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Will This Be The Year The Lions Finally Nut Up Or Shut Up?

The Detroit Lions are a team famous for losing games but also for losing star players in their prime. This year they are a team that is entering what I like to call a make-or-break season. With all this promise heading into the 2023 NFL season will the Lions finally nut up or shut up this year? In part three of my four-part article I'll be taking a deep dive into why this is make or break for the Detroit Lions in the Motor City.


The Lion Games Catching Fire


To start the 2022 NFL season the Lions started the off year losing six of their first seven games. Even at one point losing five games straight but with great loss comes great finger-pointing responsibility something Lion fans were doing to Dan Campell. Questioning his ability to coach football, something I think Lions players took to heart having finished the year winning six of their last eight games putting all the fans and Lions owner Shelia Ford Hamp worries to rest for now.


With all that said lets a take a deeper dive into the 2022 season for the Lions, let's start with the lows of last season losing five straight games is rough but was probably rougher than that was the two-game beating the Lions took in Week Five against the New England Patriots and Week Seven against the Dallas Cowboys managing to only score 6 points while giving up 53 points is nothing to be proud of. What's even worse is Lion's defense was never able to catch fire ranking last in yards allowed and 28th in points allowed but luck for once was on the Lion's side this year.


Having an offense that ranked fourth in yards and fifth in points scored helped the Lions finish the year strong. What was even more surprising was Jamaal Williams who was arguably a nobody till leading the league in rushing touchdowns scoring 17, and Jared Goff who struggled the year before having arguably his best season as quarterback finishing the year with a strong 4,438 yards and 29 touchdowns to just seven interceptions tying a career-low.



Buying Campbell's Soup


Now when the Lions first hired Dan Campbell I along with many others probably all thought the same thing there's no way this is going to work after his first couple of interviews as head coach. His first year going 3-13-1 was expected with the level of talent the Lions had but one thing I saw was Dan Campbell's ability to lead men and make guys wanna play better similar to how Andy Reid has coached his whole life. Now do the Lions have the next Andy Reid? No, but they certainly have a similar way to how they coach players and it shows on the field.


What I loved from the Detroit Lions and Dan Campbell last year was that five of their eight losses were only a one-score games, meaning they were just one big play away from winning tight-contested ball games. What's even more impressive than that is the Lions scored 25 points or more in ten games and went 5-1 in the division something they haven't done in a long time.


The Lions 2022 draft class was just what the doctor ordered for the Lions landing Aiden Hutchison out of Michigan a nightmare off the edge. Jameson Williams who was arguably the best receiver in college before his injury, might not have played much during the year but when he got the ball showed us what he could do scoring a touchdown on his only catch of the year. The Lions also found a hidden gem by taking Malcolm Rodriguez in the sixth round a linebacker who fought hard to not only make a spot on the roster became a starter for the Lions.


Lions Ready To Roar In 2023 Season


With the conclusion of the 2022 NFL season, the Lions went straight to work adding Cameron Sutton, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, and Emmanuel Moseley to help boost the secondary while none of these guys are a true shutdown corner they provide experience something the secondary was lacking last year. Picking up David Montgomery will also help fill the void left by the departure of Jamaal Williams while bringing back familiar faces in wide receiver Marvin Jones and guard Frank Glasgow should help the offense stay at the level it was the year prior.


If you liked the Lions 2022 draft class get ready for the Lions 2023 draft class in what I like to call The Banger 5. Now it's still too early to tell if acquiring Jahmyr Gibbs, Jack Campell, Sam LaPorta, Brian Branch, and Hendon Hooker all in a row should help the Lions stay competitive for years to come. Brian Branch being the star of the crop missing two percent of his tackles while at Alabama while allowing a passer rating of just 69.3 while in pass coverage last year should be the heart and soul of this defense for years to come.


With the 2023 season right around the corner, new faces, and high hopes the Detroit Lions have a lot riding on this season. With Dan Campbell at the helm this should be Lion's year with Aaron Rodgers out of Green Bay the NFC North crown is there for the taking. The Lions have shown they can win expectations are high this year compared to years past it's time for the Lions to be the bullies of the North and finally make the playoffs this year in what I like to call a Nut Up Or Shut Up year for the Detroit Lions.



 

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