The Detroit Lions have been on a downward slide since the making the playoffs in 2016 and need to tackle a couple problems this offseason. The team has shown flashes under coach Matt Patricia — a supposed defensive specialist — but needs serious help on the defensive side of the ball to support its aerial-focused offense.
Matthew Stafford only appeared in eight games in 2019 and has been sidelined with multiple fractures in his back. But in Week 7 he was still able to became the fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach 40,000 career passing yards. He’s continued to post gaudy numbers throwing the football despite the lack of elite targets, but having him hurl the ball nonstop hasn’t yielded the desired results.
The only team with a worse than Detroit against the pass this year is Arizona, as the Lions have allowed 288.6 passing yards per contest through 14 games. Whether it’s via free agency, trades, or the draft, Detroit needs to improve the performance of their defensive backs to stay competitive. It tied the Arizona in its season opener and has lost one-possession games to the Chiefs, Packers, and Bears this year. A little help in the secondary could really turn the Lions’ luck around.
Kerryon Johnson has only played in six games this year but still leads the Lions in rushing yards (308). The 22-year-old was a spark plug out of the backfield for Detroit before a knee injury sidelined him and his absence highlighted how one-dimensional his team is. Adding a dependable backup to combine with Johnson could give the Lions — who rank 21st in rushing yards — more punch.
The 2019 NFL season is coming to a close and while the playoffs are just arriving, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2020. We won’t know the full regular season schedule until April, but even with the 2019 season not finished, we know each team’s list of opponents. The NFL has a formula they use to determine opponents, with divisions and conferences rotating each year.
The Lions face their divisional opponents a total of six times. The NFC North faces the NFC South, which adds four more opponents. The NFC North faces the AFC South, which adds four more opponents. The final two opponents are the teams that finish in the same standing position in the NFC East and NFC West.