Josh Katzenstein's midseason Lions report card

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Joique Bell and the Lions running back corps have struggled with injuries this season.

As the common saying goes, "You make your own luck," and as much as the Lions have benefited from an easy schedule and poor decision-making by their opponents, the team deserves credit for creating opportunities to win.

At the midway point of the season, the Lions are 6-2 and enter the bye week having won five of their past six games.

A true evaluation of this year's team can't happen until the end of the season, but for now, much of the team has earned high marks. Plenty of players deserve credit for the impressive start after last year's collapse, but it's clear coach Jim Caldwell has developed a new sense of belief in his team, which overcame deficits of 13 and 21 points the past two games.

Some grades ought to be incomplete, as it's difficult to grade most of the rookie class, which has made little impact. But draft picks shouldn't be judged for three years anyway, so there's still plenty of hope the rookies will contribute.

With half of the season complete, it's fair to make some assumptions about this team. The defense, which ranks first in yards (290.4) and points (15.8) allowed per game, has been great despite some injuries.

The offense, meanwhile, has been lackluster outside of free-agent find Golden Tate, ranking 21st in yards (338.8) and 25th in points (20.3) per game. As much as Calvin Johnson's injury has impacted the offensive output, the grades will reflect the performance on the field.

To see the midseason report card, check out the gallery above