Detroit Lions: 5 bold predictions for the 2020 season

Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions defense
Detroit Lions defense (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

#4 – The Lions defense will continue to be a mess

As the Lions had one of the worst defenses in 2019, general manager Bob Quinn made it a priority to improve on the defensive side of the ball. He selected a total of four defensive players including cornerback Jeff Okudah who was the third overall pick and edge Julian Okwara in the draft.

He also signed former New England Patriots players in linebacker Jamie Collins Sr and defensive tackle Danny Shelton. Along with these players, the front office made a trade with the Patriots to acquire safety Duron Harmon.

As they’ve done in seasons past, the reason why they’ve signed former Patriots players is because head coach Matt Patricia was the former defensive coordinator for the Patriots where he won two Super Bowls.

The hope was that these players would be able to adapt to the same caliber defensive championship pedigree in Detroit but so far the results have shown that they haven’t.

By bringing Collins Sr, Shelton and Harmon to Detroit, the team expected that the more former Patriots players with the Lions under Patricia, the better the defense will do but this plan will fail again in 2020.

The defensive line leaves a ton to be desired. Between edge rushers Trey Flowers and Da’Shawn Hand as well as defensive tackle Nick Williams paired with Shelton, they combined for just 19 sacks last season. It doesn’t seem like they would do that much better, if at all in the 2020 season.

The secondary, especially the linebacker unit, is an improvement from last season although with a rookie in Okudah who will eventually factor into the equation, there will be growing pains despite people raving about him.

With minimal pressure being applied to the quarterback and a mediocre secondary at best, it seems to be another messy defensive situation in Detroit in 2020.