Detroit Lions: 3 players who could underperform in 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: LeGarrette Blount
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: LeGarrette Blount /

Not every player improves year-to-year. The Detroit Lions have a few players that might not live up to expectations. Here are three guesses.

Every season starts with high hopes. Detroit Lions fans know that feeling all too well. Unfortunately, disappointments are inevitable.

Just because a player underperforms, doesn’t mean they’re getting worse. Other circumstances can effect the outcome of one’s season. Here’s three Lions facing a possible down year in 2018.

LeGarrette Blount (Offense)

Newly acquired and fairly fresh from a less productive 2017 than the year previous, Blount looks like a bounce back candidate. In all reality, he’s coming into an unfavorable situation.

The running game starts with the offensive line. I see improvement, but to what extent? Also, the other Lions running backs are an improvement from the competition he faced with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Detroit is a pass first offense, which hurts his touches. On top of that, there’s unknowns about the blocking coming full circle and there are lots of horses to feed in the stable. Blount is no spring chicken either (31) and that makes things even tougher.

Nevin Lawson (Defense)

Things are already looking bleak for the re-signed cornerback. Lawson getting outplayed by his competition during OTAs isn’t a good start.

His incentive-laden contract is all the proof I need to know the Lions don’t have full faith in him. Head coach Matt Patricia also loves to play three safeties, so if Lawson even ends up as the third corner, the amount of snaps he’ll see will diminish.

Matt Prater (Special Teams)

This choice has more to do with the projected improvement of the offensive. If they play better and score more touchdowns, this means less field goals.

Prater has been damn-near automatic since his arrival in Detroit, missing just five kicks every season for the exception of two in 2015. When will his good fortune run out, if ever?

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No one knows for sure, but I’ll go on a limb and predict 2018 is the year he’ll see a slight decline. If things go as planned, we shouldn’t see him as the kickoff specialist or punter, so he’s already less impactful as a result.