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PFF gives Detroit Lions best chance to go ‘worst to first’

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Another outlet believes the Lions can make a quick turnaround. Is this the year they’re finally right?

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Detroit Lions v Oakland Raiders Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

It’s about this time every year that we wonder if the Detroit Lions are the next team to go from worst to first. What are we if not endlessly hopeful?

Every year, it seems at least one team provides us an outlet for that hope. This year, it was the San Francisco 49ers, who not only were coaching the Senior Bowl at this time last year, but they were also coming off a serious quarterback injury heading into 2019. Those are just a few reasons ESPN’s Bill Barnwell believed the Lions were the most likely team to follow in their footsteps.

Now PFF has joined in on the Lions optimism. This week, PFF writer Ben Linsey ranked all eight teams that finished last in their division by their likelihood of winning the division in 2020. Linsey ranked the Detroit Lions as the most likely to make the worst-to-first transition.

“Getting a healthy Stafford back next season to get the ball into the hands of downfield playmakers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. should be a huge boost to this offense,” Linsey wrote. “With a high draft slot and a decent amount of cap space to work with, there’s an opportunity for the defense to improve, as well.”

The Lions certainly have the resources to make a fairly quick turnaround—especially considering the lack of resources from their divisional foes. But the question is simply whether the Lions are capable of using those resources in a way that can significantly improve this team immediately. Last year, the Lions went on a spending spree in free agency—especially on defense—and the product was obviously nowhere near acceptable.

Detroit certainly hasn’t given fans much of a reason to believe this regime is capable of that kind of turnaround, but ownership is banking on it in 2020, and if they can’t pull it off it may be time for a new regime.