The Detroit Lions are charting a course toward a brand new season on the field, and as the year gets set to begin, there’s a new chance to think about what will play out.
With some hype, many are expecting the Lions to have a much improved season on the field, and it isn’t hard to see how that will be the case this coming year.
What are some bold predictions about how the season will go? Here’s a look at picking out some ideas about what will play out this season on the field once the games get going.
Jared Goff Cements Status as Lions’ QB
Many folks are merely dreaming of a time when the Lions can move on from Jared Goff, but they might have to wait a while, especially if Goff shows up and plays well during 2022.
Coming off a hot camp, armed with more playmakers that suit his abilities and a new offense that could be tailored to him better, Goff is going to cement the fact that he is Detroit’s quarterback for now and the near future with his play this year. It will include potentially some career highs in stats as well, something pundits also agree with.
This wouldn’t mean the Lions can’t draft a quarterback to develop in 2023 and beyond, of course, but Goff isn’t going to leave people wondering if he should be replaced as he did at times in 2021. It will be a solid year for the signal caller.
The Lions’ Defense Collects 45 Sacks
It isn’t hard to see how improved the team is in the defensive trenches, and it will pay off in a big way to start the 2022 season. This year, the Lions are going to raise their sack total dramatically.
If Aidan Hutchinson can manage 10 sacks as a rookie and the rest of the roster charts a similar course to a year ago when they had 30 sacks as a team, that’s 40 sacks. Getting five more sacks from somewhere else doesn’t seem inconceivable in Detroit’s new attack-friendly scheme.
Lions fans have long waited for a fearsome pass rush, and this year, they’ll finally see the makings of one play out.
Detroit Sees 3 New Pro Bowlers Develop
Typically, the Lions don’t see All-Pro or Pro Bowl talents litter their roster. This is the year that will finally turn around, however, and some new names will get the call at the end of the season.
Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown seems motivated to prove his hot finish to 2021 was no fluke, and he will get that done and earn a Pro Bowl nod. Joining him will be running back D’Andre Swift, who looks healthy and ready to make a huge impact. Both will be a big reason Detroit’s offense shines
On defense, it’s not hard to see that Alim McNeill looks primed to dominate in the middle. He will get on radars with a big season and crack his first Pro Bowl. Others may make the game, of course, but these three players will be first timers for the Lions.
The Lions Finish With a Winning Divisional Record
The NFC North has long been one of the toughest divisions in football, but things are turning around a bit. Green Bay’s roster is aging, and while there has been a rebuild in Detroit, new rebuilds will be occurring in Chicago and Minnesota.
Detroit was in every divisional game they played in 2021, even when they wilted in the second half against the Packers early in the season. This year, the Lions will go 4-2 in the division, only dropping road games in Minnesota and Green Bay.
While that record may not help them run the table for the division, the Lions can certainly hang their hat on being able to measure up against their closest competition this year. That will give them hope for contention in the future.
The Lions Win 7 Games, But Miss the Playoffs
Considering Detroit won just three games a year ago, a four win improvement would be quite dramatic progress for the team and a young roster that is still developing a winning mindset.
While some folks judge success only by the team participating in the playoffs or winning while there, it’s clear the Lions aren’t completely there yet. They could be by season’s end if things go well, of course, but it’s important to temper expectations a bit. Things are still developing and a foundation is being set.
Detroit will be in the hunt much of the second-half of the season, and given where the team has been in the recent past, that should be good enough for 2022. As things develop in 2023 and beyond, the team can chase bigger and better postseason goals.