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Monday open thread: Will the Lions have a better offense or defense in 2019?

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Which unit will have a superior season?

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Detroit Lions’ offense and defense were both a disappointment en route to a 6-10 season. However, it was a tale of two trades that changed the trajectory of both units.

After a middling 3-3 start to the season, including giving up 114 points in the first four games, the Lions traded for Damon Harrison. He provided immediate relief to the defensive line. A’Shawn Robinson had a breakout season paired with Snacks, while players like Christian Jones and Ricky Jean Francois saw significant improvement in their play.

Though Francois is gone, the Lions have added plenty of new faces to upgrade their defense. The biggest name is Trey Flowers, who will be replacing the oft-injured Ezekiel Ansah. They also added multiple secondary players, from Justin Coleman and Rashaan Melvin in free agency and Will Harris and Amani Oruwariye in the draft. Along with the likes of Jahlani Tavai, Austin Bryant, and P.J. Johnson, the Lions have a youth movement on defense. Not to be ignored are Da’Shawn Hand and Tracy Walker, two 2018 draft picks who shined last season and are primed for a bigger role.

However, the Lions offense took a dive at the trade deadline. A week after acquiring Harrison, the 3-4 Lions traded away Golden Tate. From Week 2 to Week 7, the Lions scored 27, 26, 24, 31, and 32 points (Week 6 was their bye). From Week 8 onward, they spiraled into mediocrity, only reaching 20 or more points in three of their final 10 games. Golden Tate was a key feature of the offense, but on an expiring contract, the Lions opted to trade him for draft capital. After a few draft trades, that pick turned into Will Harris.

This offseason, the Lions clearly aimed to revamp their offense, and the first part of the rebuild was jettisoning offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and installing former Seattle coordinator Darrell Bevell. Next up came the acquisition of talent. Receivers Danny Amendola, Travis Fulgham, and Jermaine Kearse were added to bolster their depth. After a 2018 tight end group shallower than a puddle, the Lions went all-in by signing Jesse James and spending their first round pick on T.J. Hockenson. Coupled with rookie Isaac Nauta and Logan Thomas, there’s much more competition. Though the retirement of T.J. Lang leaves a question mark at guard, the Lions brought in C.J. Anderson to pair with blossoming Kerryon Johnson.

The 2018 Detroit Lions slowly improved on defense, while the offense regressed. That leads into today’s Question of the Day:

Will the Lions have a better offense or defense in 2019?

My answer: I think the Lions defense will be the superior unit in 2019. They spent a lot of monetary and draft capital on it, and I think another season under Matt Patricia will really help them grow. I’m very eager to see how they will perform this season, and I’m intrigued by their scheme.

While I believe the offense has improved significantly, I’m still uncertain about Darrell Bevell as offensive coordinator. History has shown that he favors run-oriented offenses, and I personally don’t think that lines up with the Lions’ strengths. Kerryon Johnson is electric, and C.J. Anderson had a turn-around season with the Rams, but this team will always ride-or-die on Matthew Stafford’s arm, and I’m not sure if the offense is ready to take the next step.

Your turn.

Poll

Will the Lions have a better offense or defense in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Offense
    (114 votes)
  • 85%
    Defense
    (694 votes)
808 votes total Vote Now