The Detroit Lions are trying to improve their fortunes for the 2020 season with work in free agency and the draft, and despite tons of heavy lifting, many aren’t sure they have achieved that goal.
Recently, Fox Sports analyst Colin Cowherd set some over-under win totals for NFC teams this coming season. When it came to the Lions, the always colorful commentator didn’t seem to think the Lions had nearly enough juice for a much needed quality season on the field.
Cowherd projected the Lions to be a 5 or 6 win team, and thought they would disappoint in many important ways on the field. This is mostly because he doesn’t like the roster, and also feels as if there is competition in the division.
“I think it’s a mess. I think it’s an under. It’s a 5, 6 win team. Matt Patricia has struggled. Matthew Stafford is coming off an injury but the division is really really good,” Cowherd said. “They lost Darius Slay. They had a nice draft but I just don’t think they have enough playmakers in that division.”
Cowherd also explained that he isn’t a fan of Patricia, and the coach could be a big reason the team doesn’t reach their expectations in 2020.
“I don’t see that team capable of going toe to toe with Minnesota’s roster, Aaron Rodgers and that offense. Frankly, Matt Nagy’s I think’s a significantly better coach so I think it’s again a woeful season for Detroit.”
Safe to say Cowherd is not ready to call the Lions contenders.
Lions 2020 Win Projection Plummeted Before Free Agency
A month ago, most didn’t see the Lions as a significant threat to make any noise in 2020, either. Some odds on the team’s win total from oddsmakers prior to free agency showed that the Lions have more work to do, and several don’t like the moves already. The Lions expected win total for 2020 took a dip, from 7 games to 6.5 games. In other words, the Lions are now projected to win as many games as they won in Matt Patricia’s first season at the helm.
Safe to say this type of effort wouldn’t do for the Lions, who want to see the team take steps forward toward the playoffs and beyond next season. That’s especially true after the team has spent big in free agency and been named one of the teams doing better work during this period.
Detroit has had the draft and free agency to change the narrative, and by no means is the offseason completely over. As it stands now, though, confidence in the team in the minds of the bettors and the pundits only seems to be slipping.
Earlier Lions 2020 Odds Were Similar
According to the oddsmakers a month prior to free agency beginning, there is a chance at some modest improvement for the Lions next season, but not the kind that would get many people very fired up whatsoever. An early look at some of the odds for next season shows the Lions expected to improve upon their 3-12-1 record, but not in the way most people probably expect. Similarly, a 6.5 win season was projected before.
To not see anyone hyping the Lions chances in 2020 is not a surprise. The team has been inconsistent at best under Matt Patricia, and it seems to be a safe bet to say the Lions won’t achieve more than 6 victories for folks in Las Vegas right now.
Even such, the chance does exist for a turnaround considering the health of the team and offseason replacements that can be made in terms of personnel. If that’s the case, dedicated folks could stand to cash in if they believe the Lions will indeed be better than this projection.
At this point, though, there isn’t much excitement about the Lions being anything other than close to a last place team. Cowherd backs that sentiment up.
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 was who will be coaching the Lions in 2020. While many questioned whether Matt Patricia would come back or not, the team revealed his return, meaning it will be Patricia leading his team into these games in 2020.
Perhaps that leads to some of the low win total expectations.
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