Commentary

12 things: Week 1 surprises

From a Lions upset (you heard right) to how teams should handle fourth-and-1

Updated: September 10, 2010, 1:11 PM ET
By David Fleming | ESPN The Magazine
Matthew StaffordAP Photos/Paul SancyaDon't be shocked to see Matthew Stafford and the Lions celebrating a win this week.

I'd be surprised if ...

1. The first big upset of the season doesn't take place inside Soldier Field on Sunday. I mean, if the preseason and Forbes magazine are any indication, then the Bears and Lions are two teams heading in very different directions.

Sure the Lions were 2-30 the last two seasons. Go ahead and laugh. I'll wait. That actually helps them Sunday, since it has been ingrained for so long in NFC North teams to take the Motor City Kitties lightly. But this is an improved team. The Lions have solidified their defensive line with Corey Williams, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Ndamukong Suh, and I wouldn't trade wideout Calvin Johnson and rookie back Jahvid Best for four, no, five, of the Bears' top players on offense. Yes, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford is raw -- he threw 20 picks as a rookie last season.


To find out the other 11 things that would surprise Fleming in Week 1, including his nicknames for Tim Tebow's Wilcat offense in Denver, you must be an Insider.