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Monday open thread: Will the Detroit Lions be better on offense or defense in 2022?

Will the Detroit Lions achieve more success on offense or defense during the 2022 NFL season?

Detroit Lions v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

If the Detroit Lions want to have a successful 2022 season, they will need their offense and defense to step up. However, will one side be better than the other?

In the three years running this question, the results have varied wildly. In 2019—the second year under head coach Matt Patricia—a majority of voters thought the defense would be the superior unit. Nothing really went right that season, as both the defense and Matthew Stafford-less offense sputtered. Had Stafford remained healthy all season, however, the offense would have won by a landslide.

The 2020 edition of the poll swung heavily in the opposite direction, with the offense getting a whopping 91 percent of the vote. The offense was indeed the better unit, but that didn’t lead to much success. A defense giving up over 30 points nearly every week was too much to overcome, and following an embarrassing Thanksgiving Day loss, Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn were fired.

2021 ushered in a new era of Lions football, and voters didn’t really know what to expect. A 52-48 split in the poll slightly favored the defense, but it was clear that neither side stood out entering the season. Lo and behold, neither side was overly impressive come season’s end. The offense was perhaps slightly better in 2021, but those first 11 games of the season were downright brutal.

As the Lions enter 2022, a number of changes have been made that could significantly alter the offense and defense. A healthy offensive line, a bevy of new and talented receivers, and a new offensive coordinator could be the much-needed boon the offense needs. As for the defense, a revamped defensive line and healthy secondary may alleviate some of the woes they previously experienced.

Will either side rise above the other come 2022?

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Will the Detroit Lions be better on offense or defense in 2022?

My answer: I think the offense will be better.

The addition of pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson should no doubt help the defense, but I still have too many question about it. Can Jeff Okudah and Romeo Okwara rebound from their awful injuries? Can the linebackers be at least average? How will the secondary fare after struggling immensely in 2021? Will Charles Harris build upon his solid campaign? Will any defensive tackle step up next to Alim McNeill? If everything clicks on defense, they could be a good unit, but I’m doubtful that everything goes to plan.

The offense, meanwhile, has fewer points of failure. Barring significant injuries, the offensive line, wide receivers, and running backs look quite dependable entering the season. The Lions starting five linemen may be among the league’s best. The additions of Jameson Williams and DJ Chark bolster a receiving corps that has made a total turnaround from its 2021 counterpart. Even the running back depth behind D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams had flashes last season. Throw in T.J. Hockenson, and the offense could impress.

The elephant in the room is, of course, Jared Goff. In those first 11 games of the season, the offense was middling at best, and quarterback play was a significant reason why. While the receivers around him weren’t impressive, it was clear that Goff looked out of his element. After posting 33 points in their Week 1 loss to the San Francisco 49ers—a majority of which came when the game was out of reach—the Lions failed to score above 20 points until Week 13.

While their late run to close out the season amounted to three wins, it also leaves a question about which Goff the Lions will get in 2022. If they get early 2021 Goff, the offense could be in trouble. If they get late 2021 Goff, then the Lions might actually boast a decent offense. There’s no question that relieving offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn of playcalling duties changed the offense for the better. With Ben Johnson promoted in Lynn’s stead, there is some hope that the hot streak continues in 2021.

I’m still questioning how good the offense can be, but the pieces are there for Goff to succeed. I think the offense has a better shot at succeeding than the defense.

Your turn.

Poll

Will the Lions have a better offense or defense in 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Offense
    (632 votes)
  • 10%
    Defense
    (71 votes)
703 votes total Vote Now