Going into the 2021 NFL season, most around the organization knew that the Detroit Lions may be a little short-handed at a few skill positions. It was one of the areas of the roster that general manager Brad Holmes was doing his best to piece things together, despite being hamstrung by a lot of dead cap.
Once the season began, reality rapidly began to set in. Outside of tight end T.J. Hockenson, there weren’t many pass-catchers keeping defenses up at night. And as the first half of the season marched on, that fact became more and more evident—allowing teams to really focus on stopping Hockenson.
“He was the only thing going into last year”, said Ben Raven of Mlive, during his time on “A Good Football Show”. “He was getting bumped at the line of scrimmage by two guys. Defenses were throwing everything they had at Hockenson because there was just nothing out there”, Raven continued.
It certainly wasn’t difficult to see. Quarterback Jared Goff didn’t get in sync with wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown until later in the season, and Josh Reynolds didn’t sign with the team until Week 10. For a while last season, when watching the Lions’ offense needed to come with a warning label, and the lack of weapons was a big factor.
This year, things could look significantly different for the fourth-year tight end. With receivers DJ Chark and (eventually) Jameson Williams on the outside, as well as second-year sensation St. Brown making plays all over the field—Hockenson should have more freedom to operate between the hashes, and down the seams.
You can catch the full NFC North preview show here.
Reinforcements in Detroit's passing game have @BenjaminSRaven eager to see how T.J. Hockenson capitalizes on new opportunities to produce.— NBC Sports EDGE Football (@NBCSEdgeFB) July 12, 2022
Hear the latest episode of A Good Football Show: https://t.co/zx2UM8pALw pic.twitter.com/KPXStw4leA
And now, onto the rest of today’s notes:
- Jamaal Williams doing Jamaal Williams things. Being awesome, and whatnot. *Warning: be prepared for the whistle.
- From the sound of it, Jeff Okudah’s recovery process is trending in the right direction.
- Jeff Risdon of the Lions Wire takes a look at how the Lions rank in ticket prices over the last 15 years.
How do the Lions rank in ticket price increases over the last 15 years? https://t.co/qXfBuVPLTZ— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) July 13, 2022
- Lions’ legends Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson will both play in the Rocket Mortgage Classic celebrity golf scramble.
Barry Sanders, Calvin Johnson to play in Rocket Mortgage Classic celebrity golf scramble https://t.co/N127kO6vG0— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) July 13, 2022
- Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report has a bold prediction for the 2022 Detroit Lions. Who, from the looks of it, shipped him the container of Honolulu blue kool-aid?