How will the Detroit Lions fare in the third quarter of the 2020 season?
Following the prediction of the second quarter of the season, the Detroit Lions will have a 5-3 record after the 2020 season’s halfway point. This is where the predictions become even harder since we can’t see the future and know who’s injured, banged up, quarantined and so forth.
So, we have to assume healthy players are still on the field. And the first game is a team visiting Detroit with a new name.
Washington Football Team at Lions, November 15
It’s a new normal for Washington. With a ‘W’ on the side of their helmets, they’ll visit Ford Field with a new weapon on the defensive side of the ball in rookie edge rusher Chase Young. He’ll be an interesting test for the Lions offensive line which should have a rookie guard in Jonah Jackson settling in by this point in the 2020 season.
A bigger story could surround the Washington quarterback situation as Alex Smith could be back on the field. While he’s not currently expected to take any starting time away from Dwayne Haskins, he’s technically available should the sophomore quarterback take any steps backward through the first half of this season. Smith’s recovery is a great story, but one that should have very little impact on this game.
With Washington’s offense not expected to be a juggernaut by any means, the Detroit Lions defense should be able to keep them at bay in the Motor City. The Lions offense, on the other hand, should be able to put up enough points to add another check mark in the win column.
Lions record: 6-3
Lions at Panthers, November 22
Feeling pretty good with six wins, the Lions head to Carolina where a powerful offense is waiting for them. By this point in the season, Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater should be settled in and clicking with his receivers and workhorse running back Christian McCaffrey. Bridgewater also brings some mobility to the table at the quarterback position that will need to be accounted for.
McCaffrey is the scariest weapon these Lions defenders need to prepare for in this contest. His skills seem unstoppable at times and this team will need to come up with some big stops on the road in order to have a chance at winning this game.
Looking to the other side of the ball, the Panthers defense features two young talents on the defensive line. Both first-round picks in back to back years, edge Brian Burns and tackle Derrick Brown make this defense a bit better than expected.
It will be a big battle for the win, but the Detroit Lions fall just short on the road.
Lions record: 6-4
Texans at Lions, November 26 – Thanksgiving Day
The Thanksgiving Day game is always a fun one for Lions fans. This year might be a little different, but the matchup will still be good. Led by quarterback DeShaun Watson, the Texans come into Detroit missing a top receiving weapon from a year ago. But, they do have a new all-around weapon at running back in David Johnson looking to prove he’s still as versatile and explosive as he was in Arizona.
Over on defense, star lineman J.J. Watt isn’t going to make things easy on quarterback Matthew Stafford and company. If the Lions offense can get rolling, they have a great chance to pull out a victory. But if they, stumble – even the slightest bit – there’s a feeling they will not keep up in this one.
The short week to prepare for a team with new offensive weapons, including Texans receiver Brandin Cooks, doesn’t bode well for Detroit. The Lions drop their second in a row and are left without any turkey celebrations on television this Thanksgiving.
Lions record: 6-5
Lions at Bears, December 6
This matchup is just what the doctor ordered for the Lions as they need to pull themselves out of a two-game slump. Just because they are on the road versus a divisional opponent doesn’t make this one any harder this time around. The Lions will need to waltz into Chicago and handle their business.
Not knowing if they’ll be facing Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles won’t matter at this point. With a long week to prepare after coming off two losses, the Lions will be fired up and ready to play. They’ll need to show up or their season might be in jeopardy as they could slip to .500.
The weather could play a factor in the game, but the Lions running game is strong enough to plow through with Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift. They will find the end zone enough times to bring home a win and avoid a prolonged losing streak.
Lions record: 7-5
Final thoughts on the Lions’ third quarter
The Detroit Lions still have a winning record through three-quarters of the season. They’re positioned to challenge for the division for the first time in years while still looking to make the playoffs even if they fail to come out on top in the NFC North. The next four games will be the true test of whether the Lions can pull it off in 2020.