ESPN predicts Detroit Lions will not improve much in 2019

Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Coming off a disappointing 6-10 season, are the Detroit Lions destined for brighter days ahead? Not according to the self-proclaimed sports leader.

Last season made long-suffering Detroit Lions‘ fans long for the days of Jim Caldwell. Under their former head coach, the Lions never had a record worse than 7-9. In fact, three out of the four years Caldwell was the head coach of Detroit, the Lions posted winning records and earned themselves two postseason berths.

The Lions promptly fired Caldwell following the 2017 regular season, where the team finished with a 9-7 record. In his place, Detroit hired the literal rocket scientist and longtime defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, Matt Patricia. But Patricia’s first season in Detroit was underwhelming, posting a disappointing 6-10 record with much of the same roster Caldwell found success with.

Now in his second season, Patricia is expected to turn the roster over even more this offseason as he continues to mold the Lions to fit his scheme. But will the changes result in several more wins this upcoming season? Not according to the worldwide leader in sports.

In a recent article, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell predicts the Vegas line on the Lions with be just seven wins in 2019. Here was his explanation as to why …

"“The Lions had a bizarre season in the AFC East alone; who would have projected that the Lions would blow out the Patriots, comfortably beat the Dolphins, and then lose to the Bills and Jets? … The Lions have yet to fill many of their holes on defense, as hiring Patricia was no immediate salve.”"

Barnwell is correct in his evaluation of the Lions, they were anything but predictable in 2018. An early blowout loss to the New York Jets and a surprising victory over the once-again Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots were earmarks to a truly bizarre season in Motown.

Patrica’s initial impact on the Lions’ team was clearly negative in 2018. His intense practice methods, lack of punctuality to his own meetings, an undisclosed charge of aggravated sexual assault from back in 1996 (never prosecuted); all combined with the fact he failed to reproduce the success of the head coach he was replacing in Detroit made for a tough first season for the former Patriot.

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The Detroit Lions are undoubtedly hoping another year learning Matt Patricia’s complicated defensive scheme, a new offensive coordinator in Darrell Bevell and some new faces on the roster will be enough to catapult the Motor City into postseason relevance again. But it looks as if ESPN, and possibly Vegas, will not be betting on it.