Detroit Lions preview 2023: Over or under 9.5 wins? Chances to claim NFC North title?

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Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) looks to pass during an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan.8, 2023, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

It’s NFL team preview time, and today we’re looking at the Detroit Lions. Each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from July 25 through Sept. 8, we will take an in-depth look at each team in the NFL with a 7- to 10-minute video going through impactful additions and departures, last year’s rankings and strength of schedule in 2023.

Home Field Sports analyst Jim Derry will then make a prediction on the team’s record this season and where they will finish in their respective division, along with the over/under win total, as posted at Caesars Sportsbook.

These stories are a brief summary of the accompanied preview videos – powered by the Dattitude Podcast (which will review each division every Friday until the season begins). The schedule for when each team will run is listed below with a link to each story and video that already has run.

DETROIT LIONS

Coach: Dan Campbell (3rd season)

2022 record: 9-8, 2nd in NFC North; did not make playoffs.

Last season in a nutshell: A tale of two halves. For seven games, hardly anything went right in a 1-6 start, and things looked a whole lot like 2021 when the Lions went 3-13-1 for Coach Dan Campbell.

That’s when the hype train started rolling – and fast. A 15-9 win against Green Bay on Nov. 6 broke a five-game losing streak and sparked a streak of winning six of seven to get to 7-7. However, a loss to Carolina on Christmas Eve basically ruined their chances of making the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Jamaal Williams sort of came out of nowhere, blowing past his previous career high in rushing yards by more than 450, and he scored 17 times on the ground, which was four more than he had collected in his first five seasons. D’Andre Swift rushed for 5.5 yards per carry, but was injured in Week 4, missed the next three weeks and didn’t have double-digit carries again until Week 12.

Jared Goff, meanwhile, passed for 1,200 yards more than he did a season before and 10 more touchdowns for the league’s fourth-ranked offense.

Need a flip side? Well, how about the fact Detroit had the worst defense in the NFL in yards allowed and fifth-worst in points allowed? They did get better toward the end of the season, especially in the points department, allowing 17 or fewer in four of the final six games.

2023 bye week: 9

2023 Draft: 1 (12th overall) RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama; 1 (18) LB Jack Campbell, Iowa; 2 (34) TE Sam LaPorta, Iowa; 2 (45) DB Brian Branch, Alabama; 3 (68) QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee; 3 (96) DT Brodric Martin, Western Kentucky; 5 (152) OL Colby Sorsdal, William & Mary; 7 (219) WR Antoine Green, North Carolina.

Free-agent signings: CB Cameron Sutton (from Pittsburgh), 3 years, $33M; RB David Montgomery (from Chicago), 3 years, $18M; Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (from Philadelphia), 1 year, $6.5M; CB Emmanuel Moseley (from San Francisco), 1 yard, $6M; QB Teddy Bridgewater (from Miami), 1 year, $3M; WR Marvin Jones (from Jacksonville), 1 year, $3M; G Graham Glasgow (from (Denver), 1 year, $2.75M; LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (from Houston), 1 year, $1.75M; LS Jake McQuaide (from Dallas), 1 year, $1.32M; G Bobby Hart (from Buffalo), 1 year, $1.17M; T Germain Ifedi (from Atlanta), 1 year, $1.17M; DT Christian Covington (from LA Chargers), 1 year, $1.17M; RB Benny Snell (from Pittsburgh), 1 year, $1.08M.

What needs to go right: Plenty. First off, the overhaul of a running game that didn’t need to be overhauled better work, or there will be plenty of questions. Second, Jared Goff better have at least as good a season as he had last year. Are we convinced?

Also, navigating this weird schedule won’t be easy. It opens tough enough with games at Kansas City and then home for Seattle, but it’s the stretch of four road games out of five in December on the road that could be a big problem. And, oh, by the way, they’re at New Orleans, Chicago, Minnesota and Dallas.

Meanwhile, last year’s worst-ranked defense got some help, but is it enough to move them up closer to average? Do they need to even be average to make the playoffs?

Certainly, the Lions are one of the more-hyped teams in the preseason to be a potential NFC North champion (and even conference champion), but what have we seen that makes them that much better?

Key moments in video:

0:00 Detroit Lions preview

1:15 Another hyped team?

3:02 Great run game drafted a … running back?

4:47 Dissecting the schedule

7:27 Prediction time, best bets

PREVIEW SCHEDULE / LINKS

AFC SOUTH

July 25: Houston Texans

July 26: Indianapolis Colts

July 27: Jacksonville Jaguars

July 28: Tennessee Titans

NFC WEST

Aug. 1: Arizona Cardinals

Aug. 2: Los Angeles Rams

Aug. 3: San Francisco 49ers

Aug. 4: Seattle Seahawks

AFC WEST

Aug. 8: Denver Broncos

Aug. 9: Kansas City Chiefs

Aug. 10: Las Vegas Raiders

Aug. 11: Los Angeles Chargers

NFC EAST

Aug. 15: Dallas Cowboys

Aug. 16: New York Giants

Aug. 17: Philadelphia Eagles

Aug. 18: Washington Commanders

AFC EAST

Aug. 22: Buffalo Bills

Aug. 23: Miami Dolphins

Aug. 24: New England Patriots

Aug. 25: New York Jets

NFC NORTH

Aug. 29: Chicago Bears

Aug. 29: Detroit Lions

Aug. 30: Green Bay Packers

Aug. 30: Minnesota Vikings

AFC NORTH

Aug. 31: Baltimore Ravens

Aug. 31: Cincinnati Bengals

Sept. 1: Cleveland Browns

Sept. 2: Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC SOUTH

Sept. 5: Atlanta Falcons

Sept. 6: Carolina Panthers

Sept. 7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sept. 8: New Orleans Saints

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