In 2019, nothing went right for the Detroit Lions as they finished with a 3-12-1 record, which was good enough for the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
That being said, prior to missing the final 8 games of the season with a back injury, Matthew Stafford was playing like one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and the hope is that he can replicate that over 16 games in 2020.
I truly believe that if Stafford can stay healthy and the defense can be a top 20 unit in the league (no guarantees there), the Lions will win the NFC North and host a playoff game.
In a piece recently published by Bleacher Report, the Lions are mentioned as a team ready to take a huge leap.
Here is what Bleacher Report has to say about the 2020 Lions.
Matt Patricia’s two-year, 9-22-1 head coaching record doesn’t inspire optimism.
But on a positive note, quarterback Matthew Stafford will play a second year in coordinator Darrell Bevell’s system, which flourished with the 32-year-old on the field.
With his experience and the addition of rookie dual-threat running back D’Andre Swift, Detroit’s offense poses a bigger threat.
The Lions traded cornerback Darius Slay but replaced him with No. 3 pick Jeff Okudah. He has exceptional footwork, change of direction and ability to lock up wide receivers in one-on-one man coverage.
Patricia will coach a few more familiar faces from his days in New England in defensive tackle Danny Shelton, linebacker Jamie Collins and safety Duron Harmon.
Last season, Detroit ranked 26th in scoring defense and allowed the second-most yards. Shelton can plug some holes on the interior of the defensive line, while Collins will strengthen the pass rush and cover the middle of the field. In 2019, he recorded a career-high seven sacks to go with seven pass breakups and three interceptions. Harmon has the range to help Okudah deep downfield if needed.
The Lions finished 2019 on a nine-game losing streak and didn’t win a contest without Stafford. His return alone should help Detroit double its victories from 2019.
Nation, do you think the Lions will turn things around in 2020?