Matt Patricia begins his second season as head coach in the Motor City. Can the Detroit Lions escape the NFC North basement?
It’s a franchise that has teased many over the last few years. The Detroit Lions did reach the playoffs in both 2014 and 2016 and did finish with a 9-7 record in 2017. But last offseason, the franchise opted to replace head coach Jim Caldwell after he combined for a 36-28 regular season record over the previous four seasons.
The club hired former New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. He would suffer through an erratic debut season in the motor city. The Lions would go 6-10 and finished dead last in the NFC North.
It was an odd year for the team considering the team did manage a season sweep of the Green Bay Packers for the second straight year and also knocked off the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in Week 3.
This offseason, general manager Bob Quinn didn’t necessarily break the bank when it came to free agency — with the notable exception of former Patriots’ defensive end Trey Flowers, who inked a lucrative five-year, $90 million deal.
Other notable veteran additions include wide receiver Danny Amendola (Dolphins), tight end Jesse James (Steelers) and veteran defensive tackle Mike Daniels, the latter cut loose by the rival Green Bay Packers.
In arguably the NFL’s best division from top to bottom, the Lions are hoping to rise to the top after a year in the NFC North basement. What do the numbers say about their chances?