Detroit Lions: Is anyone really surprised by the Madden 20 ratings?
By Robert Jones
Last year, the Detroit Lions failed to meet the expectations of their fan base. They did, however, seem to meet the expectations of the national media. Matt Patricia naysayers felt vindicated, Matthew Stafford haters used his play as evidence of his lack of ability and the whole ‘Same Old Lions’ epitaph was attached to the 2018 season without so much as a single glance as to why the disappointing season ended the way it did.
Did Matt Patricia underachieve? He didn’t meet the immediate expectations of the fans, but few first-year head coaches in the NFL, not to mention first-year head coach on any level hit the ground winning.
Did Matthew Stafford underachieve? Between porous offensive line play, key receivers either dropping to injury or trade and tight ends without any signs of life, he didn’t have much help. That’s not to even mention his broken back. His numbers were disappointing for Lions fans, but they were far from awful.
Did the defense underachieve? Sure it did, but consider the turnover of players as Patricia searched for anyone that could play in his system the way it’s supposed to be played. They also finished the season on a positive note as the number 10 overall defense in the league.
Did the ground game improve? It actually did. Kerryon Johnson proved to be a gem and if he hadn’t been injured, he would be getting a lot more hype than he is right now. But even without Johnson, the Lions averaged just over 100 yards rushing a game. That should be considered definite progress.
So while the bottom line for last year was a failure, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Are there reasons to expect more this year? Absolutely, and anything resembling another season like last year will be unacceptable.
So the real question is this; does it really matter what Madden 20 rates the Lions? Outside of Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison and Darius Slay who were the Lions top rated players on Madden, and might hold out when training camp starts, the rest of this current roster received little love, which is kind of a yearly thing anyways.
I would love to see several Lions rated higher because I believe they should be, but when all is said and done, I’m much more concerned with what happens on the field. I can live with the Lions being overlooked by Madden or the media or even fans as long as they play like a playoff team. Because that’s what really matters. In the ultimate scheme of things, it’s all about winning and in that same scheme, Madden is really nothing more than just a game.