Lions vs. Vikings: What to watch for in the 2020 season finale

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Ford Field, Detroit Lions
Ford Field, Detroit Lions (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

What to watch for as the Detroit Lions end their 2020 season at home against Minnesota

If you’ve stuck with the Detroit Lions for this long, there’s no point in stopping now. Might as well see this thing out to the bitter end. 2020 was a bitter beginning, middle, and end for the Lions, with another ten loss season (that has felt more like fifteen losses at times), a fired coach and GM, an empty Ford Field for the entire season, an uncertain future for the face of the franchise, a game with hardly any coaches, a fired special teams coach, injuries, COVID, etc.

There’s no better evidence that the Lions have some of the NFL’s most devoted fans than the fact that we’ve stuck with them for this long and aren’t going anywhere. By the team the ball is kicked off on Sunday, 2020 will be over, and despite the crushing weight of six decades of failure, there’s no point in stopping now.

Here are seven things to pay attention to in Week 17, as we wait and hope for better days ahead in 2021 …

Darrell Bevell’s closing statement

First and foremost, the Vikings game is Bevell’s final chance to build an on-field case for a promotion to head coach next season. Through two games, a thrilling comeback win over Chicago and a hard-fought loss to Green Bay, Bevell’s odds of shedding the ‘interim’ label looked decent, or at least no worse than anyone else’s chances of coming aboard.

The blowout loss against Tennessee dampened some of the early excitement for Bevell’s five-game audition in the top role. Bevell, along with several other key assistants, was unable to coach last week against Tampa Bay due to COVID protocol, resulting in one of the most embarrassing Lions losses of my lifetime.

Whether the Lions win or not on Sunday may or may not have much bearing on Bevell’s future in Detroit, but it’s his last real chance to make a case for himself. A spirited performance from the team that ends in a victory is probably his only chance at retaining the job.