The 2022 Detroit Lions: Results Now, Hope For the Future


Photo Credit: Raj Mehta – USA TODAY

Joseph Schueneman, Cub News Writer

In Week 14 of the NFL season, the Detroit Lions cruised past the Minnesota Vikings 34-23 for the fifth win in their last six games. A team that, on November 5th was 1-6, has turned their season around and, now holds a 23% chance to make the playoffs according to FiveThirtyEight. After years of suffering, the Lions have a sliver of hope to make the playoffs this season and abundant optimism for the years ahead.

The front office and coaching staff of this team deserve much credit for the recent success. General Manager Brad Holmes and Head Coach Dan Campbell have been dedicated to rebuilding the franchise’s talent, but at the same time, building a culture where players put in maximum effort and have fun. Campbell’s enthusiasm for this team has been refreshing after multiple years of leadership under the lethargic Matt Patricia. Campbell has this team excited to play, and his bold play-calling has put the team in positions to close out fourth-quarter wins, something the franchise historically struggles with. 

“The Lions are having success this year and the franchise is placing trust and being patient with Campbell, which they haven’t done with coaches in the past,” commented Ethan Miller ‘23.

The front office of the Lions deserves praise as well. Brad Holmes has shown investment in building the team through the draft. Penei Sewell and Aidan Hutchinson are living up to their high draft status, but the front office has been successful in finding talent in the later rounds as well. Star wide-receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown was a fourth-round pick in 2021 and Kerby Joseph and Malcolm Rodriguez were 3rd and 6th-rounders respectively in 2022. These players are stepping up and contributing to a team who is competing in every game. Also, the Lions hold the Rams’ first-rounder in 2023 which is currently projected to be a top 5 pick. Credit goes to the front office for acquiring the right guys and to the coaching staff who are putting them in the right spots to succeed. 

Detroit’s offense is currently one of the strongest in the NFL and even when the team struggled at the beginning of the year, the offensive unit was still producing consistently. Jared Goff has been serviceable at quarterback, limiting mistakes and leading this unit with enthusiasm. The Lions’ rush game is performing very well as D’Andre Swift and Jamal Williams are both having good years, the latter leading the league in rushing touchdowns. Amon-Ra St. Brown is proving to be the star receiver the Lions need and Jameson Williams’ return from injury times up perfectly with the Lions’ playoff push. The offensive line has no weak spots and all five guys are contributing well. 

Going into the season many viewed the defense as the weak spot of the team and frankly, it is, but the defense is showing growth and production. 2020 first-round defensive back Jeff Okudah is locking down receivers after struggling his first two years in the league. Aidan Hutchinson is proving to be a worthwhile pick and has seven sacks on the season. The rest of the defense has stepped up in the clutch when needed and Brad Holmes is expected to add more talent to this defense in the offseason. 

The rest of the Lions’ schedule is looking manageable. Their biggest test comes December 18th against the Jets on the road. After that, they face the Panthers, Bears, and Packers, all teams with win percentages comfortably under .500. Even if the Lions fall short of a playoff berth this season, their turnaround is still incredible. This team is giving fans something that they haven’t had since Calvin Johnson retired: hope. Hope in the team on the field, hope in the plays and schemes being called, and hope to continue acquiring talent to help this team reach the promised land eventually. Right now, just take a deep breath, and enjoy the fact that the Lions’ rebuild is ahead of schedule and operating flawlessly.