The Detroit Lions have made plenty of improvements heading toward 2020, and most feel them to have a better season on the field as a result record wise.
Fox Sports analyst Colin Cowherd can’t be considered one of those people. Recently, Cowherd revisited some of his predictions for the 2020 season, and when it came to the Lions, he didn’t make any changes. Cowherd had the team going 5-11 this coming season, which would be good for last place in the NFC North.
As for the explanation? There wasn’t one. Cowherd didn’t even address the Lions in his breakdown, instead explaining why the team’s division rivals would finish with the records he predicted. Cowherd projects dueling 11-5 records for the Packers and Vikings and a 7-9 finish for the Bears, whom he said are going through a “quarterback transition.”
Detroit has generated more buzz this offseason in plenty of circles, but it’s clear that Cowherd is not a believer in all of that at this point in time a month before the season begins.
Lions Predicted for Miserable Finish by Another Analyst
Many other than Cowherd 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.
Lions 2020 Schedule Difficulty Ranked
Most know the inherent difficulty the team will face within their own division, but how about from the schedule as a whole? Recently, CBS Sports looked at breaking down every team’s schedule from the hardest in the league to the easiest. Theoretically, the Lions should be sitting in a favorable spot as it relates to next season given the teams they will play.
The site and writer Jared Dubin used over-under totals from opponents to rank the 2020 schedule. What he found when it came to Detroit was a team that will have one of the easier schedules in the league this coming season. The Lions have one of the lower opponent strength of schedules in the league, which leads them to have a fairly easy schedule.
As a whole, the schedule is the 7th easiest in football for 2020. That, combined with the upgrades the Lions have made and a hopeful return to health might put even more pressure on Matt Patricia and company to have a successful season and win bigger than they have.
Lions Projected to Win NFC North by ESPN Analyst
Recently, ESPN analyst Dianna Russini admitted to feeling bold in the morning, and as part of that, she said she believes the Lions will end their elongated drought in the NFC North this coming season.
No context was provided for the prediction, but if Russini was pushed, it’s likely she’d say she is excited about the team’s offense, the return of a healthy, elite quarterback and a defense which might not be able to be any worse than it was in 2019 in multiple ways.
The Lions haven’t won their division since 1993, so this would be a stunning accomplishment for the team all things considered. Detroit rarely finds themselves in the driver’s seat, but when they do, they routinely choke away the opportunity to get the job done and take home the crown.
It might be time to make history in terms of the NFC North if some are to be believed, even if Cowherd doesn’t agree with that.