Embed from Getty Images The ever rebuilding Detroit Lions are set to kickoff their portion on the 2018-19 NFL season tomorrow on Monday Night Football.
The good news is football is back. The bad news the Detroit Lions need more pieces to go with some nice parts. I can not envision Matt Patricia and his coaching staff feel this is a championship defense. Or even a playoff defense for that matter.
The offense is set. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has plenty of weapons around him including rookie running back Kerryon Johnson. Johnson will be the best Detroit back since the great Barry Sanders. Mark it down.
The offensive line started preseason shaky but ended up molding together. This unit has the upside to be among the best in the NFL.
Back to the defense. The secondary is top notch. The linebackers are solid but not spectacular. But they do not need to be. Look at the New England Patriots. They have a rather unassuming group of linebackers and generally do well.
The defensive line is horrible. They are in no position to run a 3-4 based defense full time. In fact in my opinion that is exactly why Matt Patricia and his defensive coaches did not commit to lining up in the 3-4 down after down.
Too me this Detroit Lions team is indeed close to being a very good football team. I just can not see it being this season. Too many questions on the defensive line limit expectation for the Lions.
I have little doubt Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn and Patricia will get the players they both want and need to push the team forward. It should be a fun and interesting season ahead for the Lions.
Fun because the team is close. Interesting because it is year one of a brand new head coach. There will be bumps and there will be joy. I do not feel there will be a playoff appearance.
That may seem to counter what I said about the team being close. It is not. Teams take a step back before going forward often in sports. Better days are coming for sure.