The 2022 Lions are out of the gate and have officially completed the first week of the 2022 training camp in Allen Park, MI. While there are a number of new faces, the question always persists if it will be another year of “the same old Lions.” While fans balance hopeful optimism with historic cynicism, there is a lot to take stock in so far.
Jared Goff enters year two under second year head coach Dan Campbell. Late season wide receiver addition Joshua Reynolds, a player Campbell likened to a “praying mantis” and “freaking spider of death” now finds himself at home with a full off-season as a Lion. Off-season acquisition DJ Chark brings an experienced NFL starter to the mix. Draft picks Aidan Hutchinson and Jameson Williams will add much needed dynamic weapons to the offense and defense (though fans will likely have to wait a little longer for Williams to take the field following rehab on his torn ACL).
These reasons and more have fans and media critics, alike, wondering if this could be the year that the Detroit Lions make a huge leap forward and find themselves the beneficiary of a wildcard playoff berth; a dream that may have seemed much further off after last season’s disappointing 3-13-1 finish that saw Detroit fail to notch a win until week 13 in a win over the Vikings at Ford Field.
So far, the Lions look to be doing the things they should be at this early stage. The defense looks to be much improved and forces the offense to check down to running backs or underneath routes, while rarely giving up the big play. While those moments are bound to happen in camp with miscommunication or just stellar offensive play, they have been limited. Likewise, Goff looks extremely comfortable in his second year as a Lion and runs through reads with efficiency and poise to find the best possible option.
While, we predict the Lions will fall just outside the wild card, a move from the bottom to the bubble is a huge step and sets an important foundation for year 3 when the Lions should be poised to vie for a division title.