The Detroit Lions are looking to make the 2020 season memorable in a good way. To change their fate, they’ll need to change these five numbers from 2019.
We are closing in on the regular season, Detroit Lions fans, and that means the team is wrapping up their offseason to turn towards their Week One showdown with the Chicago Bears. With less than two weeks left to kick off at Ford Field, we’ll look at five big numbers that have to change for 2020 to be a success. Without delay, One Pride, let’s get into this!
We watched the Detroit Lions struggle last season to a 3-12-1 record and it would be too easy to blame it all on quarterback Matthew Stafford’s injury or any one thing that went wrong. Stafford’s injury was a turning point in terms of how fans felt about the season but a lot was already not going well prior to Stafford sitting out.
The big theme of the year was injuries but again, it’s more instructive to point to some direct areas of the team that made winning more difficult, instead of specific players.
Detroit Lions first number to change
Let’s start with an obvious one, this is the number of yards that the Lions defense gave up on average defensively per game. That was good (or really bad in this case) for 31st in the NFL, according to the Pro Football Reference website. We’ll go farther than just this number but it’s as good of a place as any to describe how the Detroit Lions struggled to slow down opponents the entire year.
In the eight games with Stafford under center, the defense gave up 3,393 yards, an average of 424.1 yards, so this was not an issue of the offense not doing its job. The offense, the passing game, in particular, was doing very well during the first half of the campaign. This level of inability to stop another team is pretty historic, even by Lions standards.
General manager Bob Quinn has turned over a large chunk of the roster defensively in the hopes that the players he retained will be able more available than in the previous season. Jamie Collins, Danny Shelton, Desmond Trufant, Duron Harmon, and Nick Williams were signed to shore up trouble areas, the linebacker corps, the secondary, and the interior of the defensive line.