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Why The Detroit Lions Were Eliminated From Making The 2022 NFL Playoffs...

(Image Credit: Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports)

Written by: Nicholas Mullick

Twitter: @NicholasMullick

Out of all the teams that did not make the playoffs not named the New York Jets, the Detroit Lions was a team that I really wanted to make the playoffs. The crew is such a likeable squad and unfortunately they were mathematically eliminated before their game against the Packers was played. Despite being disappointed there were reasons why they were eliminated and I will give 3 reasons.

1. The Slow Start Killed Them

The Lions in the second half of the season were performing super well. However, in the first half of the season the Lions did not perform well. At one point the Lions were 1-6, which is unacceptable and many were starting to call for Dan Campbell to be fired. Luckily they won 8 of there last 10 games of the season and it shows how good of a coach Dan Campbell is motivating these guys to finish strong. Next season though they can’t start the way they did, as it is going to be playoffs or bust.

2. Excluding Aidan Hutchinson, the pass rushing core was disappointing.

The defense was a big issue for the Detroit Lions this season. It got better with time, but they have to get another pass rusher on here. Excluding Aidan Hutchinson who played well the pass rushing core did not play that well. Josh Paschal who the Lions used a second round pick on in the 2022 NFL Draft and was injured most of the season. I still think he was playing hurt the whole season as he did not do that well this season. Both Romeo and Julian Okwara both can’t stay healthier either. John Cominsky was very mediocre when he played this season. Charles Harris I forgot was still in the league as he is a 1st round bust when he was with Miami. I will say they may have something in 6th round rookie James Houston, but I don't understand why he did not get more snaps. He is number 2 in sacks and that gave him the Bryce Huff treatment. The Lions need another durable pass rusher besides Aidan Hutchinson that can perform well at a consistent basis

3. They need a cornerback desperately

The secondary compared to last year did improve. Especially at safety as both Kerby Joseph and DeShon Elliot both performed well this season. However at cornerback there are still issues and it was apparent all season. Mike Hughes was very mediocre this season. Jerry Jacobs showed flashes, but had more bad moments then good ones. The rest of the crew did not impress a lot and they had to experiment. Especially with Will Harris who is more of a safety, but the Lions experimented with him at nickelback this season. He was decent, but not great in that role.

The one cornerback that played the best this year was Jeff Okudah. He was not fantastic, but he played very well and showcased flashes as to why he was the 3rd Overall Pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. However, the number one need on this team is definitely at cornerback and the Lions need to make investments to improve it in the offseason.

On The Bright Side - You finally have a true running back core

Gosh there are so many bright spots on this team, but to me I have to easily give the brightest spot to the running back position. Let's be real the Lions have never had a great running back since Barry Sanders and maybe Reggie Bush. I got to say the Lions not only have one, but two great running backs on the roster. First lets start with Jamaal Williams who in my opinion is their best signing in free agency last season. He broke Barry Sanders rushing touchdown record which is impressive enough, but he is super clutch on this team. I bet the Packers regret not extending him last offseason. D’Andre Swift has also put on a great performance as well. The Lions truly have a running game and with how well Goff played, along with a ton of receivers on this team, the Lions offense is scarry. Especially when the o-line is fantastic as well.



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