Heading into the 2022 regular season, the Detroit Lions are certainly nobody’s pick for the Super Bowl, nor are they even a team that many folks mention with regards to one that could win the NFC North or make the playoffs.
Instead, most people are wondering if the Lions can show some modest improvement off what was a frustrating 3-13-1 season in 2021. The hope for fans is that the team can take a step up off having three wins, and some of the new futures for next season seem to reveal this already.
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Before the offseason has finished, folks are already looking at predicting what the Lions will look like in 2022 and how the team may fare on the field. Some of the early predictions that have come in aren’t too bad for the team in terms of wins. As DetroitLions.com reporter Mike O’Hara revealed, the over-under that has been set for Detroit hovers at 6.5 for 2022.
“Caesars puts Detroit Lions win total at 6.5 for 2022 NFL season. Agree or disagree?,” O’Hara tweeted.
Many Lions fans had strong opinions on the number. Some thought it was too low, with many thinking 8 was a fairer representation. Others thought it was fair, and said that folks should be expecting the Lions not to meet expectations and fall short of 6 wins given they are still in rebuild mode.
With the Lions still rebuilding, it feels fair the Lions could improve, but how dramatically will be the issue to watch. A three win improvement may not be that hard to achieve.
Lions’ 2022 Schedule Outlook
Detroit will play a last place schedule next season by virtue of the way they finished 2021, which means tangling with the last place teams in divisions. Beyond that, the team plays the AFC and NFC East divisions on the schedule for 2022, which The Athletic’s Chris Burke revealed in a late season tweet last year.
This would mean that the Lions would play the likes of Dallas, Washington, Philadelphia and the New York Giants while tangling with Miami, the New York Jets, New England and Buffalo in their AFC crossovers. Add it all up and it seems like another tough schedule for the Lions overall next year once things get finalized come May. The schedule reveal figures to come after the 2022 NFL draft.
Detroit will not have an easy time of things no matter how easy or hard the schedule may look on the surface. In the past, the Lions have played what schedule makers have deemed as “easier” schedules and struggled. Such was the case in 2021, which proves that it’s never easy to say what kind of team is going to show up once the season begins and the games count.
Lions Hope Offseason Improvements Pay Off
Seeing Detroit go from a three win team in 2021 to a six or seven win team in 2022 isn’t that big of a stretch. Last season, the Lions lost a total of eight games that were decided by 10 points or less. Turning just a few of those around could make for a team that ends up with a much better record overall regardless of what the schedule looks like. The biggest way the Lions will do that? Improving their roster in more dramatic ways.
Thus far, the Lions haven’t made huge moves in free agency outside re-signing key free agents such as wideout Josh Reynolds, safety Tracy Walker, defensive end Charles Harris and linebacker Alex Anzalone. They did bring in wideout DJ Chark, cornerback Mike Hughes, linebacker Chris Board, tight end Garrett Griffin and linebacker Jarrad Davis from the outside. While that’s not dramatic, it’s the kind of meat and potato moves that could give the Lions better depth and a better chance to excel. Along with some strides from young players, the Lions could get better in a hurry.
With a roster that improves, there is no reason to think the Lions can’t win some more games. How many, though? That’s the only thing that remains to be seen.