Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Weekdays 2pm-6pm

“This is our year.” Lions fans have been telling themselves that every year since 1957. This organization had a terrible 2021 season on paper. But there is actually some momentum for a team that went 3-13-1 last year and provide a positive vibe for the Detroit Lions 2022 outlook. They ended the season 3-3 over their final 6 games and lost an additional 5 games by less than a touchdown. The Lions showed some pride last season in Dan Campbell’s first season in charge, making the Detroit Lions 2022 preview interesting.

The Lions, for all of their ineptitude, seem like they know their identity and can play into that. The offensive line is good, very good. They’re probably not the best line in the league, but an argument can be made that they’re top 3. D’Andre Swift is a top 10 running back in the league. His stats might not back that up because of the way most Lions games went last year. They got down big, and they got down early. It’s really difficult to run the ball when you’re down 2 scores after the 1st quarter. Offensively this what the Lions want to do; run the ball.

Defensively the Lions were not very good in 2021. They were bottom ten in the league in total yards per game, rushing yards per game, and passing yards per game. More categories where the Lions defense ranked bottom 10 include sacks, interceptions, forced fumbles, and turnovers. The defense needed to be addressed ahead of the 2022 season.

Dan Campbell enters his second year as Lions coach. The “rah-rah” style of coaching worked for Dan last season. However, if the Lions are slow out of the gates, and it’s another season that looks like it’s over before it started, could Lions players start to tune him out? Let’s look at the Detroit Lions 2022 outlook.

  • Schedule Breakdown

    Aiden Hutchenson #2 overall pick

    Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

    9/11 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
    9/18 vs. Washington Commanders
    9/25 @ Minnesota Vikings
    10/2 vs. Seattle Seahawks
    10/9 @ New England
    10/16 BYE
    10/23 @ Dallas Cowboys
    10/30 vs. Miami Dolphins
    11/6 vs. Green Bay Packers
    11/13 @ Chicago Bears
    11/24 vs. Buffalo Bills (Thanksgiving)
    12/4 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
    12/11 vs. Minnesota Vikings
    12/18 @ New York Jets
    12/24 @ Carolina Panthers
    1/1 vs. Chicago Bears
    1/8 @ Green Bay Packers

    This is not a terrible schedule by NFL standards. The first 4 games are very manageable. The Eagles are probably the best team the Lions will face the first month of the season, and they get them at home. Washington and Seattle at home are winnable games. I don’t know what to say about Minnesota because I have no idea. I think getting them early in the season is a good thing for Detroit as they have a new coach, new “system”, and a ton of new faces on defense. Then $#!T gets real for the Lions. @NE, bye, @DAL, vs. MIA, vs. GB. The most winnable game in this stretch is the home game against Miami. After that 5 week stretch, the Lions only play 2 teams that made the playoffs last year (Buffalo on Thanksgiving and Green Bay week 18). Outside of that it’s both New York teams, the Jags, The Bears twice, Carolina, and the road game against the Vikings.

    Prediction: 6-11 (wins Minnesota, Seattle, Chicago (2x), Jacksonville, Giants)

  • Key Additions

    DJ Chark Touchdown Detroit Lions 2022 Outlook

    Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

    WR D.J. Chark (from Jacksonville Jaguars) 1-year/$10 million

    LB Chris Board (from Baltimore Ravens) 1-years/$2 million

    CB Mike Hughes (from Kansas City) 1-years/$2.25 million

    Notable Draft Picks

    1. DE Aidan Hutchenson (Michigan)

    2. WR Jameson Williams (Alabama)


  • Fantasy Players

    D'Andre Swift Detroit Lions 2022 Outlook

    Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    No joke- the Lions have some really good fantasy players. D’Andre Swift is a really good RB2. As long as the Lions can hang in games and not get down double digits in the first half, this team wants to run the ball and keep the clock moving. TJ Hockenson is a low end starting tight end. And receivers DJ Chark and Amon-Ra St. Brown are worth a late round pick and have some upside in games where the Lions get down big early. Let’s see how Jameson Williams is progressing in his ACL rehab before you use a draft pick on him in your fantasy draft. There will never be a reason to play the Lions defense… ever.

  • Best Case Scenario

    Lions Win Detroit Lions 2022 Outlook

    Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

    This team has some reasons for optimism. They finished 2021 going 3-3 over their last 6. After their bye week in week 9, the Lions either won, tied (lol), or lost in a one possession game in 7 of the 9 games. There is a theory in the NFL that if you lose a bunch of one score games one season, then that should average out the next season and you win those games. The Lions were 2-7-1 in one score games last season. If they can flip that then they’re in the playoff hunt, and probably the 2nd best team in the division.

    Jared Goff is not the long-term answer at quarterback, but the rest of the offense can show that they are just a quarterback away from being competitive. Defensively there are very few foundational pieces in place; Jeff Okuda and Aidan Hutchenson. They need to find a few players that they can build around on that side of the ball.

    In a perfect world the lions get wins over Washington, Minnesota (just one), Seattle, Chicago (sweep), Jacksonville, Jets, Giants, and Panthers. That’s 9! Best case scenario: 9-8. That might be good enought for a playoff spot in the NFC.