Detroit Lions 2019 Season Preview

Russell S. Baxter

Detroit Lions 2019 Season Preview

By Sonja Greenfield

Special to Pro Football Guru

After a 6-10 record and a last-place finish in their division last year, the Detroit Lions are looking to move out of the NFC North basement. After adding some help on the defensive side of the ball in free agency, and a top-notch tight end with their first pick of the NFL Draft, the Lions feel they have the tools to make that move. They also added former Seattle Seahawks’ offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, to the coaching staff. He would help open up the offense and give long-time quarterback Matthew Stafford a chance to play to his potential via a balanced offense.

Offense: The offense has the potential to be very good. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay is coming off from a great sophomore season, looks to continue his improvement and become a huge part of the Lions’ receiving corps. Marvin Jones is also looking to rebound after injuries shortened his season last year. The team is also looking to have a balanced running attack with Kerryon Johnson and C.J. Anderson. Could 1,000 yards be in the cards for Johnson? Meanwhile, 2019 first-round pick T.J. Hockensen has been nothing but a playmaker during camp. That’s good news for quarterback Matthew Stafford and the rookie tight end. Hockenson has been compared to some pretty good tight ends. If all goes as planned, this unit could be exceptional.

Defense: Man, oh man, the defense this year. Again, it could be special. With offseason additions of defensive end Trey Flowers (Patriots) and defensive tackle Mike Daniels (Packers) – combined with incumbents Damon “Snacks” Harrison, A’Shawn Robinson and Da’Shawn Hand, the line could be exceptional. Keep an eye on 2019 fifth-round cornerback Amani Oruwariye, who could do big things this season. This is already a secondary featuring standout cornerback Darius Slay and safety Quandre Diggs. Head coach Matt Patricia wants his defense is to be versatile and that’s something very achievable with the talent that he has. This last season, the Lions ranked 10th in the league in yards allowed and rushing yards allowed and eighth vs. the pass. But the club managed only 14 takeaways.

Special Teams: When it comes to this unit, you can look for of the same in the kicking (Matt Prater) and punting (Sam Martin) departments. There are possibly some openings after departure of some players like tight end Luke Willson, wide receiver T.J. Jones and more. Look for the Lions to be strong in this area this season.

Prediction: Despite an abysmal start to the preseason, the Lions will escape the basement of the NFC North this year. There should be improvement on both sides of the ball. However, the offensive line could be the team’s weakness – meaning issues for Stafford. He’s been tough these past few seasons and playing through injuries. If he can get rid of the ball quickly, it may not be a problem. Some people have the Lions going worst to first. That may be a bit high, but look for them to finish over .500.

Win-Loss Record: 9-7 (2nd Place, NFC North, miss playoffs)

Sonja Greenfield (@Mom23RN) is a senior editor and reporter for the NFC North and NFC East for OurTurf Football. Sonja also writes for The LionsWire.

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