The Detroit Lions' 2014 season ended in a controversial 24-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in an NFC Wild Card matchup, ending one of the most successful campaigns in franchise history in abrupt and painful fashion. While they're hoping to get back to the postseason in 2015, that may not be the case. Here are four reasons why the Lions won't make the playoffs this year:
4) Tough NFC North
The Chicago Bears will definitely be at the bottom of the division, but the Lions will have a tough time getting past the Vikings and Packers. Green Bay is arguably the favorite to win the Super Bowl, while Minnesota looks ready to take the leap towards being a 10+ win team. Detroit will have a hard time getting past those two teams and into playoff positioning.
3) Loss of Ndamukong Suh
Suh, for better or worse, was the face of the Lions defense for the past five years, but he’s now a member of the Miami Dolphins. Detroit traded for nose tackle Haloti Ngata to replace him, but no one can fully replace Suh. They're hoping to use a more team-oriented approach, but their defense will undoubtedly suffer - in a big way - without their star.
2) Offensive line questions
Detroit has some of the most explosive offensive weapons in the league, but they weren't able to realize their potential because of their lackluster offensive line. They've brought it a bunch of new faces and have totally revamped their line, but there's no telling how good they'll be until we see them in game action. However, they didn't bring in any game-changing talents, so chances are they'll still be inconsistent at best.
1) Matthew Stafford's inefficiency
Stafford continued to put up eye-popping stats in 2014, but he hasn't been able to improve his overall efficiency. He turned the ball over 18 times last year and ranked just 25th in the league in completion percentage. If he can't improve upon this issue in 2015, the Lions may not be able to make the plays they need to make in close games, and will miss out on the postseason because of it.
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