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A look at five worst-case scenarios for Detroit Lions in 2023

Filed under: Latest News,Sports |

The Washington Commanders fell to the Detroit Lions 36-27 during Week 2 of the NFL Season from Ford Field, Detroit, MI, September, 18th, 2022. (All-Pro Reels / Joe Glorioso)

The Detroit Lions are going into a season with high hopes for the first time in a long time. They are the clear favorites to win the NFC North, which would be the first division title for them since 1993, but before that, here are five terrible things that could happen.


It’s clear that head coach Dan Campbell won’t let his team get caught up in the hype. There are also people with a lot of experience who won’t let it happen. The group of younger players doesn’t seem like the type to get comfortable. The “burden of expectations” for this group shouldn’t be too much.


But almost every NFL team has a share of strange things that happen to them every year. Detroit Lions, however, have lots of old ones who are die-hard supporters and this section of their fanbase wants to see this team win a major title.


Fans aren’t the only ones who have high hopes for the Lions this season. People who bet on sports are also betting on Detroit. In fact, 38% of all bets at bet on nfl games online about which team will win the NFC are on the Lions.


Even though the Lions are having a good time right now, here are five bad things that could happen that would throw this season off track.


  1. Jameson Williams is disappointing when all hope’s on him to play


Williams’s first season was a do-over, which was to be expected since he tore his ACL in his last college game and had to work his way back. Still, even though he only played a few snaps, many people thought he would have more than two touches in six games.


Williams was quickly picked out as a player who could have a big year. Then, in April, he was suspended for six games for breaking the NFL’s rule against gaming. When he can play again, in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens, he will be under a lot of pressure to do well for the rest of the season. The Lions need him to be the threat downfield they thought he would be all season, and they need him to be that right away.


In the end, Williams won’t lose too much practice time because of his ban. He can stay with the team until the last cuts are made before Week 1, and he can start practising again a few weeks before he comes back. When he’s ready to play, he needs to get up and running right away.


  1. If the defence does not live up to expectations


The Lions made a lot of changes to their secondary during the summer. This is a big step toward making the defense better this season. Both the defensive line and the linebackers look like they have a lot of talent in the front seven.


But those new parts in the secondary have to learn how to fit together and work as a whole. The middle-of-the-run defense could still be weak, and any defense that still depends on the average Alex Anzalone to play a lot of safety has a lower ceiling than it might have otherwise.


The big keys for the Lions’ defense this year will be a more balanced pass rush and a more steady run defense. If either of those things doesn’t happen, it will be harder to win games.


  1. Should Amon-Ra St. Brown suffers a major injury


Because Williams was suspended for the first six games of the season, the Lions wide receiver depth is a little bit of a worry. There could be a move to bring in a notable player before training camp starts or between the start of camp and Week 1.


St. Brown is by far the best pass-catcher for the Detroit Lions. If he got hurt badly, there’s no way to replace him, not even through trade, if that was the best way to deal with his loss. Last season, he missed one game and was hurt for a few others, but a longer absence this year would be terrible for the Lions.


  1. Injuries slow down the offensive line.


In the last two seasons, the Lions’ expected starting five offensive linemen have never played together for a single snap. Taylor Decker, the left tackle, said that earlier this month.


The depth behind Decker, Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and Penei Sewell, Detroit’s starting five offensive linemen, is not great. This is true for many teams. It would be a huge problem for the Lions if Sewell, Decker, or Ragnow lost a lot of time. Ragnow has been having trouble with his toe for a long time, but he still plans to play again.


To do his best, Jared Goff needs good protection, and any backup on this front five is a big step down from almost any starter. All five need to be together as much as possible, ideally for every important play in all 17 games and anything else that happens this season.


  1. Should Jared Goff suffers a serious injury


As Lions general manager Brad Holmes closed the books on the 2022 season, he almost made it sound like the No. 2 quarterback spot behind Goff would be a big focus. That made it look like Nate Sudfeld wouldn’t be brought back, or at least that a well-known senior would be brought in to replace him.


Sudfeld was, of course, re-signed, and Hendon Hooker, who tore his ACL last season and is still recovering, was chosen in the third round. The only other news the Lions had about their backup quarterback was a report from April that Teddy Bridgewater was offered a good deal, which he reportedly turned down.


Goff hasn’t had any big injuries so far in his career because the offensive lines in Los Angeles and Detroit have been very good. Getting rid of the ball, dodging hits, etc., is part of being durable, and he has done well.


Still, all it takes is one big or awkward (legal?) hit, or a bad fall after being taken down, for that to happen. If Goff gets hurt badly enough to miss a lot of games, the Lions’ hopes for the 2023 season will go down with him. In that case, Sudfeld will have to start a lot of games. But the Lions are happy with their quarterback room as if there was anything else to say.


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