We have reached the way-too-early predictions part of the offseason. Yes, it’s the part of the offseason where there’s not a lot to talk about. Sure I could throw another mock draft on the heap pile, or profile a free agent that we’re not even sure will ever even make it to market, but why not do something equally as redundant and meaningless? That’s right, I’m already flashing forward to the 2022 regular season.
The Detroit Lions finished last season 3-13-1—the second-worst record in the NFL. At this point, we don’t have any idea what their roster will look like for the upcoming season. To predict with any level of confidence how they’ll do next year is absolutely a fool’s errand.
But that doesn’t mean this question is worthless. In fact, I think it will be very interesting to track Lions fans’ confidence throughout the offseason to see how each stage has impacted overall predictions of the upcoming year.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
What will be the Lions’ record in 2022?
My answer: I think the Lions will win seven games next year.
We may not know what the Lions’ roster will look like next year, but there are several things we do know that guide my prediction. Detroit’s 2022 opponents have already been set. The Lions’ schedule looks to be a lot easier. Of course, looks can be deceiving this early in the offseason, but by 2021 record, Detroit’s schedule is fifth easiest in the NFL. It also features an extra home game, and seven contests against teams with a new head coach.
Additionally, we know there are certain key statistics that tend to regress to the mean over time. Those statistics include injuries, records in close games, and turnovers. In 2021, the Lions were “unlucky” in all three of those categories. No team suffered more injuries to their starters than the Lions in 2021. Detroit was 2-6-1 in one-score games, and they lost the turnover battle 23-19. There’s a good chance they’re luckier in at least a couple of those categories, possibly all three.
Put it all together, combined with a second-year under Dan Campbell and the offensive and defensive scheme, and there are plenty of reasons to believe the Lions can literally double their win total. Detroit’s also incredibly young roster is likely to be more developed and refined next year, although it’s important to remember that not every player develops in a positive direction.
That all being said, this team still has a long way to go. Their defense was among the worse in the NFL last year, and the offense really only had a stretch of four or five games at the end of the season where it was acceptable. They may have a lot of offseason resources, but I don’t think it’s anywhere near enough to truly challenge for the division or even a Wild Card spot.
Therefore, I land at seven wins. Your turn.
How many wins will the Lions have in 2022? (February poll)
This poll is closed