Sun, 12 Jul 2020

Lions offseason questions: Bold predictions

Detroit Lions
03 Jun 2020, 20:25 GMT+10

NFL.com's Adam Schein released his bold predictions for the 2020 NFL season last week, and a familiar name made the list.

Schein predicts Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will lead the league in passing yards in 2020. That got me thinking about what other bold predictions could be made for the Lions.

I asked the Detroitlions.com crew, and here's what they had to say:

Tim Twentyman: Stafford wins Comeback Player of the Year and finishes in top 3 for MVP voting

After missing the second half of last season with a back injury, Matthew Stafford returns in 2020 and has a monster season, winning the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year Award and finishing in the top three in the league MVP voting. Stafford was on pace last season for 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns, and his 106.0 passer rating was fifth best in the league at the midway point of the season.

He was second in completions of 25-plus yards. He's poised to top all those numbers. Darrell Bevell's offense suits Stafford, and he's got all three of his top receivers back. Tight end T.J. Hockenson is set to take a big leap in his second season and the run game looks much improved on paper with the addition of rookie D'Andre Swift and others. All is in place for Stafford to have a monster 2020.

Mike O'Hara: Lions will play meaningful games in December

My bold prediction for the Lions is that they'll do the reverse of 2019.

They lost their last nine games in 2019 and were out of playoff contention by Thanksgiving Day.

They won't win their last nine this year, but their last five games in December will be meaningful, with a playoff berth on the line.

The closing schedule favors the Lions to make a run. After a Week 13 road game with the Bears, they play three of the last four at home: Home with the Packers, on the road with the Titans, then home with the Bucs and Vikings.

One addition to the bold prediction: Matthew Stafford outplays Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady to set up a final-game showdown with the Vikings on Jan. 3.

Tori Petry: Lions will have a top 5 secondary

Going into the 2019 season, Quandre Diggs and Darius Slay were the faces of the Lions secondary. While Detroit has moved on from those big names, the very different secondary they'll be starting 2020 with is a much more complete unit. The Lions drafted the best corner in the draft to anchor one side, and signed a proven veteran to cover the other.

Tracy Walker showed promise before his injury in 2019, and Duron Harmon brings a wealth of knowledge of Matt Patricia's system to the table - not to mention having one of the best slot corners in the league in Justin Coleman. This group has the potential to swing games in Detroit's favor with big plays.

Editor's Pick: Okudah wins defensive rookie of the year

I think rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah will put himself in consideration for the defensive rookie of the year award. We still haven't seen him on the field in a Lions uniform, but his college credentials speak for themselves.

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