Detroit Lions 2020 Season Preview, Part 1

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A Detroit Lions season preview including some predictions and hot takes for the 2020 NFL Season.

On the day before the first Detroit Lions football game of every season starting in 2017, I have been writing story lines for how successful I think the Detroit Lions season could end up. It is incredibly difficult to predict the NFL season even on the morning of every game, so predicting an entire season ahead of time without knowing game time injuries or hot and cold streaks and so on is even more difficult.

This method is a way to have some fun with the predictability that is the NFL every year. While there is some process involved in terms of taking a look at player vs player battles, how I think the Lions could do against an opposing coach or scheme, and other research that goes into these, they are largely just for fun.

Below, I have come up with a plot for how the Detroit Lions season could possibly shake out. Will I get everything right? Absolutely not. However, this is a fun way to kill some time before game day, relax, and enjoy the return of football season while learning the Lions schedule and potential games to watch and crucial turning points in the season.

One final note, just because I predict something to happen does not mean I want it to happen, or believe it will happen. That is especially true for injuries, which I discuss on occasion down below. However they do happen and it adds to the depth and realism of the plot, so I will include some of those story lines throughout. With that disclaimer out of the way, hopefully you enjoy my 2020 Detroit Lions season preview and prediction story.

Week 1- Vs Chicago Bears

The Detroit Lions open the season week one vs the Chicago Bears, a team they are better than..?
The Bears defense shuts down the Lions passing attack as Stafford, Hockenson and Jones are rusty coming off season ending injuries last season.
On the other hand, Lions new addition Adrian Peterson with help from Kerryon Johnson and rookie D’Andre Swift get off to a fiery start with a combined 150 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns.
With the Lions holding a 21-18 lead with 5 minutes to go in the game and the Bears on offense, second year corner Amani Oruwariye proves why he was named starter over Jeff Okudah sealing the game with a Pick 6 of Mitch Trubisky, locking in the DetroitLions win at 28-24 after the Bears score a garbage time touchdown.

Week 2- At Green Bay Packers

The Detroit Lions offense faced a tough task in week one, but in Week 2 it’s the Lions defense that needs to stand up and shine. The bad news, they don’t. Aaron Jones rushes for an easy 125 yards not including those accumulated from defensive penalties such as a facemask on Danny Shelton that adds 15 and a horse collar on Jamie Collins that also extends a drive on what would’ve forced a fourth down.
However, the Lions offense shows up in a big way and rips apart the Packers defense. Jaire takes away Kenny Golladay, but TJ Hockenson dominates the Packers Linebackers for a 100 yard 2 TD game, and Jesse James comes up with a clutch touchdown catch on third and goal from inside the five.
The Lions prove they still have work to do to stop the run, but the offense led by the tight ends are able to score enough to overcome it, resulting in a Detroit Lions win 34-31.

Week 3- At Arizona Cardinals

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The Lions struggled against the Cardinals last year, but coming off two strong weeks of momentum vs divisional rivals, things might be changing… Or… So they hope. The Detroit Lions struggle across the board mightily the entire game. Stafford has more interceptions than touchdowns, the run game is proven almost worthless as the Lions are so far down that it holds no benefit to run the ball, and the Lions defense gets absolutely clobbered by Kyler Murray, Kenyan Drake and DeAndre Hopkins. The Lions give up 450 total yards of offense to Kyler Murray alone, and another 100 on the ground to Kenyan Drake, as the Cardinals absolutely steamroll the Detroit Lions to hand them their first loss on the season and a huge downer for fans. Cardinals win 38-10.

Week 4- Vs New Orleans Saints

The Lions return home and have a tough task ahead in the New Orleans Saints. After a really rough week on the road, home field advantage and coming back to the eastern time zone helps the team regain the routine that worked for them in the first two weeks. The game quickly expects to turn into a shootout as D’Andre Swift and Alvin Kamara exchange quick 35 yard (or so) TD receptions and put both teams on the board just 7 1/2 minutes in. However, as the game progresses, both teams continue to make adjustments and things start to settle down. Matt Patricia makes a bold move and decides to sit Desmond Trufant at the half. You see, Trufant has been getting burned by Michael Thomas to the tune of 100 yards on 5 catches and a touchdown at the half. He hands the reigns to Jeff Okudah, the team’s rookie corner, a game earlier than originally planned. While Okudah shows promise and only allows one 15 yard catch on Thomas the second half, that 15 yard catch would be the game-sealing first down that keeps the Detroit Lions from getting one last shot to tie it. Saints win 31-24.

Week 5- Bye Week

After a minor injury to Kerryon Johnson in the Saints game as well as injuries to Da’Shawn Hand, Marvin Jones and Jarrad Davis going back to weeks 2-3, the Detroit Lions get a chance to heal, focus, and prepare.

Week 6- At Jacksonville Jaguars

The Lions come out refreshed from the bye, as Undlin, who’s defense has struggled the last two weeks, gets an ultimatum from Patricia- Mess this up against the Jags, and I’m taking over.
As a result, Undlin makes some minor adjustments after reviewing the last two games. Rolling with Okudah as the new CB 1 for the long haul is part one, but an even bigger change is looming. Jarrad Davis is returning from injury, and will regain the team’s headset from Jahlani Tavai. It worked in the first two weeks, so the hope is that it will work again.
Maybe it’s because it’s the Jaguars, maybe it was the extra week of prep, or maybe it was those small changes, but the Detroit Lions defense comes out electric, forcing more turnovers than they allowed points. Okudah notches his first career INT, Tracy Walker gets an INT, Justin Coleman forces a fumble and Julian Okwara gets his first sack, a strip sack, that shows the Lions defense is ready to play approaching the second half of the season.
Score: Lions Win 24-3.

Week 7- At Atlanta Falcons

The Lions stay in the southeast, as they get their chance against a struggling Atlanta Falcons team who’s coach (Dan Quinn) is on the hot seat. Staying in the southeast, the Lions feel right at home in the domed stadium of Atlanta, and the offense gets out to a nice quick start with a deep shot over the top to Kenny Golladay for a 50 yard touchdown. The Lions defense starts out fast, but the Falcons make an adjustment at halftime. Get Julio Jones matched up with Desmond Trufant, and Ridley matched up with Okudah. The plan works… Kind of. Julio explodes in the second half against his former teammate for 75 yards on 5 receptions, but at the end of the game, with the Falcons down a score on 3rd and 7, Matt Ryan attempts to force the ball to Julio in the end zone from 25 yards out, and Trufant comes up with the clutch INT to seal the Lions victory 27-21.

Week 8- Vs Indianapolis Colts

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With the Detroit Lions carrying a 4-2 record through the first six games of the season, the team receives good news. Starting with the Thanksgiving game in 4 weeks, the team will be allowed to have up to 10,000 fans at Ford Field, and the team can start this week allowing up to 5000 fans.
This news gets fans, who are relatively upbeat with the team’s start fired up and ready to cheer their team on. However, that news quickly gets washed out by some tough injury news. Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones are both going to be missing for the next couple of weeks with both suffering injuries simultaneously. This means both Quintez Cephus and Marvin Hall will be the team’s number one and two receivers with Danny Amendola in the slot. A tough break for a Detroit Lions offense that was finding success in the air.
As a result, the Colts make sure to double up TJ Hockenson including putting Darius Leonard on Hall and he only gets one catch for 7 yards all game. Meanwhile the Colts successfully focus on shutting down the Lions run game. Adrian Peterson gets held to a season worst 2.5 yards per carry (25 yards on 10 carries) and Kerryon fumbles twice which results in him getting benched at halftime.
The Lions defense ultimately tries to keep it close, but Matt Prater bangs what would’ve been the game tying field goal off the left upright in the closing seconds, and the Lions lose a heart breaker 17-14.

I hope you enjoyed the first part of my Detroit Lions 2020 season preview. Please be sure to come back tomorrow for the next installment where we see how the Lions do through the rest of the season.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow @C_Robbins_ on Twitter, and leave me your thoughts on the Detroit Lions Subreddit! Check out some more of Chris’s articles for Detroit Lions Podcast here.

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