It’s a cliche as old as time, but fans and bettors are going to need a program to recognize the Detroit Lions’ 2021 roster.
And yet, despite massive offseason turnover, the result will quite likely be the same as it has been for the previous three seasons, with the Lions far more likely to suffer double-digit losses than they are to end their stretch of non-playoff seasons.
Notable Draft Picks
OT Penei Sewell, DT Levi Onwuzurike, DT Alim McNeill, CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, LB Derrick Barnes
QB Matthew Stafford, RB Adrian Peterson, RB Kerryon Johnson, WR Kenny Golladay, WR Marvin Jones, WR Danny Amendola, TE Jesse James, G Joe Dahl, G Oday Aboushi, C Russell Bodine, DE Everson Griffen, DT Danny Shelton, LB Jarrad Davis, LB Christian Jones, LB Reggie Ragland, CB Desmond Trufant, CB Justin Coleman, CB Darryl Roberts, S Duron Harmon, K Matt Prater, KR Jamal Agnew
Detroit Lions Acquisitions and Moves
This offence will look completely different from the one the Lions trotted out last year, with the starting quarterback, the No. 2 and 3 running backs and the top two wide receivers all changing addresses in the offseason. Jared Goff will be looking to turn things around in Detroit after throwing just 42 TD passes against 29 INTs in his final two seasons with the Rams.
The Lions will hand over the backfield to D’Andre Swift, who has battled injuries but looks like a high-level talent when healthy. And Detroit did well to cut ties with the aging Adrian Peterson and inconsistent Kerryon Johnson and replace them with former Green Bay backup Jamaal Williams, who has proven capable of shouldering the bulk of the load when needed.
Goff’s receiving corps could be a major weak spot this season. Tyrell Williams is the No. 1 option by default, with UCLA rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown moving up to No. 2 after the Lions cut Breshad Perriman. Look for third-year tight end T.J. Hockenson to get peppered with targets as the only reliable pass-catching option to open the season.
Suffice to say, the Lions’ defence is probably going to spend more time on the field than most – and that’s going to be a major impediment to their quest for a winning record. Detroit had one of the worst run defences in football last season, and not even the addition of draft picks Alim McNeill and Levi Onwuzurike is going to provide a quick fix there.
The linebacking corps also has holes, though the addition of Alex Anzalone should stem the bleeding a little in that regard. Detroit also didn’t do anything to bolster its questionable safety corps, leaving the pass rush as its only real strength on the defensive side of the ball.
Detroit Lions 2021 NFL Schedule
As if things weren’t tough enough for the rebuilding Lions, they’ve also been saddled with what should be a challenging schedule from start to finish.
Chicago has drawn the brutal NFC West this year, with home games against San Francisco and Arizona and road dates with the Seahawks and Rams (as Goff returns to L.A. to face his former team in Week 7). The Lions also have difficult road tests at Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Denver.
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 12 vs. San Francisco 49ers, 1 p.m.
Week 2: Monday, Sept. 20 @ Green Bay Packers, 8:15 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 26 vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 3 @ Chicago Bears, 1 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 10 @ Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 17 vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 24 @ Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 31 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m.
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 14 @ Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 21 @ Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m.
Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 25 vs. Chicago Bears, 12:30 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 5 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 12 @ Denver Broncos, 4:05 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 19 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 26 @ Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 2 @ Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m.
Week 18: Sunday, Jan. 9 vs. Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m.
Detroit Lions NFL Betting Odds
Are you feeling lucky? The Lions are whopping +1900 longshots to capture the division title in 2021, and own the second-worst odds of any team to win the Super Bowl at +18000.
Detroit’s win total for the season is a dismal 5, with the Under at -120 and the Over at +100. And as you might expect, the Lions are installed at -1000 to miss the playoffs, and +620 to end their four-year postseason drought.
Detroit Lions 2021 Season Prediction
There’s not much to say about the Lions. They’re weak all over the place, and will be spending the majority of their season playing from behind.
The only real question here is whether the Lions will win more than five games – and we just don’t see it. The U5 looks like the best play for what will be a long and difficult season for Detroit football fans.