Five Bold Predictions for the Detroit Lions

Steve Seufert | May 19th, 2020

Matt Patricia seems like a lost cause as a head coach. Former star Damon “Snacks” Harrison has stated in the past that he couldn’t wait to just get out of Detroit because of Patricia. Darius Slay shared the same sentiment after he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. If it wasn’t for Patricia, I’d pick this team to take a huge next step.

I believe Matthew Stafford is one the most underrated quarterbacks in the league and he’s paired with one of the best receiving duos in all of football. If Patricia can put his ego aside for a season, this offense has a chance to be right there with the best, allowing them to compete with the best of the NFC North.

Make sure to check out all of our other team bold predictions here.

Kenny Golladay‘s 14 touchdowns lead the league in receiving touchdowns for a second straight season

The former Northern Illinois and MAC conference standout has really developed into the leader of this receiving core. He posted two straight 1,000 yard seasons and in 2019 he coupled that with leading the league in receiving touchdowns. Those aren’t even the most encouraging stats, as he also posted 18.3 yards per reception ranking in the top five. That brings his career average to 16.7 yards per reception ranking him in the top 75 of all-time.

The Lions have a receiving ace that can attack all three levels of the field in Golladay. He put up most of his numbers with poor quarterback play in 2019. If Golladay can get 16 full games out of Stafford and remain on the right side of touchdown variance, he should have no problem catapulting into the conversation as a top ten receiver in the NFL.

Matthew Stafford throws for 35 touchdowns for the first time since 2011 and wins comeback player of the year

Stafford was playing the best football of his career before he was injured after eight games into the 2019 season. He led the Lions to a 3-4-1 record, which isn’t very good on paper but he was doing it with a below-average team around him. They had playoff hopes if Stafford and Kerryon Johnson could have just remained healthy.

After watching Stafford toss 19 touchdowns in just eight games, I’m more than confident he can reach the milestone of throwing 35 touchdowns. As stated above, Marvin Jones Jr. and Golladay provide Stafford with one of the better receiving tandems in the league. You are also getting a healthy Johnson who posted over 4.5 yards per carry in a small sample after returning from injury. You’re also pairing Johnson with Georgia Bulldog standout D’Andre Swift who was selected in the second round of this years. Oh yeah, and year two of T.J. Hockenson anyone? Needless to say, Stafford has plenty of weapons to reach this goal.

T.J. Hockenson bounces back in a big way, catching more than 65 passes and six touchdowns

Tight end is notoriously known for being a slow developing position. If Hockenson came into the league and put up 1,000 yards, he would’ve been the exception and not the rule. It certainly didn’t help that he was hurt and only played in twelve games. You see a certain trend here. All of these guys I have listed were held back by their own injury or the injury of Stafford. Like I’ve said repeatedly, these guys are all due to improve just on injury variance alone. We know Hockenson can block and he should be on the field for nearly every snap. The opportunity is there and he should have no issues surpassing those numbers with a full season under his belt.

Frank Ragnow becomes an All-Pro for the first time in his career

Ragnow was everyone’s favorite sleeper in the 2018 NFL draft. He played tough and mauled defenders while playing in the SEC for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Ragnow hasn’t disappointed in the NFL and he’s coming off his best overall season. I like that they added two guards in the 2020 NFL draft, hoping to take some pressure off Ragnow in pass protection. He’s already the best run-blocking center in the entire league and I think he might be ready to take that next step.

Duron Harmon finishes top-five with five interceptions.

Harmon fell short of the five interception mark in both 2017 and 2018 by posting four apiece in both seasons. He has 10 total interceptions over the past three seasons and he’s reuniting with his old defensive coordinator. Harmon has the instincts and intangible things that put him in a position to make plays. Detroit fans are going to love the effort and leadership that Harmon will bring to the secondary.

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