Our NFC North Detroit Lions Preview 2019 projection envisions this team finishing last. This Detroit Lions Preview 2019 notes that last year their 6-10 record earned them a last-place finish in the division. Over the last five seasons, the Lions have posted three winning seasons and been to the playoffs twice. In 2014, they posted an 11-5 record and went to the postseason, and in 2016, their 9-7 record earned them a playoff spot. Head coach Matt Patricia (6-10 Lions & Overall), a former New England assistant, tried to instill the Patriot-way in Detroit last season. It did not take, and so he’s brought in an array of former Pat players to help create a new culture. The Lions struggled on offense. Darrell Bevel replaces Jim Bob Cooter as OC. Might this be a new day for Detroit? The honeymoon is over for Patricia. He needs to show results.
Detroit Lions Preview 2019 – Team
This Lions team needs to perform well on offense. Last season, injuries certainly hurt that side of the ball. The defense was fairly solid and should be even better in 2019. But it all comes down to the offense, which struggled to score. Detroit’s six wins last season marked their lowest number of wins since 2012 when they were 4-12. That season, like last, Detroit was fourth in the division. Might the addition of WR Danny Amendola, TE Jesse James, and RB C.J. Anderson help this team notch more wins?
Detroit – Offense
The 20.2 PPG this team scored last season ranked 25th, while their 327.2 YPG overall was good for 24th in the NFL. The sluggish offense averaged 103.8 rushing YPG (23rd) and 223.5 passing YPG (20th). They converted 36% of their third-down attempts (T-24th) and posted 41 sacks (T-17th).
QB Matthew Stafford (555 ATT, 367 COMP, 3777 YDs, 21 TDs 11 INTs) is back again. At times, he’s been able to pull out last second wins, but he lacks consistency. The frontline returns four starters, but the best part of the unit, T.J. Lang, is gone after another injury-filled season. This could be a big problem for the offense. The receiving group sees an aging Danny Amendola come on board and a young Travis Fulgham join the team from Old Dominion. WRs Kenny Golladay (70 REC, 1063 YDs, 15.2 AVG, 5 TDS) and Marvin Jones (35 REC, 508 YDs, 14.5 AVG, 5 TDs) are the top targets, with Golladay a possible breakout star. The rush attack sees RB LaGarrette Blount, who was a bust, leave, while second-year RB Kerryon Johnson (118 ATT, 641 YDs, 5.4 AVG, 3 TDS) returns after posting the second-best YPC average.
Lions – Defense
The defense ranked 10th in total yards allowed, as they gave up 335.0 PG. Our Detroit Lions Preview 2019 notes that they were solid versus the pass, allowing 224.9 YPG (8th) and 110.1 YPG (10th) versus the rush. However, they were not as stingy as they would have liked when allowing points. They gave up on average 22.5 PPG (16th). And although this D was tied for 11th in sacks (43), they were tied for 29th in picks with just seven. Their turnover differential was -5 (T-23rd).
The line is set and one of the best in the league. DE Trey Flowers (7.5 SCKs) comes to the Lions from the Pats. DT Damon Harrison came over from the Giants partway through the season and proved to be a major force. DE Da’Shawn Hand is back for his third NFL season after becoming an instant producer. A’Shawn Robinson offers solid play. Both the LB and secondary are a bit deficient. MLB Jarrad Davis (100 TKLs, 6 SCKs) returns after leading the Lions in tackles and coming in third on sacks. OLB Devon Kennard recorded a career-high seven sacks in 2018. The defensive backs include safety Quandre Diggs (78 TKLs, 3 INTs) and corner Darius Slay (3 INTs). Free agent Justin Colemen, who comes over from Seattle as the slot corner, is a solid addition.
Our Detroit Lions Preview 2019 finds that the special teams have a lot of potential. Long snapper Don Muhlbach is exceptionally dependable. PK Matt Prater (30-30 XP, 28-32 FG) is one of the finest long-distance kickers around. Punter Sam Martin, who’s had two off seasons straight, will try to find his leg again. Jamal Agnew is al All-Pro return man but needs to stay healthy.
Detroit Lions Preview 2019 – Prediction
Our Detroit Lions Preview 2019 expects these Lions to struggle. At the same time, we expect they’ll do better than they did last season. Eight wins are possible if Stafford can come through and the rush attack can gain some traction. On the other side of the ball, look for the D-line to perform well and the other units to play up a bit from where they were last season.
Quarterbacks – 7.2
Running Backs – 7.5
Receivers – 6.3
Offensive Linemen – 7.1
Defensive Linemen – 9.3
Linebackers – 7.2
Secondary – 7.0
Special Teams – 7.7
Coaching – 6.2