With the virtual offseason program in the books and training camp approaching, the excitement for the 2020 NFL season is building.
We haven't seen the Lions on the practice field yet this year, but we can still make some predictions for the 2020 team based on offseason moves and goals.
What are your expectations for the Lions 2020 season?
I asked the Detroitlions.com crew, and here's what they had to say:
Tim Twentyman: Run game will improve
I expect the Lions to be a much better rushing football team in 2020. Head coach Matt Patricia likes the collection of offensive linemen the Lions have assembled via free agency, developed in-house or recently drafted, and he has high hopes for that unit, particularly when it comes to the run game.
The Lions have two very good backs in Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift, with good depth in the backfield behind them. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has been much more balanced on offense in previous stops than he was last year in his first season in Detroit. He wants to run the ball.
My expectation is for Detroit to have its best rushing totals in 2020 since Barry Sanders left football in the late 90s.
Mike O'Hara: Stafford's 2019 just a warmup for 2020
Matthew Stafford's performance in 2019 before he sustained a season-ending back injury in Game 8 – 2,499 yards, 19 TD passes, only five interceptions – was just a warmup for what we'll see in 2020.
Stafford was directing the offense in Darrell Bevell's first year as coordinator like a symphony conductor, and it was sweet music with everyone in rhythm and on key.
With what's been added in the offseason – chiefly rookie running back D'Andre Swift and help on the offensive line – the 2020 Lions should have the most consistent and explosive attack since Barry Sanders, Herman Moore, Brett Perriman and their pals shredded defenses.
With a lot of playmakers for Stafford to choose from, it should be a fun offense to watch – unless you are a defensive coordinator.
Tori Petry: The Lions will have a winning season
A winning season would be a far cry from the 3-12-1 record the Lions finished with in 2019, but to me, it's the baseline expectation for 2020. A record above .500 should at minimum be what we anticipate from a team that picked up so many defensive pieces through the offseason and whose starting QB is returning to an offense he was playing at such a high level in before he was injured last season.
Editor's Pick: Defense will improve
After finishing 31st in the league in yards allowed per game (400.4) and 26th in points allowed per game (26.4) in 2019, it's reasonable to expect the Lions to show improvement in both of those categories, especially considering the amount of resources the team put into improving the defense this offseason.