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How did the 2019 Lions team, players stack up against preseason odds?

Detroit was worse than expected in 2019 and needs to fix its defense. We take a look back at what went wrong.

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field. Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Preseason odds for NFL teams is a good way to look back to see expectations for the season and start to understand where things went wrong or right. Below, we will take a look at DraftKings Sportsbook’s preseason odds for win totals, division titles, player props and more while we discuss what led to their triumphs or disappointments.

Team Futures

Super Bowl: +12500
NFC North: +1200 (worst odds in the division)
Win Total Over/Under: 6.5 (finished 3-12-1)

Player Props

Matthew Stafford: NFL MVP odds, +6600
Kenny Golladay: Total receiving yards, 1050.5 (finished with 1,190)
Kenny Golladay: Total receiving touchdowns, 6 (finished with 11)

The Detroit Lions took a step back from last year’s 6-10 season, and the stiff competition they face in the NFC North isn’t letting up. The Chicago Bears fell off while the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers improved. Detroit’s expectations were low to start because of this, and the team still underperformed. Matthew Stafford faced long odds to win NFL MVP in 2019, but his season was derailed by health issues. The signal caller suffered a back injury in Week 9, and his lengthy recovery led to him being ruled out for the year in December. Since entering the NFL in 2009, Stafford has often been among the league leaders in passing yards, and broke Matt Ryan’s record to become the fastest quarterback to reach 40,000 career passing yards in October. He threw for 2,499 yards and 19 touchdowns in eight games and found plenty of success through the air with his go-to wideout, Kenny Golladay.

Golladay notched more than 100 receiving yards in a game four times in the first half of the season and reached career highs in receiving yards and touchdowns. His ceiling was lowered by the absence of Stafford and injuries to other key skill players on the offensive side of the ball.

Detroit fielded a middle-of-the-road scoring offense without Stafford, but also had what was arguably the worst pass defense in the NFL. The unit was not helped by a 31st ranked adjusted sack rate. The Lions need to even things out if they want to be competitive moving forward. Head coach Matt Patricia is known for his defensive mind and the team needs to add some talent on that side of the ball.

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