Now that the Detroit Lions season is over, we look ahead to 2020. Now cemented is the Pride’s list of opponents for next year in a must-win season.
Detroit Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford made it clear earlier this month. For both general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia, 2020 is a must-win season. That’s a tall task considering this duo has led Detroit to back-to-back disappointing records.
With a combined win/loss record of 9-22-1 over the past two years, the Lions find themselves longing for the days under former head coach Jim Caldwell. This organization parted ways with Caldwell following a 9-7 season only to sign Patricia who promptly sunk the franchise into the basement of the NFC North.
Ford has drawn a line in the sand for both Quinn and Patricia. While allowing both to remain in Detroit for the 2020 season, the Lions must be a playoff contender. Again, a tough ask from a team that just ended the year with the third-worst record in the NFL at 3-12-1.
But that terrible record does have some benefits that could spur Detroit into contender territory. Firstly, the low standing allowed the Lions to secure the third overall selection in the NFL draft. The Motor City should get a quality starter in the first round or come away with a slew of extra draft picks if they decide to trade down.
Also, consider the fact that Detroit will draft that high in most of the following rounds as well. And that throughout the entire season, the Lions will hold a very high priority in waiver wire claims.
Finally, there’s the upcoming schedule. Finishing last in their division will allow the Lions to face some other last-place teams in 2020, presumably giving them a softer set of opponents to face next year. In fact, following the completion of the regular season, we now know which teams Detroit will face off against next year.
According to NFL.com, the Lions will play the following teams at Ford Field in 2020: The Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings, the Houston Texans, the Indianapolis Colts, the New Orleans Saints, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Washington Redskins. All of Detroit’s home opponents posted a 7-9 record or better in 2019 except for the 3-13 Redskins.
On the road, the Detroit Lions will of course travel to Chicago, Green Bay and Minnesota. The Lions will also play away games against the Arizona Cardinals, the Atlanta Falcons, the Carolina Panthers, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Tennessee Titans. Outside of the Lions’ divisional opponents, only the 9-7 Titans posted a record above .500 this past season among this group.