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Tuesday open thread: What is the Detroit Lions’ ceiling in 2021?

If everything goes right for the Lions in 2021, what is their best case scenario for 2021?

Indianapolis Colts vs Detroit Lions Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Seeing as its game week, it’s time to revisit our 2021 expectations for the Detroit Lions and possibly get in some last ounces of hope and optimism before reality comes in and changes everything.

It’s obvious that hope for the future of this franchise remains quite high. Though general manager Brad Holmes saw his approval rating drop a couple points last week, he’s still holding very strong at a 92 percent. With one of the youngest rosters in the NFL, people can see his long-term plan, and most of the team’s roster moves from this offseason make sense through that lens.

But how quickly will the wins start coming? Is a competitive team a year away, two years away, or will they even start coming as soon as this year? We’ve learned a lot about this team in the month or two, but there is still so much to learn once the team hits the field on Sunday.

So today’s Question of the Day is:

What is the 2021 Detroit Lions’ ceiling?

My answer: If this question sounds familiar, it is. About two months ago,

If this question sounds familiar, that’s because it is. I asked this question two months ago.

Here were the results:

  • 50 percent of you believed this team’s ceiling was between 6-8 wins
  • 30 percent believed it was between 9-11 wins
  • 14 percent as 5 or fewer wins
  • 6 percent said 12 or more wins

At the time, I fell on the more optimistic end of the spectrum, saying I believed this team could win nine games at its peak. I have to say, my expectations have dropped since.

I worry about this team’s ability to score points. Granted, we got showed almost nothing in the preseason of Jared Goff and the running game. We also saw an extremely vanilla game plan from offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn.

But from the month of practices I saw at Allen Park, it’s hard for me to feel like this offense is going to come together. Here’s the tough reality: the Lions tried to find a legit No. 2 wide receiver on their roster and didn’t. They tried to find a competent backup tight end for T.J. Hockenson and Darren Fells and didn’t. They hoped to find some offensive line depth to make them feel confident in case of injury, and they didn’t. The only thing this offense can boast right now is a couple of certified great offensive lineman and a running game with potential, but no actual proof that it’s better. This offense would have to stay completely healthy to even boast a competitive roster and that’s just not going to happen. That’s not how the game works.

Of course, Goff is at the center of all this, and it’s no surprise that his training camp was underwhelming. He’s not as terrible as some are making him out to be, but he’s also not the quarterback that will put the team on his shoulders and will them to victory.

Unfortunately, that’s what the Lions may need him to do.

Defensively, I do think the Lions are going to surprise some people. They’ve got a lot of promise at each level of the defense, and we’ve seen the flashes. The secondary will have to take a huge leap for them to remain competitive, but the feeling of that room is entirely different from where it was last year, and they’ve got an actual defensive front who can help them out. But they are so, so, so, young. Youth comes with excitement, speed and loads of potential. But it also comes with growing pains and mistakes.

All that being said, if everything goes right in 2021, I still only see this as a seven-win team.

Your turn.


What is the Lions’ ceiling in 2021?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    5 or fewer wins
    (568 votes)
  • 52%
    6-8 wins
    (903 votes)
  • 13%
    9-11 wins
    (225 votes)
  • 1%
    12+ wins
    (28 votes)
1724 votes total Vote Now

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.