5 prime regression candidates for the Detroit Lions in 2023

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

4. Linebacker Alex Anzalone

Anzalone led the team in total tackles this season with 125. He was one of the centerpieces to the turnaround the defense made in the second half of the season. And while he is still young enough to improve at 28 years old, he shattered his previous high in total tackles (78 in 2021). This certainly could be the beginning of high-volume tackle seasons for him, and the team is hoping for that.

But Anzalone recorded the highest tackle total for the Lions since 2016, when Tahir Whitehead recorded 132. Expect some slight regression for him in the 2023 season. It’s worth noting Anzalone is an unrestricted free agent and may not be back in Detroit.

3. EDGE James Houston

Perhaps the most obvious regression candidate on the roster, it will be difficult for Houston to duplicate the sack pace that he established in the last seven games of the season. His eight sacks in those game is a19-sack pace over a 17-game season. It doesn’t take much more explaining to show why he will regress next season.

Houston started the season on the practices squad after being taken in the sixth round of the 2022 draft He was elevated to the active roster for the Thanksgiving Day game, and he didn’t look back. But if he can retain even half of the pace he was on next season, the Lions will have a legit threat coming off the edge opposite defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.