This time of the year can be some of the most fun when making predictions and trying to figure out where each team is going to be when the season ends. The optimism is high for every fan base and each team thinks they will be contending for a title. With the main free agency period being over, the draft being done, and the schedule being released we can start to take a good look at what the next NFL season is going to look like. Every year there are a couple surprise teams that exceed everyone’s expectations and become a force for the whole league. This year that team is going to be the Detroit Lions.
The Detroit Lions are an exciting team to look at with this upcoming season. Their starting to get some hype behind them and with having a productive season last year (winning eight of their last 10 games) it’s a team that is on the rise. The NFC conference being weak and the NFC North itself being weak is going to help the Lions be successful this year. The NFC is nothing like the AFC when it comes to the strength of the teams, after the Eagles and 49’ers what are the other top teams in the conference? When it comes to their division Aaron Rodgers just left the division, the Bears just came off a season with the worst record in the NFL and the Vikings set an NFL record with 11 one possession games won last year which we can expect that number to drop significantly this year.
This is an offense that performed at a high level last year. They ranked fourth in total offense and fifth in points per game with 26.6. It also helps that they retained their offensive coordinator from last year who was hot on the head coaching market so it won’t be surprising to see this offense light up the score boards this season. Quarterback is the most important position in the NFL and the quarterbacks in the NFC are also not at the level they are in the AFC. It’s a real argument that Jared Goff is a top five quarterback in the conference. The clear cut guys better than him are Jalen Hurts, Kyler Murray, and Matthew Stafford but after those guys it gets real tight with who is better.
The defensive side of the ball was where the Lions had problems last year but with some additions, we should expect to see a better defensive team this year. Aidan Hutchinson is the defensive anchor on this team and he had a great rookie year with 9.5 sacks, a big second year should be coming for him. With the additions of C.J Gardner-Johnson, Cameron Sutton, and Brain Branch this will be an improved secondary. When you look at the draft their first four picks are all guys that are going to get significant playing time. The Jahmyr Gibbs pick was probably a reach where they took him but it also makes sense with what the Lions like to do. They have one of the better offensive lines in the NFL and Gibbs is going to give them a lot as a receiver out of the backfield as well. Dan Campbell comes from the New Orleans Saints so don’t be surprised when we see an Alvin Kamara-type role for Jahmyr Gibbs.
The Detroit Lions are one of the most exciting teams for this upcoming NFL season. A team with a lot of momentum and a good roster we should see some good things from them. Their 2023 strength of schedule not being too hard with an opponent win percentage of .495 and only playing two playoff teams from 2022, a double-digit win total should be attainable. The bandwagon for the 2023 Lions is in full force so don’t be surprised when they’re playing in the NFC championship game at the end of the year.