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Monday open thread: How good will the Detroit Lions’ offense be in 2022?

The Lions finished strong on offense—and will have a couple new pieces this year. Could they be among the best offenses in the league in 2022?

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

While the Detroit Lions still have plenty of offseason to go, when you look at the roster, it seems the team would be wise to spend the majority of their remaining resources on the defensive side of the ball. The offense is far from a finished product, but Detroit has a workable roster on that side of the ball. Here’s a look at the projected starting lineup on offense as of April 3.

QB: Jared Goff
RB: D’Andre Swift
TE: T.J. Hockenson
WR: DJ Chark
WR: Amon-Ra St. Brown
WR: Josh Reynolds
LT: Taylor Decker
LG: Jonah Jackson
C: Frank Ragnow
RG: Halapoulivaati Vaitai
RT: Penei Sewell

That’s.... not bad. And if we’re being honest, the Lions may not draft a guy who could break this starting lineup in 2022. A wide receiver is probably the most likely to challenge for a spot in this lineup, but otherwise, the Lions are likely only adding depth to this lineup. Even if Detroit opts to grab a quarterback, it’s highly likely they spend most of the next season behind Goff.

Which begs today’s Question of the Day:

Just how good could the Lions offense be in 2022?

My answer: Let’s go back to last year. For the entire season, the Lions ranked 25th in points scored, 22nd in total yards, but 11th in yards per rushing attempt.

But if you just take the final six games of the season, here’s where the Lions ranked:

  • 151 points (11th)
  • 2,125 yards (13th)
  • 5.6 yards per play (11th)

There are plenty of things that contributed to Detroit’s resurgence on that side of the ball. The return of Taylor Decker at left tackle improved two positions on the offensive line. The midseason acquisition of Josh Reynolds helped stretch the defenses deep. Amon-Ra St. Brown clicking provided a lethal weapon for the offense. And Dan Campbell taking over play-calling duties—with now-offensive coordinator Ben Johnson taking an elevated role—gave Detroit more creativity.

The good news for the Lions is that all of those factors remain in place for 2022. Decker and Reynolds are back. St. Brown will have another season to improve, while Johnson has been handed the keys to the offense.

Better still, the Lions could have a bunch of weapons they didn’t have toward the end of last season. Chark is the newbie, but consider these key players that missed multiple games down that six-game stretch:

  • Jared Goff: missed 2 games
  • Frank Ragnow: missed 6 games
  • T.J. Hockenson: missed 5 games
  • D’Andre Swift: missed 4 games

Of course, there is no guarantee all of these parts are healthy and 100 percent all of 2022. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that someone will fall to injury. But as we pointed out a couple weeks ago, the Lions were particularly unlucky with injuries last year. If Detroit can get on the better side of luck in 2022, this offense has serious potential.

They can only go as far as Jared Goff takes him, and I certainly have some skepticism about his ability to be a top-10 quarterback again. But we’re also not that far removed from a time in which the Rams put a pretty good offense around him, and Goff put up Pro Bowl numbers.

All of that is to say, I think this offense truly has top-10 potential, but I’ll be modest and say this team finishes 13th in points scored.

Your turn.


How good will the Lions’ offense be in 2022?

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.