5 nightmare scenarios for the Detroit Lions in 2023

The Detroit Lions have very high hopes this year, but here are five nightmare scenarios that would push things off the rails.

Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Detroit Lions, Jameson Williams
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

5. Jameson Williams disappoints big when he's able to play

Williams' rookie season was an expected mulligan, as he worked his way back from a torn ACL in his last college game. Still, even in limited snaps, many expected more than two touches from him in six games.

Williams was easily tabbed as a breakout candidate early in the offseason. Then in April, he received a six-game suspension for violating the NFL's gambling policy. When he's able to take the field, Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens, the pressure will be on him to perform well over what's left of the season. The Lions need him to be the downfield threat they hoped he'd be for the entire season, and be it right away.

When it comes down to it, Williams' suspension won't cost him all that much practice time. He can be with the team until final cuts before Week 1, and he can come back to practice a few weeks before his return. He needs to hit the ground running when he's able to play, quite literally.

4. The defense does not make expected progress

The Lions remodeled their secondary this offseason, which is a big step toward the defense improving noticeably this season. The front-seven also looks to be deep with talent at both the defensive line and linebacker levels.

But, those new pieces in the secondary have to gel and learn how to work together. The run defense could still be vulnerable in the middle, and any defense that's still relying on the mediocre Alex Anzalone to play a lot at linebacker has a lower ceiling than it otherwise might.

A more balanced pass rush and a more consistent run defense will be the huge keys for the Lions' defense this year. If one or both of those things don't happen, it will be harder to win games.