Detroit Lions 2022 preview: Over or under projected win total of 6?

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff on the sidelines during a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts last  Saturday in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff on the sidelines during a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts last Saturday in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

DETROIT LIONS

2021 record: 3-13-1

2022 bye week: 6

Most impactful additions: DE Aidan Hutchinson (first round), WR DJ Chark, WR Jameson Williams (first round)

Most impactful departure: LB Trey Flowers

Easiest part(s) of schedule: The good news and bad news for the Lions is there really are no long stretches of easy spots, but there are no long stretches of super tough spots, either. (But let’s get real: Can the Lions look at any game as an easy game?)

There are many winnable games, although according to the look-ahead lines, this team is only favored in three games all season and none by more than 1½ points: Week 4 vs. Seattle, Week 13 vs. Jacksonville and Week 17 vs. Chicago.

That being said, there are many other winnable games for this team, including Washington in Week 2, Miami in Week 8, at Chicago in Week 10, at the Giants in Week 11, at the Jets in Week 15 and at Carolina on Christmas Eve in Week 16.

Toughest part(s) of schedule: There is only one spot in this schedule where one likely can chalk up back-to-back losses, and that is Weeks 5 and 7 (sandwiched around their bye week) at New England and at Dallas.

Problem also remains they will have trouble beating either Green Bay or Minnesota in the division (although they have given the Packers problems in recent seasons), and they also host Philadelphia in the opener and Buffalo on Thanksgiving.

Caesars over/under win total (as of Aug. 25): 6.5 – Over -150 / Under +130; Odds to win Super Bowl LVI at +12500.

Book it: OVER. There is zero question this team will be improved over 2021, in fact, I’ll go as far to say much improved. I might be doing an injustice here saying they will win only seven games, but I don’t like the fact the Lions really will have to win nearly all the games they are favored in and pull off quite a few minor upsets to get to seven.

Fact is, I suppose many of these games they are 2- to 3-point underdogs in now they’ll be favored in later in the season.

Coach Dan Campbell has this team believing in themselves, and if Jared Goff can just be an average quarterback – DON’T LAUGH – but I actually believe this is the potential surprise team of the year (ala Cincinnati last year).

D’Andre Swift could be a top-five running back in fantasy football, and No. 2 RB Jamaal Williams could finish with 1,000 total yards of offense. Amon-Ra St. Brown has a good bit of help at receiver with the signing of DJ Chark and the team’s second first-round pick, Jameson Williams. TJ Hockenson is a top-10 tight end.

Oh, and Detroit has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, and while their defense has a long way to go to get even to average, drafting Aidan Hutchinson with their first first-round pick could prove to be a turning point for the unit.

It’s tough to bet this over-6.5 win total because it is priced so high, but where there is more value is to take the Lions NOW in games in which the spread is close – those numbers likely will change once the regular season begins – and not in Detroit’s favor.

Also, if you are so inclined, one can bet there will be plenty of overs to be had with this team, as I expect them to be in quite a few shootouts.

My predicted record might sound like a bit of a contradiction to the above couple of paragraphs, but if they start fast and gain confidence, they will blow 7-10 out of the water. However, that might be a year away.

Projected finish: 7-10

Categories: Upstate Action

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