Analyst Reveals Why He’s Selling Idea of Lions’ 2022 Turnaround

Jared Goff

Getty Jared Goff gets sacked in 2021 against the Eagles.

The Detroit Lions have been seen as a chic pick as a dark-horse contender for the 2022 season, and while there’s a lot to like about their future, some aren’t sure the renaissance begins this season.

Improvements have been made to both sides of the ball in Detroit, and the team looks like they are poised to turn over a new leaf after a culture change. That’s led many to be overly optimistic about the Lions as soon as this season. Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report, however, isn’t counted as such a person just yet.

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Davenport recently took a look at buying or selling some ideas from the NFL offseason, and one of the biggest he tackled was Detroit’s status as a major turnaround team for 2022. It’s an idea he is clearly not on board with at all for a few key reasons.

As Davenport wrote, in his estimation, while the team has tried to patch some holes, many others remain in their place. Such a spot exists on the team’s defense.

“The addition of No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson should help the Lions defense. But Detroit allowed the fourth-most yards per game last season and the most points per game in the NFC,” Davenport wrote.

It’s not just the defense that concerns Davenport, though. As he explained, the team’s offense is an issue as well thanks to Jared Goff, an unproven quarterback who could be shaky for the team.

“Then there’s Lions quarterback Jared Goff. His first season in Detroit wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great, either — 3,245 passing yards and 19 touchdowns. That’s not much of a return on investment for a player with a cap hit north of $31 million in 2022,” he said.

Obviously, both of the concerns cited by Davenport are valid, and each will represent major issues for the Lions this season. The defense will need to show signs of a turnaround while the offense has to prove itself as a force to be taken seriously.

Detroit’s Defense Facing Challenges

Pointing out the struggles of the Detroit defense before 2022 isn’t off base. The team had a dreadful season on the field in 2021, ranking 24th in passing defense having given up 244 yards per-game as well as 28th against the run, allowing 135 yards per-game on the ground. The team placed 29th in total defense as a result. Combined with an inability to generate sacks (30) as well as interceptions (just 11 total), the team struggled last season across the board. It was merely a culmination of years of problems, though. In 2019, the Lions placed 31st in total defense, and 32nd in 2020. That was in spite of employing supposed defensive guru Matt Patricia.

Obviously, cleaning up such a mess takes time, and the Lions showed a few strides last year in spite of all the problems. They could have a long way to go before ironing everything out completely, however. There is hope even more strides can be made, but it might take a while to get the team out of the statistical basement forever.

Fear of Unknown Drives Lions Uncertainty

A big reason for some pushing the early panic button on the Lions? The fear of the unknown. Detroit’s team has plenty of variables that could go either way on the field this season, not the least of which is the team’s offense under Goff. The quarterback could either have a great season or an inconsistent one, which scares some people. Detroit doesn’t have a true backup behind him, and as mentioned, their defense has plenty of issues that they will have to find a way to prove they can overcome this year. It isn’t just issues with the roster that drives

As a franchise, the Lions have yet to prove they can be a consistent winner on the field. Other offseasons such as this one, hype has driven the narrative the Lions would be a playoff contender or could win the NFC North. It hasn’t happened, and the team hasn’t won a playoff game since 1992. In most cases, seeing is believing for analysts as well as fans.

The Lions will have a chance to prove all their detractors wrong in a few months, and while many remain enthusiastic about the team, it’s easy to understand the trepidation of others

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