The Detroit Lions have received praise from several prominent media sports outlets. General Manager Brad Holmes has gotten high grades for his offseason moves. Head Coach Dan Campbell has gone from being called a meat-head to a leader of men for the way the team competed at the end of last season, winning three of the five games to end the season in 2021.
There is a reason for optimism for the fan base this year. The Lions have an easy strength of schedule in 2022. Several injured players from last season are due to return, including Pro-Bowlers Center Frank Ragnow and Tight End TJ Hockenson. However, there is still room for concern heading into the season.
Detroit is still one of the youngest teams in the NFL, averaging a little over 25 years of age per player. Some may say that having a young roster is a plus, but the players on the roster have limited success in the NFL. The Lions have a good coaching staff that gets the most out of its players. Unfortunately, there are some talent deficiencies in positions on the defensive side of the ball. Safety and Linebacker are missing two bonafide starters.
The Lions were a 3-13-1 in 2021 and are in the middle of a rebuild that started last season. When the current regime took over the team, the roster was full of overpaid role players that left the organization in dead space salary cap hell last season when they were released. Detroit is still full of prove-it deal veterans and young, unproven talent. They are building something special, but the kool-aid drinking by the national media has built up some false hope in the fan base. In my opinion, the Lions will improve but not be a noisemaker in their division in 2022. My prediction for wins in Detroit this season is between seven and ten games. It will take a least one more good offseason of personnel moves by Brad Holmes for the Lions to contend for the NFC North title, and with two first-round picks next year, they should be able to compete with the top teams in the division.
My advice to Detroit Lions fans in 2022, sip the Kool-Aid this year, don't guzzle!