The Detroit Lions can't simply replace the unique talent of wide receiver Calvin Johnson or the numbers he racked up during his final NFL season in 2015 (88 receptions, 1,124 yards, nine touchdowns). However, the Lions can still be a productive offense with the help of quarterback Matthew Stafford and fresh personnel additions, along with the play calling of coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.
Today, let's examine how the Lions will move on from Megatron in 2016, while continuing to put up points on offense:
During the Lions' dreadful 1-7 start last season, Stafford's numbers were average: 13 TD passes, 11 picks, 50.1 Total QBR. But once Cooter was promoted to offensive coordinator in Week 8 and the team settled into the new scheme, Stafford took off. Over the final eight games, Stafford completed 70 percent of his passes, tossed 19 touchdowns and threw just two interceptions. All of those figures ranked in the top three leaguewide over that span, and his 73.1 Total QBR finished eighth. Detroit finished on a 6-2 run to close out the season.
What was the secret?