The Detroit Lions offense showed promise before losing their star players. This unit should improve in their second season under Darrell Bevell.
The Detroit Lions ended the 2019 regular season with a whimper. They lost nine straight to end the year suffering defeats in 12 of their last 13 games. Yet the Lions showed promise early as they started the season 2-0-1 with victories over the Los Angeles Chargers and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Losing starters like quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Kerryon Johnson to injury before the midseason point all but sunk this already borderline franchise having posted a disappointing 6-10 record in 2018. But one of the rare highlights of yet another low season was the hiring of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
The Lions’ offense ended last season tied for 18th in the NFL in scoring offense posting an average of 21.3 points per game. Detroit ranked 17th in total offense (346.8 ypg), 10th in passing (243.8 ypg) and 21st in rushing (103.1 ypg).
Under former offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter in 2018, the Lions offense ranked 23rd in total offense (327.3 ypg), 20th in passing (223.5 ypg), 23rd in rushing (103.8 ypg), and 25th in scoring (20.3 ppg). But Cooter also had Stafford under center for all 16 games. While Bevell had to make the offense work with backup quarterbacks Jeff Driskel and David Blough leading them for the latter half of the season.
In fact, looking at the Lions’ first eight games last season should give us a better idea of how the offense performed in their first season under Bevell as well as an idea of what we might see from this unit in 2020.
Through the first eight games last season, the Lions offense averaged 25.5 points per game. If Detroit would have posted that average for the entire year, they would have had the eighth-highest scoring average in the league. In Detroit’s final eight games (without Stafford), that average dropped to a dismal 17.1 points per game.
Ending the season with a 3-12-1 record, there wasn’t much of a silver lining for fans of the Detroit Lions to draw from. But the performance of the offense under first-year offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell should give them hope for a better showing in 2020.