There was so much promise for the Detroit Lions 2019 season before ending with three measly wins. Where did it all go wrong?
The Detroit Lions were set to compete for the division. Yes, the NFC North was ripe for the taking. It was the second year in head coach Matt Patricia’s system. A big-name free agent joined the defensive line in defensive end Trey Flowers. Quarterback Matthew Stafford shot out of the gates on an MVP pace. Running back Kerryon Johnson was set to carry the load with a hot free agent bruiser in C.J. Anderson ready to help pound the rock.
The team started a little sketchy, much like in 2018, with a tie game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Lions bounced back with victories over the Los Angeles Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles before losing a close one to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Then, on an ill-fated Monday night game against the Green Bay Packers, a victory was stolen from this team. Instead of putting up a fight the next week, the Minnesota Vikings demolished them in Detroit. The Lions then barely beat the New York Giants for their last victory of the season.
Injuries started to pile up. The biggest injury being the back of quarterback Matthew Stafford. He’d been carrying the load for this team until he was finally forced to miss playing time. The Lions were 3-3-1 at the time and everything went downhill from there.
Two things come to mind as to why this 2019 campaign was lost before the halfway point of the season. First, the Green Bay debacle. Had that game turned out the way it should have – minus the MULTIPLE gaffes by the refs and subsequent apologies for their mistakes – the Lions would have had four wins.
Second, the injury to Stafford. The Lions have been fortunate to not have to worry about their backup quarterbacks ever starting a game dating back to 2011. It felt like this team and this season fell off a cliff when Stafford’s starting streak of 136 straight games ended.
It’s true that backup quarterbacks Jeff Driskel and David Blough did show some promise, but they weren’t nearly as good as Stafford. They were different and defenses didn’t have much tape to use in preparation for them. After a couple of games, their magic faded … without any victories on the field, I might add.
While the defense and running games had their issues, these two instances stand out to me as the biggest reasons why the Detroit Lions aren’t getting ready for a playoff game in 2020. What do you think are the biggest reasons the 2019 season has ended for the Lions?