3 Detroit Lions Bold Predictions for Week 1

Larry Rupp
Bold Predictions for the Detroit Lions in Week 1.
Bold Predictions for the Detroit Lions in Week 1. / Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions open up the 2020 NFL season by hosting the Chicago Bears in Week 1. As 3-point favorites, the Lions are expected to start the season off with a win to move to 1-0.

Week 1 is known for surprises and unexpected performances and this game could easily have a few of those. With that in mind, here are three bold predictions for the Lions against the Bears.

1. TJ Hockenson Has 5+ Receptions and Scores A Touchdown

Drafted No. 8 overall by the Detroit Lions back in 2019, Hockenson is developing into a great pass-catching tight end for the offense. Hockenson's best performance came in Week 1 last year when he caught six passes for 131 yards and scored a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals. He was unable to repeat that same kind of production for the rest of the season, but could easily start this season off with a similar performance. The Bears tied for the third-most receptions given up to tight ends in the NFL last season with a total of 96. Hockenson averaged almost five targets per game when playing with quarterback Matthew Stafford last season and has proven to be an underrated weapon within the offense. Hockenson totaled nine receptions in the two games against the Bears last season even without Stafford being the starting quarterback. Look for these two to bring back the chemistry they had before Stafford's injury and post some big numbers in Week 1.

2. D'Andre Swift's Debut is Underwhelming

Many expect D'Andre Swift to become the Lions' starting running back, but that may take some time. Without any preseason reps or a majority of training camp to develop, Swift has to learn the offense and prove he has what it takes to be a workhorse running back in the NFL. Going up against a Bears' defense that ranked No. 9 in rushing yards allowed per game last season (102.0), it will be hard to find open space in the Detroit backfield. Swift is also expected to split carries with Kerryon Johnson to start the season, which may not bode well for him to have a big game anytime soon. The Bears defense did give up an average of one rushing touchdown per game, but Kerryon Johnson has proven to be a red zone threat in the past and is likely to have the first opportunity once the Lions reach that part of the field. Detroit drafted Swift to be a focal point of the offense, but don't expect it to happen right away Week 1 against the Bears.

3. Jeff Okudah Gets an Interception in his First Game

As the third overall pick in the 2020 draft, Jeff Okudah was praised as one of the most pro-ready prospects in the draft and filled a position of immediate need for Detroit. Even though he will reportedly have limited time on the field, Okudah will be covering a weaker bunch of Chicago wide receivers beyond the likes of Allen Robinson. Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw ten interceptions last year and will look to pass a lot against a Lions defense that ranked last in the NFL in passing yards given up per game in 2019 (284.4). Okudah showed his knack for finding the ball in his final season at Ohio State when he had three interceptions on the season. If Trubisky tries to force some throws throughout the game, look for Okudah to grab his first career interception in his NFL debut and provide a much-needed spark to the Lions' defense.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.