Analyst Pegs Lions Major Contender: ‘I’m Not Just Saying They’re Going 8-8’

Kerryon Johnson

Getty Kerryon Johnson celebrates a Lions touchdown.

The Detroit Lions haven’t generated a ton of buzz in recent months, but they do remain a chic pick to make some noise in the NFL for some analysts.

Recently, the question was posed regarding what team analysts are taking a leap of faith on for the 2020 season. According to Shaun O’Hara, the Lions are that team, and he thinks they could make more than just a little bit of noise this coming season on the field. In fact, O’Hara is putting all his faith in Detroit.

O’Hara said:

“When you look back at what happened last year, before Matthew Stafford got hurt, he was lighting it up. When you look at Detroit and what they did this offseason, the infusion of talent on offense and defense. The Lions to me, I know they didn’t win a single game in the division. Their offense is very underrated. I think this offensive line is much improved. I think altogether the Lions, in that division, they’re going to be a contender. I’m not just saying they’re going to go 8-8.”

Most expect the Lions to simply go 8-8 or thereabouts most seasons at best, so O’Hara’s comment is a significant leap of faith in the team indeed. With modest improvements on defense, Detroit’s offense could be set to have a major season on the field which could lead in them winning big and having a better record than many predict.

If and when that happens, O’Hara can be the first to tell everyone he warned them first.

Shaun O’Hara Predicted Big Lions Season

That’s not something that should be the case according to NFL Network analyst Shaun O’Hara. Recently, O’Hara was asked to name the sleeper team he thinks is going to make a push in 2020 and go from last to first place. As he said, the answer is the Lions.

As O’Hara explained, the Lions have quietly been building something good and it could be time for it to take off.

“When you look at what Matt Patricia has been building the last few years, year 3, it’s go time now. You planted a lot of seeds, now it’s time for them to rise up,” he said. “This offseason it’s been a pipeline. Every former New England Patriot he could get he swallowed up. He’s bringing in some veteran leaders, some quality players. Offensively, you get D’Andre Swift in the second round of this draft. I love the way he runs the football. Physical, aggressive runner I love his running style.”

O’Hara went on to say that Swift will come in motivated after dropping in the draft, and that’s dangerous for the rest of the league. He also liked the team’s addition of Jeff Okudah at cornerback, and said as a result

“I think this Detroit Lions team is going to be awake and I think they are going to stay woke because of the way Matt Patricia is building this team,” O’Hara concluded.

After a dismal first few seasons under Patricia, the hope is that O’Hara is right. Clearly, though, he isn’t as down on the Lions as many others in his profession might be at this point in time.

Analyst Also Sees Lions Surging During 2020

Recently, Peter King of NBC Sports presented the thoughts of a team official, who outlined the scenario that a team out of the blue could win the biggest prize this season because of the wild environment coronavirus has created.

Here’s what King wrote:

“I’ve barely thought about the football part of football season, but I found it very interesting Saturday when one top club official said to me: “We could crown the Detroit Lions Super Bowl champs this year.” Huh? “Because this year’s going to be about who handles COVID the best. Suppose the Lions have zero people quarantined this year, while other teams have important players out for a while.” It’s like what Kyle Rudolph of the Vikings told me Saturday too: The team that handles the peripheral stuff best will have a huge edge, because this year the peripheral stuff will be as important as the on-field stuff.”

How the Lions manage the virus and the day to day rigors of a new environment could help them be very successful in the end, perhaps more so than a team that isn’t handling things well. So far, the team has done a great job with their virtual offseason, impressing their coach Matt Patricia. If that translates to training camp and then the regular season, the Lions will be in great shape.

The 2020 season will be wild considering it will be a matter of chance. Key players on teams could get sick and miss time while other teams could push through relatively unscathed. This type of environment could level the playing field for all of the teams in the league, giving a franchise like Detroit a chance.

This is likely something O’Hara would agree with in the end, considering he has long been driving the bus for the Lions and their resurgence this year.

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