If you’re like me, your biggest fear is not spiders. It’s not public speaking. It’s that despite all signs pointing to improvement, the Detroit Lions will regress in 2023.
Many Lions fans who have been around long enough are likely feeling the same way, having been duped in the past. But now is no time for that type of thinking.
NFL.com’s Adam Schein is among many who believe the Lions can only go up from here, ranking them the second-most likely team to end their playoff drought this season.
He says he’s a big fan of coach Dan Campbell, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. Calling general manager Brad Holmes savvy, he echoes what many others have said — these guys have managed to completely change the culture in Detroit.
“Roster quality is legit,” Schein explained. “Jared Goff was the second-best quarterback in the NFC last season — behind only Jalen Hurts — and should be even better in 2023. Contrary to popular opinion, I absolutely loved the first-round selection of running back Jahmyr Gibbs. What a fun new toy for Goff to play with — an explosive playmaker who can burn you as a runner and receiver. In the second round of April’s draft, Holmes filled a roster hole by selecting tight end Sam LaPorta, who gives this offense a potent middle-of-the-field weapon. Once speedy WR Jameson Williams returns from his six-game suspension, Johnson will really be cooking with gas. Did I mention that Detroit has one of the best offensive lines in football?”
Schein then turn toward the defense, admitting the Lions finished dead last in yards allowed, but pointing out there’s major promise.
“Aidan Hutchinson is an animal up front, and draft steal James Houston racked up eight sacks in seven games. Jack Campbell, another polarizing first-round pick from April that I loved, can make an instant impact at the second level,” he writes. “But the Lions’ most significant overhaul took place in the secondary. Adding Cameron Sutton, C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Emmanuel Moseley in free agency, and then selecting Brian Branch in Round 2 of the draft, Holmes brilliantly addressed a huge problem area from 2022.”
Oh and Schein’s number one pick to end their playoff drought? The New York Jets featuring our pal Aaron Rodgers.
And onto the rest of your notes.
- The Lions offensive line made this list of top 10 offensive position groups entering 2023.
- Madden included a screenshot of Dan Campbell in the video highlighting the new franchise mode updates coming to Madden NFL 24.
- Numbers don’t lie.
Ben Johnson's Lions offense in 2022:— Brad Spielberger, Esq. (@PFF_Brad) June 29, 2023
- 5th in EPA Per Play
- 14 turnovers (2nd fewest)
- 2,337 YAC (4th)
- 26 sacks allowed (2nd fewest)
- 16 TDs off PA (1st)
- 32/36 (88.6%) goal-line situations (1st)
- 36/108 on 3rd/4th &7+ (3rd)
- 22 RZ rush TDs (2nd)
- 22 RZ pass TDs (T-5th)
- Mina don’t lie.
- “The number of players who have been suspended suggests that it is unlikely to be a case of players simply being stupid.” As the Lions continue to get pummeled with NFL gambling policy violations, Pro Football Network’s Arif Hasan argues that it’s not just the players who deserve the blame, but the teams themselves.
- Another fiery take on the suspensions from Sports Illustrated’s Connor Orr.