Stats Show Why ‘Hard Knocks’ May Not Mean Success for Lions

D'Andre Swift

Getty D'Andre Swift hangs his head after a tough loss by the Lions.

The Detroit Lions will be set to star on Hard Knocks in the coming days, but the elephant in the room continues to be what type of year the team will have once the season kicks off.

Many think the Lions will have a big turnaround on the field, but others aren’t sure that the team will have nearly as good a season as some have believed.

Perhaps some clues exist in the form of the show, and the performance of the teams who have been featured. How many teams have had success after appearing on Hard Knocks? As a recent study showed, the list isn’t very long at all.

Writer Mark Keast of took a historical look at some of the other teams to appear on the show and what happened to them the next season. As he found, there weren’t a ton of major successes on the field after the show.

As Keast explained, average could be the best word to describe performances of teams appearing on Hard Knocks given few have achieved postseason success and none have won a title. Most hover around the .500 mark overall, and many don’t crack the playoffs in the first place.

“The average pre-season wins/losses record for “Hard Knocks”-featured teams is 2-2, while the average regular season wins/losses record is 8-8 (both pre-season and regular season rounded to the nearest whole number). Over-Under wins record off pre-season odds is 8-8-1, while the percentage of teams that made the playoffs was an alarming 41.2%. The percentage of teams that made the divisional round was just 17.6%. The number of Super Bowl wins? Zero,” he wrote.

Naturally, that doesn’t paint a great picture of success for the Lions on the show, which would be the bad news. Perhaps the best news for Detroit is that barring a one or two win season, things could hardly be worse than they were in 2021, when the team suffered a 3-13-1 record.

Generally speaking, the Lions have a chance to be better overall than many might think before a new season.

‘Hard Knocks’ Does Offer Lions Success Stories

While there might not seem like much hope on the outside, there have been teams that have performed well after being on the show.

In the last 10 years, three teams have gone on to successful seasons in terms of finishing with solid record and making the postseason.

Most recently, the 2021 Dallas Cowboys went 12-5 after appearing on Hard Knocks. While the team lost in the postseason, they did manage to win the NFC East and have a successful year. Such a season would represent a major success for the Lions all things considered given their dismal history on the field.

Additionally, the 2010 New York Jets and 2013 Cincinnati Bengals also appeared on the show. Both those teams went 11-5, with the Jets losing in the AFC Championship while Cincinnati lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. The 2015 Houston Texans went 9-7 and lost in the Wild Card round, as well.

As Keast says in the piece, “there’s nowhere to go but up” for a Lions team that has suffered through miserable records before. It’s not as if the team won’t have a chance or capability to buck the trend this year.

Lions Will Be Entertaining for ‘Hard Knocks’

As the show gets going, the Lions figure to be good entertainment no matter what happens to them on the field this coming year.

No other teams in the league were capable of generating nearly as much excitement and media hype as the Lions this year, especially given Campbell’s presence. Folks have been wanting to get a closer look at Campbell for a while, and being on Hard Knocks would allow the kind of behind-the-scenes glimpse at the team. Now, folks will get to see what makes the Lions tick. Plenty of players could also play a starring role.

Detroit is not typically a team that generates much NFL press, but being on Hard Knocks could get them to the point where they can use the publicity as momentum for the future. Just a few years ago, the Cleveland Browns managed to leverage their situation on the show and use it as a building point for the future. Detroit could manage to do the same thing.

The hope for many is that the Lions show up well on Hard Knocks and impress people while there. That has to be the top goal for the team first. The results this season in terms of wins and losses will take care of themselves.

READ NEXT: ESPN Disses Lions Offensive Line Before 2022

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