The Detroit Lions are closer to contention than many people think

Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The Lions offense could be explosive

There has been some noise that perhaps the 2020 Detroit Lions could be like last season’s San Francisco 49ers and come out of nowhere to become contenders. I would say stranger things have happened, but let’s be honest; the Lions contending would be the strangest thing to happen.

Yet if we set aside our deep-seated belief that the Lions are cursed and that they just can’t be winners, then there are reasons to believe they could be competitive this season.

The positives start and pretty much end with the offense. Matthew Stafford performed in Darrell Bevell’s offense last season like he had been running it for years. Despite spotty pass protection and an inconsistent rushing attack, Matthew still filled enemy secondaries with fear.

Until Matthew was injured in week eight, he played like an MVP candidate. How can he not be better going into his second season in this system with the additional weapons he’s been given?

The cohesiveness of the offensive line will be a major key. Halapoulivaati Vaitai will have to prove himself worthy of his contract. One of the rookie guards, either Jonah Jackson or Logan Stenberg, will have to step up and play well. If not both of them.

Matthew Stafford and the ‘Great Quarterback’ myth. light. Trending

The offensive line will need to be an asset. This is something that generally takes time, but every other team in the league has had to go through the same summer as the Lions, and one of them will win the Super Bowl.

So it does start with the line, but provided they play well, then expect the fireworks to go off on a weekly basis. Because given holes run through, Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift will pile up the yards giving the Lions a productive ground game that opponents will have to defend.

Then we don’t even need to get started on how deadly the Lions aerial attack will become. Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, and T.J. Hockenson along with Johnson, Swift, and rookie speedster Jason Huntley being deployed to assault enemy secondaries mean someone will be open and whoever it is can make a play.

The offense has every opportunity, with some good line play, to be very explosive. Explosive enough to compete with high powered offenses like Kansas City, who they were very competitive with last season. However, the teams that win in a shoot-out are the teams that are able to get a stop defensively. Can the Lions be that team?