Can the Detroit Lions cause ‘chaos’ in the NFC North this year?
They should be markedly better this year, but could the Detroit Lions really cause chaos in the NFC North?
With a team that was a mix of young, injury-riddled and COVID-thinned at points last season, if not just generally undermanned, the Detroit Lions were more competitive than you might expect. They had six losses by eight points or less, and three on last-second field goals. Beyond that, they were competitive in chunks of other games.
An easier schedule is lining the Lions up for more wins this year. Additions to the roster this offseason upped the talent level and added depth. Dan Campbell’s squad will be a problem for many of their opponents, and they shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com has taken a look at the divisions and named a “CHAOS” team for each. With a clear line between what look to be the haves (Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings) and have-nots (the Lions and the Chicago Bears) in the NFC North, the Lions were the easy choice as that “chaos” team.
Could the Detroit Lions really cause “chaos” in the NFC North?
Here’s some of what Brooks wrote:
"Credit general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell for quickly assembling a collection of hard-working players on each side of the ball with the fire and desire needed to compete. Despite the disappointing 3-13-1 record in 2021, the Lions were the gritty team that no one wanted to face down the stretch, winning three of their final six games. With Holmes and Campbell upgrading the talent on the roster this offseason, the Lions’ scrappy group could create headaches for opponents who fail to bring their “A” game."
Let’s leave out last year’s Week 18 win over the Packers, when Green Bay rested starters. Here’s what happened in the rest of the Lions’ division games last year.
-Went into a prevent-nothing defense and lost to the Vikings on a last-second field goal in Week 5. They beat the Vikings on a last-play touchdown in Week 13.
-They lost to the Bears 24-14 in Week 4, with three turnovers (a couple that ended solid drives) and after trailing 21-0. Chicago beat them again on Thanksgiving Day, when defensive lapses aided a game-winning field goal drive.
-In Week 2 against the Packers, a 35-17 loss, the Lions led 17-14 at halftime and outgained Green Bay 344-323 in the game.
The Bears are worse than they were last year. The Packers are too, based solely on losing Davante Adams, even if they are the prohibitive favorites to win the division. The Vikings are a wild card, with a wide range of outcomes under a new head coach.
The Lions were generally competitive against their division brethren last year, when they lacked talent and/or experience in tight situations and leaned into effort.
Stopping short of any outlandish or bold predictions, the Motor City Kitties can absolutely cause plenty of chaos in the NFC North this year.