The Detroit Lions are primed to start the 2020 NFL season as massive underdogs when football gets going later on this fall.
Ever since Detroit’s schedule was released, folks have been trying to figure out how many games the team might win this season on the field. So far, the results of that experiment might not be that exciting for fans. Recently, Evan Silva listed all of the teams in order of their win totals courtesy of Draft Kings.
The Lions? They were stuck at 6.5 wins, good for 25th place in the entire NFL. The team was tied with the likes of the Raiders, Jets and Dolphins, only slightly behind the Falcons and Cardinals (7.0) and only just ahead of the Giants (6.0).
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) June 7, 2020
Most don’t think the Lions are going to have a great season on the field, and this number puts that into context and perspective. Still, there’s more than a chance for them to blow this total out of the water if they are able to catch fire and surge.
For right now, though, things don’t look too great for the team according to these totals. The Lions still lag behind for next season according to most.
Jim Caldwell Results Predicted for Lions in 2020 Season
Recently, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com was taking a closer look at the rosters across the NFC North ahead of this coming season. An important conclusion for Sessler is that the Lions aren’t elite, but also aren’t terrible. There’s a lack of strengths but a lack of weaknesses as well. All of that could add up to a return to the Jim Caldwell days in terms of record.
“The pass rush needs work, but there aren’t a lot of major needs or defined strengths on this roster. Most position groups look good, not great, which could lead to another good-not-great record like we saw from Detroit for most of the Jim Caldwell salad days.”
It would be interesting to see how ownership would treat such a situation. Notably, the Lions moved on from Caldwell because of his inability to have elite seasons and get the team over the top. Matt Patricia has struggled with these same things, so would it be considered a success for the team to get back to the Caldwell type 7-9 or 9-7 type years?
In a “playoffs or else” type 2020 year, that’s something to remember.
Average Season Projected For Lions During 2020
Recently, USA Today writer Nate Davis took a look at projecting the season for every team, and had the Lions going 7-9. It was a dismal record prediction on the whole, but Davis might be a bit more optimistic than many as it relates to how the season will end.
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) May 14, 2020
Davis explained his prediction:
“They were quietly competitive in 2019 prior to the season-ending back injury to QB Matthew Stafford, who was in the midst of a career year. Rookies Jeff Okudah and D’Andre Swift should provide a bump for a team that was also active in free agency at a time when the jobs of GM Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia appear to be on the line. Might be a rocky start with just one home game apiece in September and October.”
The Lions will have to rise up and claim a few of those home games in the early part of the year if they want the finish to be more respectable than 7-9, but certainly this projection gives them a bit of wiggle room to do just that.
Safe to say this type of projection would be similar to the Caldwell days.
Lions Projected For Woeful 2020 Season
Many others aren’t especially high on the Lions having a great year whatsoever. One such person is Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report. Recently, Davenport predicted records for every team in the league by division, and when it came to the NFC North, he saw the Lions occupying a familiar spot.
Davenport had Detroit with a 5-11 record, which would be an improvement on 2019’s finish, but only a modest one, and likely not the type of strides the team needs to make in order to satisfy ownership ahead of a critical season on the field.
“The Detroit Lions have made the playoffs only three times since the turn of the century. They haven’t won a playoff game since 1991 and haven’t won 10 games in a season since going 11-5 in 2014.
The Lions aren’t winning 10 games in 2020, either—or making the playoffs.
Fresh off a 3-12-1 mess of a 2019 season, the Lions are tied for the league’s fifth-hardest schedule this year. Beyond four games against in-division playoff teams in Minnesota and Green Bay, the Lions face three more teams that made the postseason in 2019—the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints at home and the Tennessee Titans on the road.
The Lions may be marginally better in 2020, but they aren’t going to be especially good.”
Obviously, this type of season would be bad news for the Lions, but it’s par for the course of what many expect coming into this season on the field.
Safe to say 6.5 wins would be that same type of nightmare season for the team.