Matt Patricia was fired midway through the 2020 Detroit Lions season. The team cut ties with him not long after falling apart to the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving. Darrell Bevell will coach the team for the rest of 2020, but it’s expected the Lions will go after a different coach this offseason.
The Lions have many options to consider, including University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh. The Lions have an ugly defense and a mostly nonexistent running game, so Bevell or whoever coaches the team in 2021 will have plenty of work to manage.
The Lions had a +50000 line to win Super Bowl LV at the start of December, but the Lions won’t be worthy of Super Bowl bets anytime soon. Here are a few points showing how the team isn’t going to be competitive for a while.
A Poor Defense
The Detroit Lions give up close to thirty points per game on average. This value is one of the worst totals in the league. The team has one of the weakest rushing defenses in the game, as they give up more than 130 yards on average. The team has allowed twenty rushing touchdowns in twelve games.
A season-ending injury to rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah won’t help things all that much. Okudah was one of the team’s leaders on defense with close to fifty tackles. Jamie Collins Sr. and Tracy Walker are the team’s leaders in tackles, but their tackles are mostly from the defensive line struggling to stop the running game.
There’s no telling how much time Matthew Stafford has left in the league. The first-overall pick from 2009 has close to 3,300 passing yards in twelve games. He is one of the most active quarterbacks in the league, but there are worries about how long he has left in his career.
𝐭𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐚𝐬 𝐧𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐬 pic.twitter.com/2SaoL9cewV
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 14, 2020
The Lions will need to surround Stafford with quality weapons if he’s going to stick around and become successful once again. Marvin Jones Jr. and T.J. Hockenson are highly talented, but the team will need a replacement if Kenny Golladay leaves this season on the free-agent market.
Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle will likely be available when the Lions draft in the first round this April, so there’s a chance he could be a replacement.
A Light Running Game
The Lions haven’t been capable of getting a quality running game going since Barry Sanders’ retirement. The Lions have one of the league’s least-productive running games, averaging about ninety yards a game. Adrian Peterson has about 500 rushing yards in twelve games, a far cry from his glory days at the Minnesota Vikings.
He is getting up there in age, and there’s uncertainty over whether D’Andre Swift is a worthwhile running back for the team’s future. The Lions will need help in figuring out the identity of its running game, which seems to be a concern.
Should You Bet on the Lions?
The Detroit Lions are too weak of a team for your Super Bowl bets. The team needs to look at where it is going and how it will support Matthew Stafford if it wants to succeed. The need to find a new coach is also a concern, as the odds of the Lions sticking with their interim coach for 2021 are unlikely.
*Odds correct at time of writing.
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Image by: Keith Allison