Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Analyst names 3 most critical games for Lions’ 2022 schedule

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The Detroit Lions are pushing for an important season on the field, and in addition to roster building and development, the challenge for the team now will be managing their schedule.

With some advantages in terms of travel and the teams they will play against, most see the Lions in a good position to potentially cause damage this year. However, that can only be true if the team navigates some potential landmines in its schedule.

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Since the ledger was unveiled in May, there has been no shortage of footage of what the team’s key games will be over the coming year. NFL.com’s Adam Rank has his own take on the most important games for the Lions, revealing his top three competitions in a 2022 preview.

According to Rank, he cites Detroit’s Week 2 home fight against Washington, a Week 10 date with the Bears in Chicago, and the Week 18 final game against Green Bay at Lambeau Field as the most important games for 2022.

He writes, “Even though they’re currently underdogs in Week 1 against the Eagles and Week 2 against the Commanders, they’ll need to pick at least one of the two if they’re to quickly erase the memory of last season’s woes.”

When it comes to the Bears, Rank sees the midseason contest as a big swing game given how Detroit has played against Chicago lately.

“The Lions were swept by the Bears last season. If Detroit is going to improve this year, these are the games they need to win,” he wrote.

Finally, Rank jokingly writes that Detroit’s season finale in Green Bay could be for the division title, adding to its importance. While he may be joking, there’s a chance the Lions and Packers could have a big fight in 2022, making this game a potentially important one for Detroit if chips drop well.

When you add it up, these seem like good picks for games Lions fans will want to circle in the coming year for more than one reason, especially the Chicago contest.

Rank is spot on when he cites Detroit’s early game against Washington as a key contest. As revealed prior to the release of the schedule, the Lions will not cover many miles this season and that will play out early in the 2022 season as the team will play three of the first four weeks of the season at home. Detroit starts with Philadelphia and Washington at home before heading out to face a Minnesota team they narrowly lost to on the road in 2021. They then return home to face off against a drastically changed Seattle team that has seen some major rebuilds this offseason. The Commanders aren’t tending to be one of the best teams in the league, and whether the Eagles will look as good in 2021 as they have at times is unclear. It’s a very friendly way to start the year for Detroit.

Fans may roll their eyes, but there’s a decent chance for the Lions to start 3-1 or at least 2-2 with this home-friendly setup and the Washington game could be a big one for that reason. There’s no playoff or division title within the first four weeks, but a tough start can put a team out of contention and cast doubt on their season.

This year, the Lions are well prepared to get off to a much better start and maybe land on some radars nationwide. If they beat the commanders, this could end up as possible.

It’s not just the start that’s critical for the Lions, but, as Rank aptly points out, so is the end of the year. If Detroit can stay afloat earlier in December, the team could have a playoff push based on their finish. On paper, the Lions will play four winnable games from six competitions from December 4 through January 8 based on last year’s level of competition. That starts with a date against the other miserable Team of 2021, the Jacksonville Jaguars. There is also a home game against the New York Jets, Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears. Few of these teams have serious playoff ambitions for 2022, so that could set off a big run for the Lions if they are locked down. The Lions will want to win as many games as looks good for them on paper to have a shot at ending the year big.

All in all, the Lions have a good chance of finishing with a better record, as Rank admits. However, it might require scraping out those three games to make that happen.

CONTINUE READING: Internet blasts terrible D’Andre Swift 2022 ranking

All in all, the Lions have a good chance of finishing with a better record, as Rank admits. However, it might require scraping out those three games to make that happen.

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