The Lions are another team who moved quickly at the end of the season to make changes that they hope will help them going forward. After a 4-7 start to the season they finally replaced Matt Patricia whose time ran out after 3 losing seasons and a 13-29-1 record in charge of the team, with Dan Campbell.
His appointment there should bring grit and a more solid defense. It’s hard to have a worse defense than was put out last year with DVOA ranking them dead last and particularly bad against the pass. Their #3 overall pick from last year Jeff Okudah was meant to come in and solidify the secondary but was injured for a lot of the year, he’ll be hoping to step up in year two.
What Was Their Win Total Last Year?
They were expected to have a decent year last season, the roster was looking all right and if things clicked they were a larger odd punt for many to win the NFC North. However, they closed lined at 7 wins at sportsbooks and never looked like covering that number.
What Have They Done So Far This off-Season?
It’s been a busy off-season in motor city, they traded Matthew Stafford to the Rams with Jared Goff and multiple picks coming in their direction for the pleasure of taking on Goff’s contract. There won’t be many who would consider it an upgrade at QB, but it’s probably a transition year for the team and he’s an NFL starter level, if not at the elite level his wages would suggest.
The Stafford move suggests this is a transition year and they’ll start building for the future, they picked up the Rams 2022 and 2023 first round picks and their 3rd rounder for this year. It’s a decent haul and while they’re likely to be picks in the 20s it gives the Lions a chance to pick up young talent.
They lost Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones in free agency meaning the passing game will be much different from what we’ve seen over the last few season. They picked up a couple of receivers to fill roster slots with Breshad Perriman, Tyrell Williams and Kalif Raymond coming in. None of them fill me with confidence.
D’Andre Swift looked like his stock was on the rise after a debut year where he shared the load with Adrian Peterson for large swathes. He looked the better player for a lot of the year, and is good through the air from the backfield as well. I believe he’ll get a lot of the ground work now, but they also brought in Jamaal Williams from the Packers who’s a multi-purpose player, and Kerryon Johnson is still around too with the ability to run and catch. They’ve basically got three identical players with differing skill levels.
What Will Their Win Total Be Next Year?
It’s hard to think they’ll be lined at 7 wins again. The changeover in coaching and the fact they seem to be building for the future makes me think they’ll open at 6 or fewer wins. The Superbowl Odds for the team have them as rank outsiders with the same price as the Texans.
Will They Cover That Total?
If they open at 6 wins I think it will get bet down. They’ve got a tough schedule this year, they’re obviously the worst team in their division and the NFC North gets the displeasure of facing the AFC North and the NFC West. Those are two of the tougher divisions in the league. It gives them the 4th toughest strength of schedule and even the 17th game would be against the Broncos.
I’ve got to take under 6 if it even opens that high. I can’t see them winning more than 5 games. I’d struggle to take under 5 though. If it’s 6 take the under for your sports betting, if not, give it a miss for now.