I like what Mariucci and co has done with that team in a short time. When the Lions win more games than the 49ers this year, it will be proof of how good a coach he is. That said, I still don't think they have enough for an 8-8 season this year. Lots of youngsters on offense and I don't think their defense is good enough to win the close games. They will definitely show something and be a lot more competitive this year, but I thought the Bears were the team that was a couple players away from a surprise 2004 season in that division. They picked up some good o-lineman, drafted to their biggest weakness on defense and have a (hopefully for the Bears) more well rounded RB. I expect a close division race in the NFC North because the Bears and Lions should be good enough to steal a game from the Vikes and Packers.