Major Additions: WR DJ Chark, CB Mike Hughes, LB Chris Board
Key Losses: LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, DT Nick Williams
Top Draft Picks: DE Aidan Hutchinson (1), WR Jameson Williams (1), DE Josh Pascal (2), S Kerby Joseph (3)
The Lions had a tough 2021 season. The team failed to pick up a win until December, creating frustration within the organization. After they did pick up a win, the team played much better football through the last month of the year. Still, Detroit will be looking to have a much better season. Jared Goff is set to go into the year as the team’s quarterback. He’ll have some more help this time around, after the team decided to take Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams with the twelfth overall pick. Williams was the fourth wide receiver off the board, in what was a loaded draft class at the position. The Lions were also able to strengthen their defense in the draft. The team decided to keep Aidan Hutchinson in-state, by taking him with the second overall pick. How these guys develop will be crucial for the Lions’ long term plans. The team has chosen to build through the draft, and they will be expecting an uptick in wins this year.
Head coach Dan Campbell will be going into his second season as the head coach of the Lions. Job security shouldn’t be an issue for him because the Lions are expected to be bad. Yet, it will still be necessary for him to improve on the team win total, perhaps to five or six wins in order to be safe. The team isn’t going to be contending in the NFC North with the Packers still being the powerhouse of the division. They may make moves up the standings, with the Bears possibly heading for a setback in 2022. This season will be crucial in determining the plans at the quarterback position in Detroit. Is Goff a long term plan? The 2023 quarterback class has big names at the top, so we’re likely to find out if it’s Goff’s job or someone else’s.
QB: Jared Goff RB: D’Andre Swift WR: DJ Chark WR: Josh Reynolds WR: Amon-Ra St. Brown TE: T.J. Hockenson
LT: Taylor Decker LG: Jonah Jackson C: Frank Ragnow RG: Halapoulivaati Vaitai RT: Penei Sewell
Lions quarterback Jared Goff put up solid numbers despite the lack of wins last season. He played in fourteen games and had a 67.2% completion percentage. Goff threw for 3,245 yards, to go with nineteen touchdowns and eight picks…Lions 2020 second round pick D’Andre Swift looks to be the guy that’s going to take over at the running back position. Last season Swift and Jamaal Williams split time. Swift ended the year with more yards per carry (4.1) and more touchdowns (5)…The Lions signed DJ Chark this off-season to a one year deal. Chark could very well be the team’s number one wideout this year. The receiver has spent all four years of his career in Jacksonville, where he was named to the pro bowl in 2019. Chark missed most of last season with a broken ankle, but should be ready to go for the start of the season…First round pick Jameson Williams won’t be ready for week one. Williams tore his ACL in the National Championship for Alabama, but still ended up being a high draft pick. He was recently moved to the reserve list, which means he won’t be able to play until week four at the earliest. Last year at Alabama, Williams had 79 receptions for 1,572 yards and fifteen touchdowns.
DE: Aidan Hutchinson DE: Charles Harris
NT: Alim McNeill DT: Michael Brockers WLB: Chris Board MLB: Alex Anzalone CB: Amani Oruwariye CB: Will Harris SS: DeShon Elliott FS: Tracy Walker III NB: AJ Parker
In 2021 the Lions were the fourth worst team in the league in terms of yards allowed and the second worst in points allowed. The team was able to force a decent amount of turnovers, with 23. Their biggest contributor to this category was Amani Oruwariye, who had six interceptions in fourteen games. The Lions will be looking to get to the quarterback a lot more in 2022. The team was the third worst team in the league at doing so last year, with only thirty sacks. Their top pass rusher was defensive end Charles Harris, who finished the season with 7.5 sacks and ten tackles for loss. The Lions will be hoping that their second overall pick can help with getting to the quarterback as well. Hutchinson was a four year player at Michigan, who rose to the top of draft boards with his breakout 2021 season. Hutchinson had fourteen sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. These numbers helped him come in second in the Heisman Trophy voting, the top award in college football that is designed to only go to skilled position players. Hutchinson should make an immediate impact on this Lions defense.
Head Coach: Dan Campbell (Third season, 8-20-1 Record)
OC: Ben Johnson DC: Aaron Glenn
Lions Schedule: (All Times Eastern)
Schedule Strength: The Lions have the fifth easiest schedule in the league.
Schedule Highlights: The back-to-back-to-back winners of the NFC North, the Green Bay Packers, will come to Detroit on November 6th. It will be a much anticipated home game for the Lions. The Lions schedule is not going to feature any primetime games this year and other than their Thanksgiving matchup vs the Bills they will all be 1 PM ET games. If that doesn’t motivate the Lions to win a few extra games this year, then what will?
Week 1: 9/11 vs. Eagles, 1 PM
Week 2: 9/18 vs. Commanders, 1 PM
Week 3: 9/25 at Vikings, 1 PM
Week 4: 10/2 vs. Seahawks, 1 PM
Week 5: 10/9 at Patriots, 1 PM
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: 10/23 at Cowboys, 1 PM
Week 8: 10/30 vs. Dolphins, 1 PM
Week 9: 11/6 vs. Packers, 1 PM
Week 10: 11/13 at Bears, 1 PM
Week 11: 11/20 at Giants, 1 PM
Week 12: 11/24 vs. Bills (Thanksgiving), 12:30 PM
Week 13: 12/4 vs. Jaguars, 1 PM
Week 14: 12/11 vs. Vikings, 1 PM
Week 15: 12/18 at Jets, 1 PM
Week 16: 12/24 at Panthers, 1 PM
Week 17: 1/1 vs. Bears, 1 PM
Week 18: 1/7 or 1/8 at Packers, TBD
Odds and Predictions:
Super Bowl Odds: +15000
Win Projection: The Lions are projected to win 6.5 games this year
Hot Take: Aidan Hutchinson will be top ten in the league in sacks.
Prediction: The Lions go 6-11, and come in third in the NFC North.