The Detroit Lions regular season has finally come to an end. And after a disappointing outcome, here are four reason for hope in 2019.
After posting back-to-back 9-7 seasons with the Detroit Lions, head coach Jim Caldwell was fired due to his lack of playoff success. A year later and Caldwell is a hot name on the NFL coaching carousel while the 6-10 Lions are limping into the offseason unsure if first-year head coach Matt Patricia actually knows what he’s is doing.
It’s that juxtaposition that surely has many fans reeling as Detroit dives into another offseason undoubtedly full of change. But take heart! Here are four reasons Lions’ fans have reason to hope for a brighter future.
Prior to the start of the season, the Lions hadn’t fielded a 100-yard plus rusher since the days of running back Reggie Bush back in 2013. Not only did Johnson rush for 101 yards in Week Three, breaking that streak, he did it twice, rushing for 158 yards in Week Seven as well. The 2018 second rounder looked like the top rookie runner in the league last season not named Saquon Barkley.
The emergence of Golladay as a 1,000 yard receiver in his second season should have every Lions’ fan excited about his potential. The 2016 third rounder player so well, Detroit felt comfortable enough to trade away Golden Tate midseason. Golladay should make a push for Pro Bowl consideration in 2019.
Better defensive play
The one area everyone thought Patricia’s impact would be most felt was on the defensive side of the ball. It was a slow start for this unit, but the trade for defensive tackle Damon Harrison was a catalyst for much-improved play. Detroit’s defense has seemingly gotten better every game since, culminating in an impressive 31-0 shutout of the Green Bay Packers in Week 17.
One more draft for Bob Quinn
Since taking over the general manager position in early 2016, Bob Quinn has done an excellent job finding talent in the draft. Although there have certainly been some outliers (Teez Tabor), Quinn has done a good job of stocking the team with young talent via the draft beyond the first and second rounds. April’s draft could easily result in the Lions getting as many as three or four more impact players for this roster in 2019.