The Detroit Lions have designs on being a much better team in the 2022 season, and if that’s to be the case, they will have to compete within their division in a bigger way.
While the NFC North has been tough in recent years, there are signs of a sea change in the near future. The Green Bay Packers are aging, and the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears could be heading towards restructuring as well. That might well leave the Lions in good position to pounce.
Could they even pounce in 2022, though? That might be the case if Maurice Moton is to be believed. The Bleacher Report columnist was discussing his NFL picks for 2022 on Twitter, and as he said, he sees Detroit as a looming threat to the top of the division this year.
“I was close to picking the Vikings to win the NFC North. I have them at 10-7. Playoff team. I just think the Packers defense and their run game will be their formula for 11-6. Those 2 teams will be neck and neck with the Lions, yes the Lions as the X-Factor in the division,” Moton tweeted.
Detroit as the potential x-factor in the division is interesting. While Moton might not have the Lions winning the division or making the playoffs, they could certainly play a huge role in who does win it in the end by battling hard.
The path to finding out what kind of a team the Lions have begins in Week 1, but when it comes to the division, Detroit might end up being much better than people on the outside expect.
Lions Could Enjoy NFC North Success in 2022
It isn’t a stretch to say the Lions are in sneaky good shape to contend during the 2022 season. The reason? During 2021, Detroit battled their divisional foes tooth and nail.
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. The team’s four losses were decided by a grand total of 32 points, showing how close things really were.
This year, the Lions could well go 4-2 in the division, only dropping road games in Minnesota and Green Bay. If that plays out, the team might not only have a say in who wins, but be in contention for the crown themselves.
While that record may not help them pull out the division in the end, the Lions could certainly hang their hat on being able to measure up against their closest competition this year. That will give them hope for stronger contention in the near future.
Lions Might Have Bright NFC North Future
Even if the Lions don’t win the division or factor in much during 2022, the team’s future could still be very bright.
Detroit is still midway through a rebuild, but the division setup could benefit them soon. Minnesota and Chicago both hit the reset button after the 2022 season, which means there could be some pain yet to come in each city for roster building. The Packers still remain at the top, but after Aaron Rodgers leaves, all bets are off as it relates to the direction of the franchise. They’ve got pieces on offense and defense, but elite quarterback play can prove to be a driver of team success. Minus Rodgers, the Packers could prove to be average.
While Chicago and Minnesota might have different timelines, the Lions could be seen as a team with a trajectory in the upward position. Whether that means anything for 2022 remains to be seen, but the team has an obvious chance to roll into the year and do some damage if things come together.
Already, some see the team as a looming threat to be a factor when all is said and done.