The defense has to contribute
So where do the Lions go from here? They definitely seem to be further away from title contention then they were at this time last year. There was no spark to suggest that the defense could rebound in a big way next season.
Sure there was offensive improvement under first-year offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. The offense was more diversified in construction and had all the elements to be explosive with the right players in it.
The passing game was very good. There still needs to be more contributions from the tight end position which would make it explosive, but while T.J. Hockenson‘s season was cut short and almost all downhill after his incredible debut, his talent is undeniable and with hard work still has a chance to be a difference-maker that can complement the receivers.
Bo Scarbrough is a good complimentary player. A power runner who will never be mistaken for Derrick Henry, but a solid player who can contribute. The question will be if Kerryon Johnson can stay healthy as the feature back or if the Lions can find a feature back this offseason.
And we shouldn’t forget that Bob Quinn needs to re-shuffle the deck on the offensive line. If he isn’t successful there then everything else will be a struggle anyways.
Yet even with all the needs on offense, that is nothing compared to the shopping list Bob Quinn is clutching in his sweaty palms for the defense. A defense that collapsed on a weekly basis squandering leads at almost every turn.
Some of the experts have picked the Lions as the possible turnaround team for 2020, much like the San Francisco 49ers did this year. The comparison is interesting since both teams had to bounce back from seasons when they lost their starting quarterbacks.
They both also had to make defensive improvements. But the 49ers were coming off a better defensive year than the Lions just had and Nick Bosa dropped in their laps in last year’s draft to make them that much better.
The Lions will not be as lucky since Ohio State pass-rusher extraordinaire Chase Young will be scooped up by the Washington Redskins at pick number two. Just one selection ahead of the Lions at number three.