NFL PREVIEW: 2020 DETROIT LIONS
BY ADAM GREENE
Key Additions: LB Jamie Collins (free agent), QB Chase Daniel (free agent), S Jayron Kearse (free agent), CB Tony McRae (free agent), DT Danny Shelton (free agent), CB Desmond Trufant (free agent), OT Halapoulavaati Vaitai (free agent), DT Nick Williams (free agent), CB Darryl Roberts (free agent), WR Geronimo Allison (free agent), , WR Geremy Davis (free agent), OLB Elija Lee (free agent), S Duron Harmon (free agent), ILB Reggie Ragland (free agent)
2020 NFL Draft: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State (round 1), RD D’Andre Swift, Georgia (round 2), DE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame (round 3), OG Jonah Jackson, Ohio State (round 3), OG Logan Stenberg, Kentucky (round 4), WR Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin (round 5), RB Jason Huntley, New Mexico State (round 5), DT John Penisini, Utah (round 6), DT Jashon Cornell, Ohio State (round 7)
Projected Offensive Starters: QB Matthew Stafford, RB D’Andre Swift, WR Kenny Golladay, WR Marvin Jones, Jr., WR Danny Amendola, TE T.J. Hockenson, LT Taylor Decker, LG Joe Dahl, C Frank Ragnow, RG Jonah Jackson, RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai
Projected Defensive Starters: LDE Romeo Okwara, LDT Danny Shelton, RDT Nick Williams, RDE Trey Flowers, WLB Jamie Collins, MLB Jarrad Davis, SLB Reggie Ragland, LCB Desmond Trufant, RCB Jeff Okudah, SS Duran Harmon, FS Tracy Walker
K: Matt Prater
P: Jack Fox
Head Coach: Matt Patricia
2019 Season: 3-12, 4th place NFC North
A look back: 2019 was a disaster from the opening week, as the Detroit started the season with a sister-kissing tie with the rookie-QB’ed Arizona Cardinals. They did pick up two wins over the next couple of weeks (and one was against a decent team, the Philadelphia Eagles), but the wheels came off after that and they never recovered.
Usually, with the Lions in past seasons, you could blame the flame out on a Matthew Stafford injury, but that wasn’t the whole story. While Stafford was never really healthy in 2019, even a hurt Matt Stafford is still pretty good. In just eight games he threw for 2,499 yards, 19 touchdowns and five picks while completing 64.3 percent of his passes. He was on pace for an insane season.
And yet, even with Stafford firing the ball around, the Lions were 3-4-1. With Stafford sidelined with a back injury he couldn’t play through, Detroit never won another game in spite of facing off against the likes of the Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Why were they so bad?
2020 Projection: Because their head coach, Matt Patricia, is garbage and deserved to fired. Instead, the Lions all but tanked their 2020 season by deciding to take one more run with the guy that has more Waffle House men’s room shutdowns under his belt than NFL head coaching victories.
Matt Stafford has seen his career wasted by the Lions and their consistent whiffing of head coaching hires. From Jim Schwartz to Jim Caldwell to Patricia, it’s a who’s who of who not to hire. When Jim Caldwell is the best head coach you ever played for, you’re doomed. Stafford and Philip Rivers should file a class action lawsuit against the NFL over the shoddy coaching that has ruined both of their careers. At least Rivers has a chance to right that wrong, playing for a good coach in Frank Reich this season in Indianapolis. Stafford is stuck. At least for 2020.
2020 Projected Record: 7-9. As of today, the payout for over 6.5 wins is -130 and 5-9 victories pays at -240. As is usually the case, every other potential record pays at plus money. The books and I are of one mind again.