May 7, 2019 | Posted in: Publishing

The Detroit Lions enter this season at a crossroads. Matthew Stafford enters his eleventh season with zero career playoff wins. Is this Stafford’s last year in the NFL?

Matthew Stafford’s wife has been in and out of the hospital suffering from a brain tumor. Stafford is under fire for his lack of playoff performances during his first ten seasons in the Motor City. Head coach Matt Patricia enters his second season at the helm and may not be the Grand Master everyone hopes after serving under Bill Belichick. 2019 NFL Draft pick T.J. Hockenson, selected eight overall this past April, may not offer the instant impact the Lions need to compete with Green Bay, Minnesota, and Chicago in the NFC North.

I want to be optimistic for the Lions as no city needs a title more than Detroit. Cleveland’s title in 2016, in the NBA, moved the city of Detroit to the top of the list for an embattled fan base in all four sports. Detroit’s 2004 title in the NBA was electric and unexpected, yet times were different in America because this was before the global economic meltdown in 2008. No city has suffered more from the economic woes from the economic implosion 11 years ago than Detroit. Detroit could so use a title. Getting swept in 2012 in the World Series by another improbable San Francisco Giants team only added to the Most Embattled Sports Fans, fans of Detroit sports through and through.

Lion’s open 2019 with a tough schedule yet maybe a win

A road game out west begins the Lions 2019 campaign, facing the Arizona Cardinals and first-round draft pick Kyler Murray. The game is currently listed as a pick-em with over/under of 49. Eastern time zone teams traveling out west put the Lions at a further disadvantage and playing on the road in the NFL is a challenge. Arizona’s run defense should be atrocious again in 2019, perhaps a fully healthy Kerryon Johnson, better play on the offensive line, and a big game from either Kenny Golladay or Marvin Jones Jr.

Week 3 of the 2019 NFL Season finds the Detroit Lions hosting the Kansas City Chiefs, 2019 AFC favorites. Could the schedule be more brutal for the Lions to open their season? Week 4, the Lions travel to Green Bay. Week 5, the Lions host the Vikings. The Lions could open the season 1-4.

Week 2 of the 2019 NFL Season finds the Lions in their home opener against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Lions have a scheduling advantage as a west coast team traveling to the east coast in a road NFL game favors the home team. However, the Chargers went 12-4 last year and look to be every bit as competitive in 2019 with future Hall of Fame quarterback Phillip Rivers entering his age 38 season. Utilizing the 2019 NFL Draft, the Chargers improved their defense.

Can Kerryon Johnson stay healthy?

The rookie out of Auburn was brilliant times in 2018. However, a knee injury November 18, 2018, sidelined Johnson for a month and he was placed on season-ending injured reserve December 19th, 2018, with the Lions firmly out of the NFC playoff picture. Johnson’s slow start was compounded by poor coaching decisions to split carries with LeGarrette Blount. In Week 3, Detroit’s win at home against New England 26-10, Johnson rushed 16 times for 101 yards becoming the first Lion to rush for 100 yards in a game since 2013. As late as Week 5, a 31-23 win at home against division rival Green Bay, Johnson rushed 12 times for 70 yards while Blount rushed 12 times for 22 yards. Adjustments were made during the Week 6 bye involving personnel grouping changes and play calling.

Kerryon Johnson’s breakout was in Week 7 last season resulting in wise fantasy owners of Johnson profiting. Johnson rushed 19 times for 158 yards and added 21 yards on two receptions. The Lions triumph, 32-21, moved the Lion to 3-3 and the season. They owned statement wins against New England and Green Bay. There was a potential playoff vibe in the Motor City.

Detroit’s Week 8 loss to visiting Seattle, 28-14, begins Detroit’s slide out of the postseason picture. Johnson was held to eight carries as Stafford was forced into throwing situations yet the rookie nabbed six passes for 69 yards and provided the only cheers from the crowd offensively in the first half. Minnesota’s domination of the Lions Week 9, 24-9, sees Johnson netting 44 yards from scrimmage on 15 touches. Detroit’s 34-22 at Chicago Week 10 sees Johnson score two touchdowns on 89 scrimmage yards.

Week 11, against Carolina, Johnson was on his way to a big game before his late third-quarter injury, effectively ending his season. Johnson with 17 touches resulting in 97 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. The Lions won the game 20-19 yet the offense wasn’t the same without Johnson the rest of the season and the Lions would finish 2-4 in their next six games and a 6-10 overall record.

Johnson healthy and better offensive play (Hockenson is a Stud blocker) in 2019 resulting in 1,200 yards from scrimmage and double-digit touchdowns. Johnson tops the list on my fifth/sixth round RB, the second RB I will add to my fantasy roster this August. Fantasy anyone? Do you need some Fantasy Football Content?

Lions to win it all

Lions win Superbowl, .25 Unit (80-1). Lions win NFC Championship, .25 Unit (60-1). Lions win NFC North .25 Unit, (15-1). Finally, .25 Unit Over 6.5 wins (-110). It’s a $3,800 payout. And it’s gambling yo and it’s fun to make a wager with a friend and spend the season cheering for the Lions. Come on America, the Lions need all the fans they can get.