Former Lions offensive coordinator fully expects 2023 team to win the NFC North

Count Mike Martz among those who expect the Detroit Lions to win the NFC North this season.

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The expectations heading into this season may be the "wind underneath" head coach Dan Campbell's wings. But the expectations are definitely there for the Detroit Lions, and we can add former NFL coach (and Lions offensive coordinator) Mike Martz to the list of those who are buying in.

Martz handled the Lions' 2023 season preview for The 33rd Team. The offensive guru behind the Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" sees offensive coordinator Ben Johnson shutting down head coaching interviews and sticking around as the biggest off-field storyline for the Lions.

"The big move was not losing Ben Johnson, the offensive coordinator. He’s the top young mind in the league right now. He’s on his way to being a head coach here in the near future and probably could have gotten a top job this year. He just shut it down right away. I’d like to see him stay another year or two, help bring this team into the Super Bowl and then move on.
It’s a big move that they didn’t lose him. That would have been devastating for the football team because he really has a rapport. He’s very creative, and he really understands how to rush the football, which is pretty outstanding."

Mike Martz, The 33rd Team

Mike Martz expects the Detroit Lions to fulfill expectations this season

Talking about Jahmyr Gibbs, Martz channeled Lions general manager Brad Holmes to call the rookie back "the first guy I've seen who reminds me of Marshall Faulk". Martz worked with the Hall of Famer Faulk in St. Louis, so he knows of which he speaks there as much as anyone would.

Martz summed it all up with his prediction for the Lions, with a nod to the side of the ball that has to be (and should be) better this season.

"They’ll win the NFC North. They have to stay healthy, but they can go deep into the playoffs and perhaps reach the NFC championship. They’ll be a major factor in the playoffs.

Defensively, they’ll be so much better this year. The defense could move up into the top 15; there’s no question that they have a chance. And offensively, they’re a top-five team with a chance of being the best."

Mike Martz

Martz's anecdotes about the Lions aren't earth-shattering. Just straight-forward, and tapping into all the things this year's team has goi


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