2021 Detroit Lions Predictions with Odds to Win Super Bowl
If there is a bigger joke of a franchise in the National Football League, I’ve yet to find it. Sure, you can make all the Cleveland Browns’ jokes you want, but the Lions stink just as much. Detroit has had three wild-card appearances since 1999 and has lost all three of them. In fact, they have double the number of seasons with three or fewer wins, including the infamous 0-16 year back in 2008. The Lions are a team that makes you believe they have good pieces, but in reality, they really don’t. Thankfully, Matthew Stafford is on to a better team, and hopefully he can make a deep playoff run because he deserves it.
The Lions will open up their campaign on September 12 with a home date against San Francisco, before taking to the road for a game at Lambeau Field, in Green Bay. The Lions return home for Week 3 to take on the Ravens and then hit the road for two with stops at Chicago and Minnesota. I don’t know about you, but to me, that looks like 0-5. As of writing this, the Lions are afterthoughts in the futures market as they check in at +12500 to win the Super Bowl, +5000 to win the NFC and +2200 to win the NFC North.
Let’s take a look at what to expect from each unit heading into this season.
Doc’s Sports offers free NFL picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Key Players: Jared Goff, D’Andre Swift, TJ Hockenson
You have to feel a little sorry for Jared Goff despite being a pro athlete with millions in the bank. The guy went from playing college at California to being drafted by the Rams first overall and staying in the West Coast weather. He took the Rams to a Super Bowl, but his recent run of poor play got him shipped to the cold and dark weather that Siberia (Detroit) has to offer. If there is one place that is the complete opposite of a “turnaround” spot, it’s Detroit. Goff will have no weapons to work with outside of his tight end, Hockenson, so it’s going to be an extremely tough and miserable year for the Cali boy.
As for Swift, he was stuck in a battle with Kerryon Johnson last season to be the lead back. Neither of them performed well enough to take the lead role, but Swift showed much more talent and potential despite running for just 521 yards and eight touchdowns. With the backfield now officially his, look for Swift to tote the ball like a lead back and get into the double digits with touchdowns. I mean, someone has to score for the Lions, right?
As for Hockenson, he had a very good sophomore season last year, posting 67 catches for 723 yards and six touchdowns. He was one of the more reliable receivers that Stafford had to throw to last year. And with Goff now under center, the king of check downs should feed Hockenson a boatload of balls. If Hockenson can elevate his game to another level, he could be in the conversation for one of the better fantasy tight ends this year.
Defense & Special Teams
Key Players: Derrick Barnes, Trey Flowers
Defensively, the Lions were a dumpster fire. They ranked dead last in the NFL in points allowed, giving up a whopping 32.4 points per game. That put a lot of pressure on the offense to keep scoring points. And because of that, they were not in very many close ball games. The Lions were also among the worst units in stopping the run as they were gashed for 135 yards per game, which was fifth last in the league. How about through the air? Well, they weren’t much better there either as they gave up 284.9 passing yards per game, which was third-worst in the league, only better than Seattle and Atlanta. It’s safe to say that the only place to go for the Lions’ defense is up as they simply cannot be any worse than they were last season. As for special teams, the Bengals will rely on Randy Bullock to kick extra points and field goals. And while he has a strong leg and can make kicks from extended distances, he’s not the most consistent kicker in the league.
There is not much to like about this Lions’ team. They have very limited options on offense. And with Goff under center, they definitely downgraded from Stafford. Swift and Hockenson should be the two key guys on offense, but I don’t believe they are good enough to carry a team with a defense as bad as the Lions’ figures to be. It’s going to be a long season in Mo-Town, and a high draft pick is the likeliest scenario heading into next year’s draft.
Get all of this Weeks Free NFL picks
Get all of this Weeks Expert NFL Picks