While coaching and management could be facing win-or-else consequences, the entire Detroit Lions offense is actually on the hot seat for the 2019 season.
The Detroit Lions find themselves in familiar territory. A general manager hired from the famed New England Patriots football tree a few years back. A head coach in his second season, also with the same football roots. A record last season of a paltry six wins.
It’s familiar in that fans are expecting greatness while the team delivers sub-par results. Entering 2019, expectations should still be the elusive playoff victory.
Yet, Peter King of Football Morning in America has ranked the Lions as 27th best in the league at the moment. Here’s what the long time NFL writer had to say about the Motor City’s lack of offense.
"” … what I’d like to see in Detroit is an offense that scores more than 15 points a game. That’s the number (15.3 actually) the Lions averaged in the last two months of the season, if you take out the meaningless, playing-for-nothing exercise in week 17 against Green Bay. In the previous eight weeks, Detroit scored 9, 22, 20, 16, 16, 17, 13 and 9 points.”"
That’s … pathetic. Sorry, maybe I should say underwhelming or not up to par in today’s NFL. But, no. It’s pathetic. And it’s also the exact reason the team drafted tight end T.J. Hockenson in the first round of the draft, fan’s opinions be damned.
The defense isn’t the worry right now. A good offense that keeps the defense off the field will only make the defense that much better! General manager Bob Quinn knows that. Head coach Matt Patricia knows that. Even Peter King knows that!
A hard-working run blocking, pass catching, well-rounded tight end is going to help the offense in every way imaginable. Go ahead and question the Lions second-round draft pick. Or even their third-round draft pick if you want. But Hockenson was a solid selection to help this team meet expectations of the fanbase.
Does the pick mean that Quinn or Patricia are on the hot seat to win now? No. Those two are already expected to win now, even before they were hired. This pick means the offense is on the hot seat. They need to put up points. They need to start outscoring teams and winning ballgames.
This isn’t the air-it-out offense that excited when former wide receiver Calvin Johnson was clicking with quarterback Matthew Stafford. And they don’t need to be. This team has a much better defense that is capable of limiting offenses to help keep them in the game. The offense just needs to start capitalizing.
This is a balanced attack with new running back Kerryon Johnson. Stafford isn’t forced to throw it up 30+ times per game to be successful. Those people hating on Stafford’s stats for having Calvin can settle down now. His stats will look more like the rest of the top 15 quarterbacks in the league. And his win totals should start to reflect that, too.
This doesn’t mean it’s all on Stafford. It’s not. It’s on the whole Detroit Lions offense to come together and put up points. If they don’t, this team will be left looking for an answer to a 50-year-old problem and bigger changes with even lower expectations will be coming in 2020.