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Monday open thread: How many road games will the Lions win in 2022?

Will the Detroit Lions prove themselves to be road warriors in 2022, or will it be another season of difficult outings away from Ford Field?

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Winning on the road is an important step for a championship team. The 2022 Detroit Lions may not compete for the Super Bowl, but can they compete as the away team?

In 2021, the Lions were winless on the road. Their three victories came within the homely confines of Ford Field, although they notably tied the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road at the soon-to-be-former Heinz Field. The notion of home field advantage has been challenged in recent years, with the 2020 pandemic season becoming the first season in history where road teams won more often than home teams. Teams reclaimed home field advantage in 2021 as crowds returned, but the percentage was still a mere 51.7 percent in favor of the home team. This percentage could continue to grow as we settle into a post-pandemic life, but the Lions could have a fighting chance on the road next season.

That is, of course, once you factor in the opponents.

Along with the standard NFC North outings against the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings, the Lions will face the following teams on the road in 2022: the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, New York Jets, and Carolina Panthers. Of note, the Lions will play at home (9 games) more often than on the road (8 games), a reversal of their 2021 season.

Of this slate of eight, how many of them will the Lions emerge victorious in?

Today’s Question of the Day is:

How many road games will the Lions win in 2022?

My answer: I think they will win four of their eight road games. Spotting the Lions four wins on the road after a season without one may seem bold, but they have a few games that are reasonably winnable.

In Week 10, the Lions travel to Chicago. While the Bears made a good choice to revamp their coaching staff and front office, their roster is among the worst in the league, and I don’t believe Justin Fields can succeed with the players around him right now. Darnell Mooney is a stellar receiver, but that receiving corps has shades of the 2021 Lions for all the wrong reasons. Factoring in a porous offensive line that has hardly gotten better, and it could be tough sledding for the Bears, even at home.

The following week could be another winnable game for Detroit. The Lions face the Giants at MetLife Stadium, and it’s hard to forecast what that team will look like come Week 11. I think the hiring of Brian Daboll (and more importantly, the firing of Joe Judge) is a great move for New York, and their draft of Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal was solid. Still, the team is led by Daniel Jones, and until he can renounce his turnover-prone ways, I think he will be stuck in the lower tier of quarterbacks.

Jumping forward to Week 15, the Lions will face the other New York team at MetLife Stadium. Much like the Giants, I think the New York Jets had a successful draft and have a fair amount of talent to make a turnaround. Yet also like their NFC counterpart, I still question the quarterback position. Zach Wilson has had flashes of greatness, but the lows were extremely low. You shouldn’t draw too many conclusions after a player’s first season, but I’m not sure Wilson is primed for a sophomore rebound. The Jets did re-sign veteran Joe Flacco, so perhaps Wilson will benefit from some elder wisdom.

On Christmas Eve, the Lions will face the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are seemingly in disarray as the season approaches, and come Week 16, there’s no guarantee who will be their starting quarterback. The Panthers really struggled with Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker, and Cam Newton at quarterback in 2021, but the 2022 picture is just as unclear. Darnold and Walker return to the fold, but the additions of Baker Mayfield and Matt Corral could mark a significant quarterback carousel. With head coach Matt Rhule likely on the hot seat, a slow start to the season could spell a blow up. I think the Panthers will be in some type of disarray by the time the Lions travel to face them.

Am I too optimistic about four road wins? Was I too pessimistic? It’s your turn.

Poll

How many road games will the Lions win in 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    0
    (12 votes)
  • 1%
    1
    (10 votes)
  • 9%
    2
    (65 votes)
  • 30%
    3
    (219 votes)
  • 27%
    4
    (200 votes)
  • 19%
    5
    (138 votes)
  • 5%
    6
    (37 votes)
  • 0%
    7
    (6 votes)
  • 4%
    8
    (29 votes)
716 votes total Vote Now