The Detroit Lions have long been at the foot of the NFC North. While the Packers and Bears have storied histories and the Vikings have tales of heart-break, the Lions have failure in their history. They haven’t made a Super Bowl since the merger, with their last NFL championship coming in 1957. They haven’t won the NFC North, their last divisional title came in 1993, and their last playoff win was in January 1992. With such a poor history the team and fans are desperate for success. While there have been bright spots and some amazing players, this is a franchise that is crying out for a new direction. They hired Matt Patricia from the New England Patriots to be their head coach coming into the 2018 season, but can you take over the team and lead them to glory?
*All stats correct at time of writing
The Detroit Lions have a 76 overall rating in Madden 19. It’s not a strong rating, with only four teams rated the same or lower. However, there are bright spots to the Lions team. The offense receives an 81 rating, which puts them above a good number of teams, and thanks to Matthew Stafford’s presence they can play better than that if you master your playbook and reads. Defensively Detroit aren’t good. They get a 77 defensive rating which is only better than two teams in Madden 19.
Damon Harrison, Defensive Tackle (OVR 94)
Development Trait: Superstar
Contract: 3 years/$26.04 million
2018 Cap Hit: $7.47 million
Best Stats: Block Shedding (96), Impact Block (95), Tackle (94), Play Recognition (94), Awareness (94), Strength (93), Finesse Moves (72)
Damon Harrison went undrafted in 2012 but soon latched on with the New York Jets. By 2013 he was a starter for them at nose tackle and was soon regarded as the best run-stopping defensive lineman in the league. In 2016 he joined the giants as a free agent and bought his considerable talents to their defense, quickly becoming the darling of statistics companies like Pro Football Focus for his run-stuffing ability. He came to Detroit via trade before the deadline in 2018 and immediately improved the middle of their defense too.
Darius Slay Jr, Cornerback (OVR 88)
Development Trait: Star
Contract: 3 years/$18.7 million
2018 Cap Hit: $5.64 million
Best Stats: Speed (94), Acceleration (93), Agility (93), Zone Coverage (89), Play Recognition (88), Man Coverage (87)
The Lions drafted Darius Slay in the second round of the 2013 draft. In his rookie year Slay was heavily targeted by opposing quarterbacks but showed enough promise to become a starter in his second year. Slay’s potential was evident but he took some time to produce at the highest level. However, in 2017 he had a breakout season, putting up a league-high 8 interceptions and making the Pro Bowl for the first time as well as being named an All-Pro. Coming into 2018 he is a cornerstone of the Lions roster and has become a player that opposing teams try their best to avoid.
Marvin Jones Jr, Wide Receiver (OVR 87)
Development Trait: Quick
Contract: 3 years/$23.08 million
2018 Cap Hit: $6.81 million
Best Stats: Spectacular Catch (95), Jumping (91), Speed (90), Acceleration (90), Deep Route (90), Agility (90), Catching In Traffic (88), Catching (87)
Marvin Jones came into the NFL as a fifth-round pick for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012. As a rookie he saw little action, making just 18 catches, but in 2013 he came to prominence with 51 catches and a remarkable 10 touchdowns. Injury sidelined him for the whole of 2014, but when he came back in 2015 he made 65 catches for 816 yards. In 2016 he moved to Detroit as a free agent and flourished thanks to an expanded role. He had his first 1,000+ yard season in 2017 and comes into the 2018 season with 2,031 yards and 13 touchdowns in two years with the Lions.
Matthew Stafford, Quarterback (OVR 83)
Development Trait: Star
Contract: 5 years/$99.8 million
2018 Cap Hit: $18.6 million
Best Stats: Throw Power (98), Play Action (86), Short Accuracy (86), Throw On Run (83), Throw Under Pressure (81)
Matthew Stafford was Detroit’s reward for their 0-16 season as they took him with the first overall selection in the 2009 draft. He played just 13 games in his first two years in the NFL, but in 2011 Stafford exploded with 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns. Both are career-highs, but Stafford has been a very consisted passer for the Lions, not missing a game since the start of the 2011 season and averaging 4,465 yards and 27 touchdowns a year, which is production many teams would love to have. At the age of 30 Stafford is now an established NFL quarterback and is regarded by many to be capable of leading a team to the Super Bowl if the supporting talent is there.
Full Roster & Depth Chart
|QB||OVR||Speed||Throw Power||Short Accuracy||Medium Accuracy||Deep Accuracy||Throw Under Pressure||Play Action|
|FB||OVR||Speed||Strength||Carrying||Pass Block||Run Block||Lead Block||Impact Block|
|WR||OVR||Speed||Agility||Catching||Short Route||Medium Route||Deep Route||Catch In Traffic||Spectacular Catch||Release||Jumping|
|Marvin Jones Jr||87||90||90||87||81||88||90||88||95||84||91|
|TE||OVR||Speed||Agility||Catching||Short Route||Medium Route||Deep Route||Run Block|
|OL||OVR||Speed||Strength||Pass Block||Run Block||Lead Block||Impact Block|
|DE||OVR||Speed||Agility||Power Moves||Finesse Moves||Block Shedding|
|Ricky Jean Francois||73||62||77||75||55||81|
|Kerry Hyder Jr||72||75||73||69||81||72|
|DT||OVR||Speed||Strength||Power Moves||Finesse Moves||Block Shedding||Impact Block|
|Damon Harrison Sr||94||62||93||83||72||96||95|
|OLB||OVR||Speed||Agility||Tackle||Hit Power||Play Recognition||Pursuit||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|MLB||OVR||Speed||Agility||Tackle||Hit Power||Play Recognition||Pursuit||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|CB||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Agility||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage||Press|
|Darius Slay Jr||88||94||93||93||87||89||84|
|Marcus Cooper Sr||74||89||88||83||73||74||78|
|FS||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Agility||Play Recognition||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|Tracy Walker III||73||89||91||81||69||75||75|
|SS||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Tackle||Play Recognition||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|ST||OVR||Kick Power||Kick Accuracy|
|Matt Prater (K)||80||94||87|
|Sam Martin (P)||78||96||83|
The Lions roster does have talent, but there also a number of holes you’ll need to fill in Franchise Mode. With Matthew Stafford (98 throw power, 86 short accuracy) under center the Lions have the most important piece of the puzzle, and around him are the weapons to create a deadly passing game. Marvin Jones (95 spectacular catch, 91 jumping) and Kenny Golladay (91 spectacular catch, 90 speed) are talented receivers that can win against man coverage. Rookie Kerryon Johnson (90 carrying, 88 speed) leads the way at running back and is supported by LeGarrette Blount (91 trucking, 91 acceleration) and Theo Riddick (94 agility, 90 juke move) who can provide brute force and a threat in the passing game.
The Lions have invested along the offensive line in recent years, with Frank Ragnow (92 strength, 85 impact block) their most recent first-round pick while Taylor Decker (90 strength, 82 pass block) handles the blindside blocking well.
Defensively the Lions are less impressive. They have nice players on the defensive line such as the monstrous Damon Harrison (96 block shedding, 95 impact block) and fellow defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (86 impact block, 86 strength) as well as edge threat Ezekiel Ansah (89 acceleration, 88 power moves), but they lack depth up front and then come in short at linebacker, though Jarrad Davis (90 acceleration, 87 hit power) is a quality young player. Darius Slay (94 speed, 89 zone coverage) leads the secondary at cornerback and has help at safety from Glover Quin (90 acceleration, 79 zone coverage) and Quandre Diggs (87 acceleration, 80 zone coverage).
Detroit Lions Playbook – Offense
I Form Pro
I Form Slot
I Form Twin TE
Strong I Pro
Strong I Slot Flex
Strong I Y Off
Weak I Pro
Singleback Ace Pair
Singleback Ace U Off
Singleback Bunch Base
Singleback Dice Slot
Singleback Wing Pair
Singleback Wing Slot
Singleback Y Off Trips
Pistol Doubles Y Off
Pistol Open Slot
Pistol Strong Slot Open
Pistol Wing Flex
Shotgun Bunch Wide
Shotgun Double Y Flex Off Wk
Shotgun Doubles HB Wk
Shotgun Doubles Y Off
Shotgun Doubles Y Off Wk
Shotgun Eagle H Tight
Shotgun Empty Base Flex
Shotgun Empty Y-Flex
Shotgun Split Flex
Shotgun Spread Y-Slot Wk
Shotgun Stack Y Off Wk
Shotgun Trips TE Offset
Shotgun Trips Y-Flex
Shotgun Y Off Trips Wk
The Detroit Lions offensive playbook is not as spectacular as you may hope. There is a nice balance between I formation that will let you pound the rock when you need to, along with a lot more Pistol formations that you normally get, but this comes at the expense of Singleback formations. You lack money formations like Singleback Deuce Close, and while the Shotgun set is fairly deep and does have 3 empty formations to spread the ball around, you don’t have formations like Shotgun Trio. Trips Y-Flex is a good one you will want to familiarize yourself with, but if you aren’t comfortable with doubles formations then you may want to use a different playbook for the Lions.
Detroit Lions Playbook – Defense
Nickel 3-3-5 Wide
Nickel 3-3-5 Odd
Nickel 2-4-5 Double A Gap
Big Nickel Over G
Quarter 3 Deep
Goal Line Defense 5-3-3
Goal Line Defense 5-4-2
The Lions defensive playbook is very nice. It is one of just a handful of “multiple” defensive playbooks, meaning you can switch between 3-4 and 4-3 fronts all game. This requires some careful personnel management, but it makes your defense much harder to read for an opponent. Along with those changing fronts you get a good selection of nickel packages, including the rare Nickel 3-3-5 Odd which will confuse a lot of opponents.
Looking for the best rookies?
Looking for the best teams in Madden 19?
Want to know which playbooks to use?
Looking for the best players in Madden 19?
Looking for the fastest players in Madden 19?
Looking for tall players?
Looking to relocate to a new city?
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?