The Detroit Lions and NFC North 2020 season preview

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
1 of 5
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions have a mandate from ownership to be in the playoff race. Will these Motown cats contend?

The Detroit Lions are just a mere few days away from starting their season. The anticipation has been palpable and so has the concern.

At the end of last season, Martha Firestone Ford mandated that these 2020 Detroit Lions ‘play meaningful games in December’. After only nine wins in his first two seasons at the helm, its time for head coach Matt Patricia to put up or pack up.

When general manager Bob Quinn hired his long-time friend to coach the Lions two and a half years ago it was because 9-7 wasn’t considered good enough. So Jim Caldwell was swept out the door and Quinn bided his time until after the Super Bowl when the New England Patriots season was over and Matt Patricia was available to be hired.

Patricia appeared to be the only choice Quinn wanted. Sure Quinn followed league protocol and interviewed other candidates, but I don’t think there was any doubt that it would be Patricia unless he said ‘no’. Now after two underwhelming seasons, everyone is expecting more from Patricia.

No one in Detroit was aware that Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia were going to pretty much completely re-build a team that had been in playoff contention in three of Jim Caldwell’s seasons on the sidelines. We all thought there would be some tweaking of the roster and then a run at contention.

Instead, the Lions are 9-22-1 over those two seasons. For Matt Patricia’s sake, hopefully, the third season is the charm. Because the natives are tired of being restless. The fans of this long moribund franchise are ready for something to cheer about. Ready for a contender.

By most accounts, the Lions had a successful offseason. They addressed needs in free agency and seemed to have done well in the draft. Now the question is; will Matt Patricia have the Lions in contention?

Today we will preview the NFC North. We will start in the cellar and count up to the projected divisional champs. Where will the Lions finish? Read on and see.