The Detroit Lions missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year, finishing with a 5-11 record and in fourth place in the NFC North. Detroit turned the page on both head coach Matt Patricia and quarterback Matt Stafford. Patricia was fired during the season and he was replaced by New Orleans tight end coach Dan Campbell. Then in the early stages of the offseason, the Lions traded Stafford in a blockbuster deal for Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff.
There is not much expected from the Lions this season, despite a new head coach and QB duo. But who knows, they might surprise us all in an NFC North division, where there is no clear cut favorite.
Detroit Lions Super Bowl 56 odds: +15000
The Lions need a lot of things to go their way this season for them to win the NFC North and ultimately get to the Super Bowl in February. Detroit comes into this season with a brand new head coach, but has an experienced staff in Anthony Lynn as the offensive coordinator and Duce Staley as the assistant head coach/running back coach.
The Lions’ offense will have its struggles due to a lack of talent at wide receiver. But they do have a potential top-10 tight end in T.J. Hockenson and second-year running back D’Andre Swift. Hockenson should be Goff’s top option this season as he had a career-high 67 receptions for 723 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2020. As for Swift, we started to see him make some noise late in the season, but he was sharing carries with Adrian Peterson. The rookie running back finished last season with 521 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns, along with 46 receptions for 357 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The former second-round pick will be a part of a running back by committee with the likes of Jamaal Williams and Jermar Jefferson. But with Lynn as the offensive coordinator, we could see Swift used in the same vein as Austin Ekeler. However, Detroit’s success or lack thereof will hinge on the defense, which was downright dreadful last season. The Lions allowed 134.7 rushing yards per game (fifth worst in the NFL) and 27 rushing touchdowns. Detroit acquired veteran defensive lineman Michael Brockers in a trade from the Rams, which should help the run defense. But their pass defense will continue to be a work in progress under new defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.
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