The Detroit Lions have taken some definite steps forward this offseason, but at this point in time, the question seems to center around if those steps can lead to an increase in wins.
So far, plenty of people are going on record of saying that they think the Lions can have a much better season in 2022 than they have in a long time, but a former member of the Lions has taken that approach to the next level and has his eyes set on a massive turnaround this year.
The latest Lions news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lions newsletter here!
Going down the list of games, former safety and Pro Bowler Glover Quin believes the Lions can be in play to have an elite record this coming season and contend for the playoffs. Joining a show on Bleav, Quin explained why he thought the Lions could have such a season, and even went down the schedule and revealed that the team could find themselves with an eye-popping win total if things break right.
“I’m not guaranteeing that the Lions are going to go 14-3. I don’t want my Lions fans to jump on me if we don’t, but if the Lions play well (and) healthy, they should definitely have a nine, 10, 11 win season and hopefully find themselves in the playoffs,” he said. “We can say that, and that’s exactly what I was hoping we would find in this exercise. No, we’re not guaranteeing 14 wins for the Lions, but you see that it’s possible now and the fact that it’s possible just speaks to how far this Detroit Lions team has come from last year right? I mean you look at last year, they played well in a lot of games. Lost some late in the game either offensively or defensively but they were in those games late and so when you add a couple pieces on the defensive side, you add Aidan Hutchinson, you add Jameson (Williams) on the offensive side, you get another year into the system. Another year with coach (Dan) Campbell, another year with coach Aaron Glenn, those guys were right there in a lot of games last year. You hope having another year of experience, having another year in the system, you hope they could win some of those close games.”
As for why, Quin beleives the Lions lost a lot of closer games that could have gone the other way, even amid a 3-13-1 season. That, he believes, could quickly turn around for 2022.
“I tell people all the time, the difference in these records are really a couple plays. The difference in 9-7 and 7-9 is really about two or three plays and it’s the same way the difference in 6-10 and 10-6 is really about four or five plays throughout the course of the season,” he explained. “They play 17 games now, so it’s just that close, you know?”
As a result, Quin hopes the Lions can turn things around in a big way if their luck manages to even out. He believes the team will be hungry to do just that.
“Hopefully some of those close games that they had last year, they can come out on the other end, the other side of those games this year with the pieces that they’ve added and the the excitement going into this season,” he said. “I think these guys are going to be hungry. I think coach Campbell is going to lead those guys, coach Aaron (Glenn’s) going to lead those guys and hopefully, they can get off to a good start and keep that momentum rolling.”
While Quin may not be predicting 14-3 exactly, he still seems to think that number is indicative of what the Lions could be if things go right this coming season. Obviously, that’s a big hope for the fans as well, and would represent just about the best possible scenario. If the Lions managed to win 12 or more games, it would represent the best record for the team since an 11-5 2014 season.
How Lions’ 2022 Schedule Could Be Advantageous
Detroit’s slate is very interesting this coming season indeed, and if the Lions can build some momentum, it could be easy to see how the team could get things going and generate some positivity. The team will play at home three out of the first four weeks of the season. Detroit starts with Philadelphia and Washington at home before hitting the road to take on a Minnesota team they narrowly lost to on the road in 2021. Then, they come back home to take on a drastically changed Seattle team that has seen some major reconstruction this offseason. The Commanders aren’t trending toward being one of the best teams in the league, and whether the Eagles look as good as they did at times in 2021 is anyone’s guess. That’s a very friendly way to start the year for Detroit.
Fans may roll their eyes, but there is a good shot for the Lions to start out 3-1, or at the very least 2-2 with this home-friendly setup. That could prime them for a solid finish to the year after a tough middle of the slate plays out.
In terms of the finish, this year, providing Detroit doesn’t flail early, there is a chance the Lions could use a late post-Thanksgiving push to perhaps get themselves into playoff contention. From Week 13-17, the Lions will play teams that on paper, they should have a good chance at beating prior to finishing at Lambeau Field. Over that stretch, their toughest games could well be against either Minnesota at home or the New York Jets on the road. That sets Detroit up for either an epic fail to finish a lost season of tanking, or a legendary push to write an improbable playoff story.
Regardless, right now, this finish is looking as if it could be mighty favorable for the Lions and play a determining factor in how the 2022 season plays out. It could be the reason for some record optimism some folks seem to have.
Lions’ Improved Roster May Help Turnaround
Quin is right to say that the improved roster could play a role in more wins. Detroit has improved greatly on defense up to this point of the offseason, with some of their heaviest lifting coming on that side of the ball. Not only did the Lions add names like Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Paschal, but they drafted underrated players like Kerby Joseph, Malcolm Rodriguez and James Houston, any of whom could fight for a role. In free agency, Detroit added linebackers Chris Board and Jarrad Davis, cornerback Mike Hughes and safety DeShon Elliot.
Offensively, the Lions added players with upside such as DJ Chark, Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond. They also managed to secure dynamic wideout Jameson Williams in the draft and added intriguing tight end James Mitchell later on in the fifth-round as well. This, combined with health from Jared Goff, T.J. Hockenson, D’Andre Swift and the offensive line could have the Lions in great shape to chase down a big rebound season on the field.
Quin is right to proclaim that with health, the Lions could be in better shape to do more damage on the field.
READ NEXT: Lions Roster Gets Even Younger for 2022