As a Lions’ fan, it is fair to say that last season was a little disappointing. While much optimism accompanied the start of the campaign in 2018, the eventual last-place finish in NFC North with a 6-10 record was a bitter pill to swallow. This means that all Lions’ fans will be hoping for a much improved 2019 season when it finally gets underway soon. Indeed, all football fans interested in betting NFL online in NJ sportsbooks will be keen to see how they bounce back in comparison to the teams they will have to play. This will make it easier to make money from their games by backing the right result.
Of course, the burning question for fans of the side is how realistic are their chances of having a better 2019? With head coach Matt Patricia still at the helm, can he learn from last year to make the playoffs and even win the Superbowl? The good news for Lions’ fans is that there are a few signs in place that this could be a much more enjoyable year.
Stafford will get back on form
Last season ace QB Matthew Stafford did not quite live up to his potential. For someone who had such a great 2017, the wheels did come off somewhat last year. However, it was not solely down to his form and much of his troubles came from not having good enough players to hit or enough protection. If coach Patricia can sort this out before the Lions opener, then it could give Stafford the tools around him to get back to his best. Another good sign for 2019 is the arrival of Darrell Bevell as offensive coordinator. A former QB himself, it is hoped that Bevell can inspire Stafford back to form and get him back on song.
They did well in the draft
Everyone knows that the Lions’ roster last season was probably not strong enough in-depth and this has been addressed over the summer. Many think that the players signed via the draft or as free agents will help them to have a better year. In particular, tight-end T.J. Hockenson seems to be someone who will add real quality in a position where the Lions need it. When you look at the other new players who have come into the group over recent months such as Jesse James, then they look a much more balanced side with much better hopes of doing well this year.
Kerryon Johnson can make this a big year
Although much of whether the Lions do well this year is focused on Stafford, running back Johnson is another reason to be cheerful. If he can kick on in his second NFL season and continue to show his immense talent, then it will give the whole team a real lift. The big challenge for new coordinator Bevell is to gel Stafford with Johnson and give the Lions a proper running game option. This will not only help them win more games but be less predictable for other teams.
Tougher defense on cards
As well as the offensive side of their game, the Lions also look set to be coming into 2019 with a meaner defense. This will help them combat the attacking talents of the other teams in their division and stop giving away quite so many points. Players like Trey Flowers and Mike Daniels will help greatly here and make the team much harder to play against. If the defense can start to play lights out for the Lions and the offense gets on song, it could be a much better year all round for Detroit.
Patricia has got more experience as head coach
It is obvious from his time as the assistant at the Patriots that coach Matt Patricia is a smart guy. While this didn’t directly translate during his first year in Detroit, it could all come together now that he has a year’s experience to call on. He will not only know the job of being Head Coach better but be more prepared to handle all that comes with it better. Alongside this, he will also know the club and its players better to get more from them in 2019.
Can the Lions improve?
The simple answer is that all the signs show they can. While pre-season has been a little rocky to date, it is not worth reading too much into these games. With the above in place, there are signs that things are primed to improve at Detroit from 2018. Now, it is up to the players to deliver!