Embed from Getty Images Coming off a difficult season in which the Detroit Lions were getting to know a new head coach, new offensive and defensive schemes, and starting quarterback Matthew Stafford playing with broken bones in his back. The Lions fresh off an offseason that saw players brought in to show the “Patriot way” the question now is, will it work?
Lions general manager Bob Quinn seems hell-bent to remaking the team in the same fashion of the New England Patriots. He has actually done that. The Lions now mirror the Patriots in player drafting. The question is does he get the players in the late rounds of the draft like New England?
Matt Patricia’s defense is constructed in the Patriot mold. The Detroit defense boasts of big, versatile linemen, hard hitting linebackers and versatile man to man defensive backs. I look for middle linebacker Jarrad Davis to become a top linebacker in the league this season. Davis’ run defense will be greatly aided by the addition of defensive lineman Trey Flowers, and 2018 fourth round draft pick Da’Shawn Hand and continued excellent play of ex New York Giant Damon (Snacks) Harrison, whose 2018 midseason trade made it mission impossible for teams to run the ball.
New offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, has been put in charge of implementing a ball control offense centered around second year running back Kerryon Johnson. Bob Quinn went above and beyond in fixing the total disaster that was the Lions tight ends. Starting with first round draft pick T.J. Hockenson as well as five other TE’s have been brought in.
The 2019 Detroit Lions have the necessary pieces for a championship team in place. While the division is a difficult one, the thing that may be holding the team back is a first-time head coach, Matt Patrica. If Patricia is as smart as people around the NFL claim, then he should figure things out a bit more in year two.
Two wins against the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots last season showed what the Lions are capable of. With more players who know what Patrica is trying to do now in the fold as well as roster leftovers from last season who now understand the program better. If Patrica can manage the game better Detroit could be a serious sleeper this season.