ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The preseason is half over and the Detroit Lions are entering their close approximation to a game week on Sunday, getting ready for Baltimore on Aug. 27.
A lot of Detroit's starting positions are settled at this point, but there are definite depth questions beyond them, starting at quarterback. We discuss that and more in this week’s Lions mailbag. Remember, the mailbag is only as good as the questions you ask, so send them with the hashtag #LionsMailbag on Twitter, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask away (and follow) on Facebook.
Now, on to this week’s questions.
#LionsMailbag— KING Lleryt (@king_lleryt) August 17, 2016
What do u think the Lions record will be this season
@mikerothstein: Ahh, the big question. At this point, I’m not 100 percent sure what I’m going to predict -- that will come out in a week or so. What I’ve seen during camp and also during preseason games, though, doesn’t move me much off my typical April 8-8 prediction. I think the Lions can be anywhere from 6-to-10 wins this season depending on injuries and the schedule. I can easily see paths to both of those win totals. But I don’t think this team is much better than a .500 team.
@mikerothstein: In the offense? If the blocking holds up, the Lions' offense has a chance to be a prolific passing offense. The running game still seems pretty questionable, although it hasn’t been complete with Ameer Abdullah still sitting out. As far as the defense, the line has a chance to be really good. There is front-line talent there and depth. Behind the line, though, is concerning. It’s been tough to get a gauge on the linebackers without DeAndre Levy out there, and until he is, we won’t know about his health. But his skill set offsets a lot of the issues the other linebackers have had, particularly in coverage. The secondary has some good pieces with Darius Slay and Glover Quin, but there are definitely questions there, too. There are issues to be concerned about on both sides of the ball -- hence my response above on the record for this season.
Andrew from Parts Unknown writes: My question for this week is: Does Rudock start the season as QB2 now that Orlovsky has thrown two (at the time I am writing this) pick six's in pre-season?
@mikerothstein: Right now? I’d stay put. There aren’t a ton of great options for backup quarterbacks on the market. Michael Vick is out there, but I don’t know if he fits the offensive scheme the Lions are running. Jimmy Clausen worked out for Detroit right before training camp, and he would be an option if the Lions choose to bring in another veteran. That said, I don’t know how much better Clausen is than Dan Orlovsky. Remember, the role of a backup quarterback is less on-field than off it, where they are helping Matthew Stafford get ready for game day. That’s where Orlovsky and Jake Rudock (and before him, Kellen Moore) thrived. They are extremely intelligent and can break down film well. I also believe Orlovsky can get you out of a game if need be, but the Lions are in deep trouble if Stafford were to be hurt for a long period of time. Rudock is the potential No. 2 of the future with the Lions, but I don’t think that happens this season -- at least not at this point.