Now that the NFL draft is complete, will this improved Detroit Lions’ team surpass the odds and win more than the projected 6.5 games in 2020?
In the wake of the NFL draft, it seems like everyone wants to project how many wins each team will actually come away with in the 2020 season, including the Detroit Lions. Many media outlets have rated the team’s draft fairly well as they landed a new star cornerback in Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah in the first round.
The impact Okudah and the rest of the Lions’ draft picks have is a long way from being known. But that won’t stop the projections and speculation. Detroit’s projected win total for 2020 sits at an over/under of 6.5 wins following the results of the draft. Those odds courtesy of the Action Network.
Unfortunately for the Lions, most projections are seemingly based on the 2019 season and the media’s “feelings” about what the new draftees and free agents bring to the table. One such media member is Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports.
During a recent episode of The Herd, Cowherd expressed his feelings about the Lions still being a “mess” and struggling in a tough division. Hear what he has to say about Detroit around the 3-minute mark of the following clip.
Projections at the end of April or early May don’t mean too much. Again, the previous season is still on everyone’s mind and the thrill of the draft can only do so much to sway opinions. But, facts can be selected and presented in different ways. Specifically, someone can be optimistic or pessimistic about a player coming off injury depending on the point they are trying to make.
Cowherd believes that Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford coming off a back injury isn’t a great sign for the 2020 season. Yet, the Lions were sniffing victories with two different backup quarterbacks during 2019. Okay, maybe there’s something else that doesn’t seem so exciting about these 2020 Lions.
Another comment by Cowherd was that the Lions can’t go toe to toe with the Green Bay Packers and their quarterback Aaron Rodgers. That must be the same team that the Lions nearly beat twice in 2019, once they were robbed with Stafford as the quarterback and the second time they played them tough until the end of the game with a backup quarterback after Stafford’s injury. Okay, this take just doesn’t seem to add up.
Then Cowherd mentions coaching, specifically Lions head coach Matt Patricia. This one sort of hits home. We know former Lions cornerback Darius Slay didn’t hold back on his way out of Detroit. We also know the team regressed in the wins department each season since Patricia was brought in to lead the team.
A healthy starting quarterback could have changed a lot in 2019 for Patricia and how the media and fans look at his abilities. In 2020, with a healthy squad, the team could certainly be an underdog to make the playoffs or even win the division. Coaching will certainly have a lot to do with it.
Detroit Lions fans should be wishing for more than the 6.5 win mark in 2020, whether they agree with the odds or not. Whether they agree with Colin Cowherd or not. Whether they think Matt Patricia is the coach to lead the Lions to their first playoff victory in decades or not. With the talent on Detroit’s roster and the additions made to this locker room, I believe seven wins or more are well within reach.