The Detroit Lions will look to continue their rise to the top after improving from 2021 to 2022. In his first two seasons, head coach Dan Campbell took the Lions from a 3-13-1 record and last place in the NFC North to a 9-8 record and second in the division, and NFL expert picks expect Detroit to take another jump in 2023.
Detroit’s Time to Shine
It seems the consensus is that the Lions will take the NFC North crown for the first time since 1993.
The Lions had one of the best offenses last season and made improvements to a struggling defense in the offseason.
There’s plenty of unpredictability for the other teams in the division, with Green Bay starting anew with a young core of receivers and a new quarterback, Minnesota losing some key veterans, and Chicago also figuring things out after finishing last in the league, leaving the NFC North to Detroit for the taking.
The Lions finished second in the division last season, going 5-1 in the North. Making an NFL pick on them winning the title this year should be a solid bet.
Lions Make Another Jump
Detroit exceeded expectations last year by winning nine games, doing so on the back of a top-five offense.
It would be an easier bet to just say the Lions will improve upon that number and win over 9½ games this season – like the NFL lines have them favored at – but taking it a step further and saying Detroit will win 11 games could offer a better potential payout.
The Lions were able to win nine games and go 5-1 in the NFC North despite having a bottom-five defense in the league. After making changes in the offseason to address those issues – signing safety CJ Gardner-Johnson and cornerbacks Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley – that defense should help rather than hurt this year.
Detroit’s defense will get a tough test in the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, but with the Lions’ next three of four games coming at home, with two against young quarterbacks, they should get back on track.
With not much change on the offensive side, the Lions’ offense should once again power them to success while getting a boost from their defense. It should carry them through a tougher second half of the schedule and propel them to double-digit wins for the first time since 2014.
MCDC Earns His Flowers
Though it is sometimes tougher to predict who will win the NFL Coach of the Year, as it is voted on by sports journalists, NFL predictions have head coach Dan Campbell as the favorite to win it this year.
Despite Campbell leading the Lions to their best season since 2017, he lost out on the honor to rookie head coach Brian Daboll last season, who guided the New York Giants to a 9-7-1 regular-season record and a playoff berth for the first time since 2016. Now, with expectations high for Detroit and the very real possibility of securing the NFC North title for the first time in 30 years and a playoff berth for the first time since 2016, it could be Campbell’s turn.
There’s no doubt Campbell has endeared himself to Detroit and football fans alike with his performance in Hard Knocks and his passion for the game. If the Lions can continue to improve and meet the raised expectations for this year, he should remain a favorite for Coach of the Year honors throughout the season.