It’s time again for the early “timetable game”. you know how to do it We get the Detroit Lions schedule finalized and then it’s a requirement that we go through and predict wins and losses for each game. It’s a time honored part of sports radio and fandom!
I have a slightly different process than most people do. I actually go through every game three times. I’m guessing best possible result for the Lions, worst possible result and then which is more likely in 2022 given the opposition and my general attitude towards this team.
In that accurate prediction piece in 2021, I had finished the Lions 5-12.
Last year, the Eagles dealt the Lions one of the worst blows in franchise history. Philadelphia defeated Detroit 44-6, rushing for more yards than the Lions gained overall. This embarrassing attempt ended Anthony Lynn’s era as the Lions’ offensive coordinator.
The Eagles are still talented and present a nice challenge to open the season. With so many key pieces for Detroit, whose health status is still uncertain, it’s hard to predict a rematch win.
Forecast: defeat (0-1)
Washington has a new nickname and quarterback in Carson Wentz. None are threatening enough to bring down the Lions at Ford Field.
Forecast: win (1-1)
The Lions defeated the Vikings in the second meeting of 2021 and would have won the earlier Minnesota matchup if Greg Joseph hadn’t had the two longest field goal attempts of his NFL career, including a 54-yarder after the end of the fourth quarter, in the fourth quarter Time the Vikings win.
I know the Lions are better than they were a year ago. New regime in Minnesota, the Vikings coming off a Monday Night Football fight in Philadelphia, lots of questions about the opposition in the trenches – it’s a viable opportunity for a division away win for Detroit.
Forecast: win (2-1)
Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner are gone, fundamentally transforming the Seahawks from a perennial favorite into one of the skinniest rosters in the entire league. Still, it’s important to note that this Seahawks team had 51 points hanging from these Lions in Week 17 last year. The lions should be confident, but don’t count those eggs until they hatch…
Forecast: win (3-1)
Lions fans understandably want revenge against old coach Matt Patricia, now the Patriots’ orienteering coach. It’s not going to be easy in New England, where the defense still seems capable of doing very well outside of a miserable LB Corps.
Forecast: defeat (3-2)
The Lions exit bye week in a game that sure looks like a potential disappointment game for Dallas. They play with the Rams and Eagles the two weeks prior, which is arguably the toughest part of the Cowboys program all year. However, the Dallas defense is a reliable turnover maker, and that’s a great panacea for situations like this.
Forecast: Loss (3-3)
The Dolphins have a lot of talent in many places, but the quarterback and offensive line are big question marks. The Lions fit well with Miami’s apparent flaws as long as they can handle the Dolphins’ offensive speed.
Forecast: win (4-3)
Look, I’d like to announce that the Packers are on the verge of decline and the rising Lions can rock their world at Ford Field. But until that guy with the No. 12 in Green Bay is gone, that feeling is just ambitious. Green Bay’s defense is damn good on paper, too.
Forecast: loss (4-4)
The Lions have won just one of their last eight games against the Bears. While this Chicago team may appear smaller than any of these previous units, they are not “toys” for an untested Lions team.
Forecast: Loss (4-5)
Old friend Kenny Golladay will try to beat his former team, but the Lions hold quite a few position-versus-position matchups against New York. This game looks like it could be about the strength of Detroit’s offensive line against a front-heavy Giants defense.
Forecast: Victory (5-5)
It’s Thanksgiving! The only chance for the rest of America to see the Lions. And Detroit welcomes the worst opponents on Ford Field’s schedule in Josh Allen and the Bills. Deep sigh.
Forecast: loss (5-6)
Just because the Jaguars ended up with the worst record in the NFL two straight years doesn’t automatically guarantee a Lions win here. Detroit has the better overall team, but the Lions need to play a full game. The extra rest from the Thanksgiving game helps.
Forecast: Victory (6-6)
Can the Lions win this game? Absolutely. And if they’re in relatively good health, the Lions should probably expect to win it. But this is one of those games where what should happen and what will happen just doesn’t line up well.
Forecast: Loss (6-7)
Jets fans feel about their team in much the same way Lions fans do in Detroit. There is a real sense that the years of ineptitude are coming to an end, but they need to see some actual results before they really believe. A look at their squad shows they are indeed the AFC lions – young and promising with an energetic coach but some weaknesses. In what could be nasty December weather, give the home side a nod against a Lions offense designed for indoor play.
Forecast: loss (6-8)
There are credible scenarios where the Panthers have already made a coaching change by this point. There are also viable scenarios where Carolina is the NFC’s surprise darling, especially if they even play quarterback at replacement level from Sam Darnold or rookie Matt Corral. Their roster has more than a few players that Lions fans have openly coveted in recent drafts. Outdoor street wins in December are never easy for Detroit.
Forecast: loss (6-9)
I’m assuming here that the Lions put on quite a show for the Ford Field loyalists in the final home game of the 2022 season. It should be a show that ensures Detroit finishes outside of last place in the NFC North as well.
Forecast: Victory (7-9)
The season concludes with a trip to Lambeau Field in January against a Packers team that could play for the postseason seeding. There’s a chance this will also be the last home game Aaron Rodgers will ever play in Green Bay. Difficult for the Lions, but not impossible.
Forecast: Loss (7-10)