The Detroit Lions are closer to being a good team than you think

Embed from Getty Images The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. The Detroit Lions secured the third pick in the 2020 NFL draft. The Chiefs look like the NFL’s next superpower. The Lions are not as far from the Chiefs as many people believe. Do not laugh.

The Kansas City Chiefs have ultra-talented Patrick Mahomes at quarterback. The Detroit Lions have Matthew Stafford who shares the same arm strength and accuracy as Mahomes. To me it is a wash if both quarterbacks are in the pocket.

The offensive line of the Chiefs has Pro Bowl left tackle Eric Fisher and Pro Bowl right tackle Mitchell Schwartz. The Detroit Lions do not have an offensive lineman who has earned all star honors,  center Frank Ragnow seems likely to earn that honor in the near future. The Lions finished the season ranked 11th the Chiefs were 16th long the offensive line.

Wide receivers is interesting as well, for the Chiefs,  Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce,  had 1,229 yards, Tyreek Hill 860 yards, Sammy Watkins 673 yards. Detroit lead by Kenny Golladay’s 1,190 along with 11 touchdowns,  Marvin Jones 779, Danny Amendola had 779, the Detroit tight ends were a non-factor.

At running back, the Chief’s Damien Williams ran for 107 yards, (Kansas City is a pass first team) Lions running back Kerryon Johnson went for 403, Bo Scarbrough on 83 carries ran for  377 yards. The Lions running game should improve with the health of their backs.

Defensive line goes to the Chiefs. The Lions did not get the production out of the unit and will look to make upgrades this offseason.

Linebackers is interesting as well. The Lions’ linebackers struggled with injuries and inconsistency. Kansas City, linebackers did well enough to support the defensive line and secondary while not being a liability, linebackers are not a strength for either team.

Secondary is where the Chiefs shine brightest. The Lions finished last in pass defense, allowing 284.4 yards per game in the NFL.  The Chiefs ranked eighth against the pass with a 221.4 yard average.

Special teams the Chiefs in sixth place, the Lions in 10th. But coaching goes to the Chiefs in a landslide.

In six out of nine stats, the Lions are  close to or better than the Chiefs. That does not mean the Lions do not still have a lot of ground to make up if they want to approach the play of a Super Bowl champion. But when you lose a head to-head game by four points, maybe you’re not that far away after all.

 

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