Three reasons to love (and hate) the 2020 Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions fans
Detroit Lions fans (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Reason number two to love the Detroit Lions in 2020

The Detroit Lions rookies and free agents have improved the club.

The biggest problem with the Lions in 2019 was the defense. They had too many injuries, gave up too many leads, and just couldn’t stop anyone when it was necessary. the 31st defense in the NFL gave up over 400 yards of offense to opponents and wasn’t much higher ranked in any individual metric, including sacks, pressures, and opponent quarterback rating.

All statistics are taken from the Pro Football Reference website unless stated otherwise.

The defense went out and recruited Jamie Collins, Sr., Danny Shelton, Desmond Trufant, and Duron Harmon. General manager Bob Quinn also drafted Jeff Okudah and  Julian Okwara in the first and third rounds to help the cornerback and Jack linebacker spots, respectively. Jack linebackers are standing pass-rush specialists whose job it is usually to pressure and sack the quarterback.

Not only did draft picks get used on the defense but two were used on offensive linemen, Jonah Jackson, and Logan Stenberg, plus the second-round pick was used on D’Andre Swift, who is the most talented runner the Lions have had since Barry Sanders retired.

Why hate reason number two

Same Old Lions fans and their transient counterparts don’t like to say that they “hate” anyone but rather that they’re not buying the Motown snake oil. Metaphors aside, the Detroit Lions hype the team every year, and almost without question, we are let down. Draft picks are nice but the most competitive teams don’t rely on rookies or castoffs to save them.

Collins wasn’t great last year, the Lions were bad, and we moved on from several very good players in Darius Slay, Quandre Diggs, Rick Wagner, and Devon Kennard. Damon Harrison, A’Shawn Robinson, and Mike Daniels are all gone from the interior of the defensive line, too. The reason that these new players sound better is that they are new, not because they’re solutions to problems.