Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots: What to watch for

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
The whole Lions offense
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images /

It’s here! The Detroit Lions open their 2019 preseason schedule against the New England Patriots tonight, and here are four storylines that we’ll be following.

Wait no longer, Detroit Lions fans. 221 days after they walked off of the tundra in Green Bay, the Lions will march onto an NFL field again today to play a game. Well, kind of.

Preseason games aren’t every NFL fan’s cup of tea, and many of the Lions’ key players won’t see any snaps tonight. Regardless, it will be an important measuring stick for the team thus far, and here’s what we’ll be watching closely:

No offense, but…….

Most NFL coaches are hesitant to reveal too much of their playbook during the preseason, and the Lions figure to be no different. That being said, with a new coordinator and a collection of new contributors on offense, this game could be an important opportunity to see where the team currently stands when they have the ball.

Under new OC Darrell Bevell, the Lions are expected to be a run-heavy offense, while taking advantage of a deep group of pass catchers and quarterback Matthew Stafford’s powerful right arm. Stafford had one of his worst statistical seasons in 2018, and the Lions are hoping that this offense, his fourth in 11 seasons, will be a great fit for him.

Additionally, second year tailback Kerryon Johnson will lead a versatile offensive backfield that will aim to offer the type of balance that the Lions have lacked for most of this decade. While they aren’t likely to stretch the starters out much, we may get a small sense of how some of the new parts will fit together in 2019.