Despite going 9-7 in 2016 and 2017, the Detroit Lions decided to part ways with former head coach Jim Caldwell to go in a new direction under current head coach Matt Patricia in 2018. Now, after taking a sizable step backwards to just six victories last season, the Lions are looking to make some significant improvements as they get set for the upcoming 2019 NFL regular season.
Whether the Lions fly high or have another uninspiring season in 2019 remains to be seen, but there are a bunch of things you need to know about the NFC North playoff hopefuls before they take to the gridiron for the upcoming regular season. Let’s find out what those things are right now.
Detroit Lions 2019 NFL Season Betting Guide
- ATS: 6-10 (W-L) / 9-7-0 (ATS) / 3-5-0 (Home) / 6-2-0 (Away) / 4-1-0 (Grass) / 5-6-0 (Turf)
- O/U: 6-10 (W-L) / 2-6-0 (Home) / 4-4-0 (Away) / 3-2-0 (Grass) / 3-8-0 (Turf) / 42.8 (Total)
Detroit underachieved in a big way under Matt Patricia in 2018, but they were equally bad at home (3-5 SU) and on the road (3-5 SU). The good news for NFL bettors that decided to back Detroit more often than not last season was the fact that the Lions went a solid 9-7 against the spread, while covering the chalk an impressive six times on the road. Detroit’s mediocrity on both sides of the ball was the main reason they went 6-10 against the Over/Under total while playing under the total six times at Ford Field.
- Total Yards: 327.2 / Rank 24
- Passing Yards: 223.5 / Rank 20
- Rushing Yards: 103.8 /Rank 23
- Points Scored: 20.2 / Rank 25
- Field Goal %: 87.5 / Rank 13
Detroit closed out the regular season ranked in the bottom third in every significant offensive category, including 25th in scoring (20.2 ppg). To address their many needs on the offensive side of the ball, the Lions re-signed running back Zack Zenner while adding former Steelers tight end Jesse James, former Dolphins wide receiver Danny Amendola, former Raiders offensive lineman Oday Aboushi and former Saints wide receiver and kick returner Tommylee Lewis in free agency. The Lions also added T.J. Hockenson with the eighth overall pick.
- Total Yards: 335 / Rank 10
- Passing Yards: 224.9 / Rank 8
- Rushing Yards: 110.1 /Rank 10
- Points Allowed: 22.5 / Rank 16
- Field Goal %: 67.9 / Rank 1
While the Lions ranked an encouraging eighth against pass and equally impressive 10th against the run, they also finished just 16th in points allowed (22.5 ppg). To address their needs on the defensive side of the ball, the Lions signed former Patriots end rusher Trey Flowers, former Seahawks linebacker Justin Coleman, former Buccaneers safety Andrew Adams and former Raiders cornerback Rashaan Melvin in free agency while also adding Hawaii linebacker Jahlani Tavai in the second round of the NFL Draft, Boston College safety Will Harris in the third round and Clemson defensive end Austin Bryant in the fourth round.
- Touchdowns: LeGarrette Blount (5)
- Rushing: Kerryon Johnson (641)
- Passing: Matthew Stafford (3777)
- Receiving: Kenny Golladay (1063)
- Sacks: Romeo Okwara (7.5)
- Interceptions: Quandre Diggs (3)
A year ago, Detroit was led in touchdown scoring by veteran running back LeGarrette Blount while former Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson showed a bunch of promise as a rookie by racking up a team-high 641 yards on the ground. Matthew Stafford passed for just short of 4,000 yards, but he topped the 300-yard passing mark just three times in 2018. Second-year wide receiver Kenny Golladay led the team in receiving yards while third-year defensive end Romeo Okwara led the team in sacks and defensive back Quandre Diggs led the team in interceptions in his fourth season.
I’m just going to get right to the point with my outlook on Detroit simply because it’s so damned bleak! Seriously…I’m thinking the Lions are in for a super difficult 2019 season that sees them get off to a woeful (winless?) start over their first six games. The Lions have non-division homes games against the Chargers and Chiefs in Weeks 2 and 4, not to mention their Week 3 non-division road date at Philadelphia.
After a bye in Week 5, the Lions are on the road taking on a Green Bay team that will be looking for revenge after their embarrassing 31-0 shutout loss in Week 17 last season. While the Lions do face what looks like an ‘easier’ schedule from that point on, they’ve still got some difficult matchups against Chicago (twice) and on the road at Minnesota. In closing, I’ll just say that, if the Lions don’t reach the six-win mark in 2019, I won’t be surprised!