Are the Detroit Lions Ready to Take a Huge Leap Forward in 2020?

John Maakaron

A review of last season's NFL preseason predictions reveals that a handful of teams actually do surprise pundits with their solid play. 

The San Fransisco 49ers had an opportunity to win a Lombardi Trophy after five straight seasons finishing at or below .500.

Can the Detroit Lions make a similar leap in 2020 after finishing 2019 with a disappointing 3-12-1 record?

In a recent list of NFL teams ready to take huge leaps in 2020, Bleacher Report listed the 2020 edition of the Lions among five franchises that have an opportunity to accomplish the feat.

As Maurice Moton explains, 

"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." 

The degree of success that Detroit can achieve this season will depend on how much improvement the defense makes in head coach Matt Patricia's third season at the helm. 

"Actually felt the Lions were gonna make the playoffs last year, and they were a 3-4-1 football team with Matthew Stafford healthy. He was playing MVP-type football," ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky said this past offseason. "(Jeff) Okudah has got to step in and be Darius Slay. He’s got to be a lockdown corner. I love the addition of D’Andre Swift. I expect them to use D’Andre Swift like the Saints use Alvin Kamara."

He explained further, "If they play average football defensively -- that is going to be, in Detroit, a top-five or top-seven offense with a healthy Matthew Stafford. That division has some question marks. I am going to say my Detroit Lions make the playoffs."


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Comments (3)
No. 1-2

Lots of ifs. SOL

1 Reply


Too many, but some can actually happen this season! Vikings have had some early bad luck


Agree with Dan. If defense gels, this team can make the postseason