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Friday open thread: Which Lions unit will change the most from 2020 to 2021?

All three phases will look different under the new regime.

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions - NFL Football Game Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Any time an organization brings in a new head coach and new general manager, there are going to be some big changes heading into the next season. The Detroit Lions doubled down on this new chapter, trading away their beloved franchise quarterback in order to acquire additional draft capital to help accelerate a rebuild.

All rebuilds (or whatever you want to call it) take time, but the team still needs to field a roster in 2021. This team was not great last year, but per DVOA, two of the three phases were actually average or above (offense: 16th, special teams: 11th). Of course, the defense (32nd) was a huge black hole, which is why the team finished under .500.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Which Lions unit will change the most from 2020 to 2021?

My answer: There is really an argument for all three units here. I think many expect the offense to take a big step backwards after losing Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, and Marvin Jones, but I actually think the bottom will not fall out thanks to the D’Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson, and the offensive line. It will likely rank below 16th, but many not too much farther.

Meanwhile, the defense has to improve... right? Unfortunately, there are still not a lot of strong pieces in place, and there is only so much improvement that can be expected in year one. I do think in terms of DVOA rank that the defense rises more than the offense falls, though.

However, my answer has to be special teams. The Lions were 11th last year, which is pretty respectable. But with the losses of Matt Prater and Jamal Agnew, this ranking is doomed to plummet. No offense to Randy Bullock and Kalif Raymond, but the only thing holding this unit afloat is Jack Fox.

Your turn.


Which unit will change most in DVOA rank?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Offense (2020: 16th)
    (138 votes)
  • 72%
    Defense (2020: 32nd)
    (715 votes)
  • 13%
    Special Teams (2020: 11th)
    (130 votes)
983 votes total Vote Now

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