It’s no secret that 2020 doesn’t feel like the best year to be a Detroit Lions fan. The team just completed a 3-12-1 season, a huge regression from just the previous year. Given that this team was riding their first back-to-back winning seasons in a couple decades just two years ago, fans and analysts alike are understandably skeptical about the direction of this franchise.
But NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus took that skepticism to another level this week by posting his end-of-season power rankings. In them, Hanzus ranks the Detroit Lions dead last—32nd, for those keeping score. His main reasoning: coaching.
“The Lions’ defense was a mess in 2019. Couldn’t tackle. Couldn’t get to the quarterback. Couldn’t cover. Couldn’t make a stop,” Hanzus wrote. “None of this was a good look for defensive-minded head coach Matt Patricia, but Detroit brass opted to go the route of preserving continuity rather than making a change in the big chair.”
Hanzus offers a smidge of hope via Detroit’s third overall pick, in which the Lions could snag a defensive game-changer, but other than that, the outlook is bleak in Hanzus’ opinion.
- It’s Matthew Stafford’s birthday and several teammates went to Twitter to praise their quarterback.
Put some respect on this man name‼️ Not here for any 9 slander. https://t.co/knQz9nEyuV— Mal (@jamalagnew) February 7, 2020
- Is Calvin Johnson a first ballot Hall of Famer? Chris Burke of The Athletic talked to a couple Hall-of-Fame voters to see their opinion. (Subscription required)
- Dave Birkett has his first 2020 NFL Mock Draft out, and he has the Lions taking a familiar name.
- Lions tight end Isaac Nauta has got some hands:
- Excited for the XFL debut this weekend? MLive’s Benjamin Raven has a list of 11 former Lions players that will be playing in this weekend’s games.
- Lions Wire’s Erik Schlitt has a very interesting article on how the Lions used their linebackers last year, and comes to the conclusion that they could use another key piece in 2020.