NFL insider believes Detroit Lions can contend for NFC North title

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

An NFL insider believes the Detroit Lions’ sneaky good-offense can contend for a division title

On paper, it would appear the Detroit Lions have all the pieces in place to be a very competitive team within the NFC North division. Yet, that hasn’t been the reality as of late.

Since taking over the reins in the Motor City back in 2018, head coach Matt Patricia has been only able to amass a total of nine wins over 32 games. And while there are many reasons why Detroit has underperformed, the NFL is a league driven by results. At some point, the excuses are meaningless.

Every team struggles with issues like culture change, injuries, staff changes, and more. But it’s the franchises that find ways to overcome those obstacles that win championships.

But after posting a 3-12-1 record in 2019, and the fact the organization hasn’t won a playoff game since George H. W. Bush was in office, that talk of championships seems like the stuff of fairy tales in the Motor City.

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But it wasn’t that long ago Detroit was on the cusp of being a perennial playoff team, reaching the postseason in both 2014 and 2016 under former head coach Jim Caldwell. Although those berths did not result in victories, the Lions posted three winning seasons during Caldwell’s four-year stint on the strength of their roster.

The 2020 Detroit Lions have a talented offense on paper

Entering his third season as head coach in Detroit, Patricia appears to have assembled his most talented team to date. Offensively, the roster is chock-full of playmakers.

Names like running backs Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift, wide receivers Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola, plus 2019 first-round tight end T.J. Hockenson surround veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford with an impressive arsenal of offensive weapons.

Where’s what NFL Network’s Gregg Rosenthal said during a television interview after predicted the Lions will field a sneaky-good offense in 2020.

"“I thought [Stafford] was a top-five quarterback as long as he was healthy a year ago. So you have Stafford, that’s in place. You have an offense and you have continuity.  … It’s a lot of pieces. I think the NFC North is up for the taking … I think the Lions can contend for this division.”"

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The Detroit Lions appear to have one of the most talented offenses in the league … on paper. Translating that talent to actual wins on the field has been the issue. If the Lions can live up to the potential offensively and Matt Patricia’s defensive scheme finally clicks, the Lions could be the talk of the NFL in 2020.