The Detroit Lions are winding down what has been a miserable season in 2019, and are beginning to think of the offseason and how things might shape up for 2020.
When it comes to what teams the Lions will play next season, there’s already a skeleton look that has come into focus. Detroit is locked into a last place finish in the NFC North, and as a result they will play a last place schedule. The Lions will also play the AFC South and NFC South next season, in addition to their battles against every team in their division both home and away.
Here’s a look at what is known about their schedule at this point in time in terms of the teams they will play and some of the locations courtesy of FBSchedules.com
Home/away Green Bay Packers
Home/away Chicago Bears
Home/away Minnesota Vikings
@ Jacksonville Jaguars
@ Tennessee Titans
vs. Houston Texans
vs. Indianapolis Colts
@ Carolina Panthers
@ Atlanta Falcons
vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
vs. New Orleans Saints
@ Arizona Cardinals
The only piece of information to wait for now is which NFC East team the Lions will play. That’s up in the air until the final weeks of the season given the finish of the Washington Redskins and New York Giants is undetermined. Detroit will tangle with which ever of those two finishes in last place for 2020. The Cardinals will be last place in the NFC West, hence Detroit being slated to play there yet again.
Naturally, the dates and times for these games is not known, and that will not be revealed until April and the new league year. By that time, there should be a better idea of who the Lions will play at what times, and on what networks.
Lions 2020 Playoff Hopes
Detroit started the 2019 season in decent enough shape at 2-0-1, but things took a turn after that point. Injuries piled up across the roster, and Detroit lost quarterback Matthew Stafford for an elongated amount of time to a back injury. The Lions never hit their stride and lost plenty of close games through the middle of the season as their roster got worse and worse hit with the injury bug.
The struggles of the team to stay healthy certainly does little to excuse the inconsistent play of the team’s defense. Offensively, the Lions looked to be heading for a solid season under Darrell Bevell until the bottom fell out. The defense was a wreck from start to finish, however, and that could be the side of the ball that needs the most turnover if the Lions are to be contenders.
Another big question is who will be coaching the Lions in 2020. Smart money remains on Matt Patricia getting another year with Bob Quinn. If that happens, and the Lions have a high draft pick along with some money to spend, the pressure would be intense on the duo to finally crack the postseason and end a multiple year drought. It would likely qualify as a win or else situation.
Lions Schedule Difficulty
The Lions have been no stranger to playing a last place schedule lately. Just this season it happened for the team after they went 6-10 in 2018. Prior to that, the Lions had played a much better schedule given their higher finish from 2017, but were not able to capitalize. Detroit has found life just as difficult with an easier schedule, and will once again have that to deal with in 2020.
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