It’s officially game week for the Detroit Lions, which means our long wait is nearly over. Year 2 of the Dan Campbell era has been one of the most anticipated seasons of Detroit Lions football in quite some time, and the excitement in the city is palpable.
Today, we are kicking off our week-long preview series. In it, our staff will provide predictions for the Lions’ season, and at the same time, pose a question for the reading audience.
We start things off with a topic that has many Lions fans feeling the most optimistic: the offense. With a strong offensive line in place, a revamped wide receiver room, and a young running back primed to break out, there are a lot of reasons to believe this offense could have quite a year in 2022. But who will be the face of it?
The first prediction of our series is: Who will be the Lions’ offensive MVP in 2022?
Here are our answers:
John Whiticar: Penei Sewell
The Lions have a talented offensive line—I think Frank Ragnow is the best player on offense—but I give Sewell the nod because of his talent and positional value. If the Lions lose Sewell, suddenly Matt Nelson is starting and the offense could easily fall apart. Taylor Decker is important too, but I think this is the year Sewell enters the conversation for best tackle in the league.
Chris Perfett: Amon-Ra St. Brown
Receptions are king, and St. Brown is a god, and gods rule over the kings of the earth. In his rookie year, St. Brown established himself as a sure-fire weapon, dependable, reliable and open. While the receiving corp of the Detroit Lions has improved and diversified, and the team expects to establish the run (ah yes, that eternal journey!), expect St. Brown to still be a machine for first downs, red zone action and touchdowns. If that’s not a MVP to come in clutch at the right time, what is?
Erik Schlitt: Amon-Ra St. Brown
St. Brown’s work ethic is unmatched and his chemistry with Jared Goff has carried over from last season. Despite the Lions’ upgrades in offensive weapons, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson has been creative in getting the ball in St. Brown’s hands this fall. As the playbook expands, so should St. Brown’s opportunities, and I still believe when it matters, St. Brown will be the one Goff turns to.
Mike Payton: Jared Goff
This will be the year of Jared Goff. It essentially has to be. Not because he’s got one foot on the chopping block due to the out in his contract after the 2022 season, but because he’s loaded with weapons and the offensive strategy is built around him. Goff should have himself the best year of his career due to these factors. Get used to seeing Goff with the Lions.
Jerry Mallory: D’Andre Swift
From running backs coach Duce Staley to fantasy football experts and everyone in between, expectations are high for Swift entering Year 3. He’s a dual-threat back who has set his sights on 1,000 yards in the air and on the ground. His top-tier offensive line will have something to say as well en route to a huge year for Swift.
Hamza Baccouche: Amon-Ra St. Brown
It’s gotta be St. Brown, quite simply because of the multiple dimensions he brings as a player. St. Brown proved effective on everything from route-running to taking inside handoffs last year—one of the few players in the league successfully replicating what Deebo Samuel is doing in San Francisco. That forces defenses to account for St. Brown in a way that very few players can do, and should significantly open things up for the rest of the offense for the remainder of the season. While St. Brown had a statistically impressive rookie season, I’m fully expecting his impact to go beyond the box score this season.
Ryan Mathews: Amon-Ra St. Brown
The Lions’ offensive MVP in 2022 will be St. Brown after he stacks a career year on top of his very encouraging rookie season. If St. Brown is indeed their offensive MVP this year, we’re looking at a season north of 1,000 receiving yards, 100 receptions, and a handful of touchdowns—in other words, an impressive follow-up for the dynamic wideout.
Morgan Cannon: Amon-Ra St. Brown
You could make the case for a few players here, but going with The Sun God seems like the most logical choice. With more weapons around him, it should allow him to pick up where he left off in 2021, even if it means fewer targets in the long run. Judging from what we saw on “Hard Knocks,” I doubt St. Brown is one to rest on his laurels.
Jeremy Reisman: D’Andre Swift
While I question whether Swift will ever reach his true potential, I can’t shake the words of Duce Staley on “Hard Knocks.”
“Boy is special. And every day we go out there between those lines, he’s got to believe that. And I’ma try my hardest to get that shit out of him. Ain’t no try, I’m going to fucking get it out of him. Because he can be so special. I’ve been around some guys that’s been in space—the special ones—he got it.”
That isn’t Staley talking directly to Swift. That’s him telling what he truly believes to the coaches behind closed doors. By all indications the rest of the team feels similarly, so he is going to have every opportunity to prove himself as a foundation of this offense.
Who will be the Lions’ offensive MVP in 2022?
This poll is closed
Amon-Ra St. Brown