Nobody can debate the Detroit Lions are a work in progress as a new regime tries to rebuild and reboot the roster, but many still aren’t that excited about what the team will bring to the mix on the offensive side of the ball in 2021.
After a season of losses, the Lions do look like they’re in a more desperate place than they were a year ago, so that means that many folks see the team not having improved their fortunes whatsoever and believe they are heading toward a very tough season on that side of the ball.
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Recently, Bleacher Report took a look at ranking every offense in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Lions were in a desperate position, ranking 25th in Kristopher Knox’s initial ranking list. It’s not expected to be the worst offense in the league, but it could be close according to Knox.
“The Detroit Lions are one of the few teams whose offense seemed to get notably worse in the offseason. While drafting left tackle Penei Sewell was a brilliant move, and the additions of running back Jamaal Williams and receivers Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman will help, Detroit lost two offensive centerpieces in the offseason.
No. 1 receiver Kenny Golladay is now with the Giants, while Matthew Stafford was traded for Jared Goff and a bevy of draft picks. Goff represents a downgrade at the quarterback position.
This doesn’t mean that new head coach Dan Campbell and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn won’t find ways to make things work. However, Lions fans can likely expect a team that tries to win with defense and a strong ground game centered around Williams and D’Andre Swift.
Unless Goff experiences an unexpected resurgence in Detroit, the Lions are likely to feature a one-dimensional and relatively underwhelming offense this season.”
It’s easy to see how folks on the outside think the Lions will be underwhelming next season on offense given the changes that have been made, but it’s important to remember that no matter what happens, the team is building for the future first and foremost.
Lions Offense Struggled in 2020
While things might look bleak on the surface for the Lions this coming season, it’s important to remember that the team didn’t exactly deliver in a big way last year with supposed better weaponry. Matthew Stafford had a hot and cold season, Kenny Golladay fought injury, and Marvin Jones was up and down as well. With this in mind, the Lions put up some numbers that were still halfway decent, even if the team didn’t win. The Lions had a top 10 passing offense, throwing for 4,104 yards and 27 scores. Their rushing numbers were terrible, and Detroit only rushed for 93 yards-per game with 17 touchdowns. To help this, Detroit bolstered their offensive line and ground game this offseason the most.
Detroit’s offense has already been inconsistent, so it’s tough to see how a restart offers anything other than a shot at new hope for the future no matter how bad things may seem in the present.
Jared Goff Key to Detroit’s 2021 Offense
Whatever the Lions do next season will depend on the play of Goff, a former top pick himself in 2016 out of Cal, who has been a dependable player who has won plenty of big games in his career in the rough and tumble NFC West. So far, he’s thrown 107 touchdowns, 55 interceptions, 18,171 yards and has been a two-time Pro Bowler in 2017 and 2018. Those numbers indicate that he could be in good shape to have a decent season in Detroit, even as the weapons he has will be a bit downgraded.
Obviously, Goff has had a better defense to work with in Los Angeles and better weapons, which has obviously helped him big time. Coming to Detroit, he will be asked to win with a whole different cast of characters, which means it’s good news the team is beefing up the defense and offensive line to try and support him.
If Goff can deliver, there’s a chance the Lions offense isn’t nearly as bad as some are projecting this season.