on-field performance is another story. Fairley had discipline issues last year with many personal foul calls. Besides, paying big money to two defensive tackles isn't smart.