Oh, yes. It’s that time of the year. We’re making totally outlandish and speculative predictions about our Detroit Lions. It must be September.
But you’re here reading it, so what does that say about you, huh?
The Lions open the 2022 campaign on Sunday vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, and will hope to improve on their second-worst record from last season, 3-13-1. You forgot about that tie game, didn’t you? It happened.
My fellow ClickOnDetroit editor Derick Hutchinson and I took probably way too much time to go through the entire schedule and make our game-by-game picks, but we did it for you. We think you deserve it. We’re here to serve.
So here it is -- our Detroit Lions 2022 game-by-game predictions:
Week 1: vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Ken: There’s a lot of juice coming into this game. Hard Knocks, normal Lions hype, football is back. I can feel the positive energy. Give me a nice home opener win vs. Philly, because it just feels right.
Derick: The opening game, right after “Hard Knocks.” Everyone is fired up from Dan Campbell’s latest speech. “This is the year!” Don’t fall for it, Lions fans! Jalen Hurts will expose the weak Detroit linebacking unit and dampen the enthusiasm surrounding this year’s team.
Week 2: vs. Washington Commanders
Ken: The Commanders are working in another new quarterback -- Carson Wentz -- who led the Colts to an epic collapse last season. But he should be ok for them. Still, Washington shouldn’t be very good. Lions could easily get this win, and I think they will.
Derick: Another winnable home game at the start of the season, and this one against a team without a quarterback of Hurts’ stature. Still, I think Carson Wentz, Terry McLaurin, and Jahan Dotson will be enough to overwhelm the Lions defense and pull out a win.
Week 3: @ Minnesota Vikings
Ken: Minnesota is going through some changes this year but they still have a very good offense, and it’s sure to give the Lions trouble. Detroit hasn’t won in Minnesota since 2017, and this won’t be the end of the streak. Vikings win.
Derick: The first road test of the season comes against a team that’s probably not far off Detroit’s talent level. I expect the Lions to be competitive against all three teams in the division, but I know better than to predict a win in Minneapolis.
Week 4: vs. Seattle Seahawks
Ken: Seattle is entering a reboot year after trading away the franchise quarterback Russell Wilson. A west coast team coming into Detroit, it’ll be a nice advantage for the Lions. They come home and get another win in this one.
Derick: Detroit comes home against the Russell Wilson-less Seahawks and finally pick up their first win. It would be so incredibly on-brand to crush everyone’s hopes with an 0-3 start and then ignite them once again with a dominant victory.
Week 5: @ New England Patriots
Ken: A road game vs. the Patriots, and “new” offensive coordinator Matt Patricia -- Lions fans will be licking their chops hoping for a road gem. But I don’t see it happening. The Patriots should be in playoff contention if Mac Jones can keep growing. Pats take this one.
Derick: This could be the most important game of the season for the Lions if they start 1-3. Heading into a Week 6 bye, 2-3 looks a lot better than 1-4. Unfortunately, this isn’t really the type of team to go into Foxborough and pull an upset. I’m taking the Patriots.
Week 6: BYE WEEK
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Week 7: @ Dallas Cowboys
Ken: The Lions will be on the road in Dallas coming off a bye week. Dallas will be coming off a Sunday Night matchup vs. Philadelphia. They could be rolling in with some momentum, or not, we’ll see. Either way, I think Dallas likely comes away with this -- just too much on both sides of the ball for a young Detroit team.
Derick: If this was at Ford Field, it’d be exactly the type of game the Lions love to win. But I don’t think this front seven is going to contain the combination of Dan Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
Week 8: vs. Miami Dolphins
Ken: The Dolphins are a team that could make a nice jump this year, but they’re still beatable. Tyreek Hill joins the Miami offense, but Tua Tagovailoa has a lot to prove to me. I think the Lions will be hungry for a win here, and they get one.
Derick: The Dolphins have some dynamic playmakers in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, but I think this is where the Lions pick up a solid win and start to turn their season around.
Week 9: vs. Green Bay Packers
Ken: Assuming Aaron Rodgers is still on two feet, I don’t care who’s playing wide receiver for Green Bay. I’m picking the Packers. Sorry, Lions.
Derick: I’ll regret this when Aaron Rodgers finds some way to pull of a last-second Hail Mary, or the Lions give up a game-winning 60-yard field goal. But I’m sticking with the Lions at home against a much less stacked Packers roster.
Week 10: @ Chicago Bears
Ken: The Bears are always beatable, and still, Detroit seems to have trouble making it happen. The Lions have only won one of their last eight games vs. Chicago. It’s time to flip the script. But will they? Not in this one. Chicago wins.
Derick: Lions fans are about to figure out how dangerous the Bears will be the next several years, depending on how Justin Fields looks in the first half. But the Lions couldn’t even beat Mitch Trubisky in Chicago, so I think they lose this one either way.
Week 11: @ New York Giants
Ken: The Giants suck. It’s a fact. They should be worse than the Lions in most categories, and by Week 11, the Giants fanbase should be plenty upset. Lions get one on the road in New York.
Derick: Losing to Kenny Golladay would be frustrating, especially since the Giants don’t figure to be one of the better teams in the league this year. But Daniel Jones is a decent runner, and paired with Saquon Barkley, I don’t think the Lions linebackers will be able to stack up.
Week 12: vs. Buffalo Bills
Ken: It’s Thanksgiving and the Bills are just too dang good. I could see the Lions giving them a run in the first half or something, but Buffalo, a Super Bowl contender, should take care of business, just in time for turkey. Bills Mafia rolls.
Derick: I don’t care if the Lions play the Bills on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, Dan Campbell’s birthday, or any day. They’re not beating Josh Allen.
Week 13: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Ken: This is one of those games that both fanbases circled as an easy game on their respective schedules. Jacksonville added a lot of talent and threw their head coach into a dumpster, so they could look very different. But they should still be bad. Lions win this one at home.
Derick: Jacksonville should be much better with Trevor Lawrence in his second season and Urban Meyer polluting our TV screens from the analyst’s desk. But still, the Lions should win this game at home.
Week 14: vs. Minnesota Vikings
Ken: A second matchup vs. the Vikings, this one at home, looks like a winnable game. Minnesota should be a playoff team, but division games are tricky. Lions will probably contend well here, but I’m taking Minnesota.
Derick: Neither the Lions nor the Vikings have overly high expectations, but they’ll both be better than last year. It feels like the kind of season where they split and both win at home.
Week 15: @ New York Jets
Ken: The Jets suck, almost as much as the Giants. But Dearborn native Robert Saleh is going to want a piece of his hometown team in this road matchup. I can’t believe I’m doing this, but give me the J-E-T-S.
Derick: It’ll be a rough season for the Lions in New York if they lose to both the Giants and Jets within the span of 30 days. But if both teams are pretty bad, and the Lions are coming off back-to-back wins, I’m going with the home team.
Week 16: @ Carolina Panthers
Ken: Carolina is a weird one. They could be okay. Does Baker Mayfield get his career back on track? It’s possible. But Carolina is probably not going to win many games. The Lions should be able to steal this one on the road.
Derick: What in the world are the Panthers going to look like this year? Even if Baker Mayfield is at quarterback, as long as Christian McCaffrey can stay healthy, he’ll shred the Lions’ front seven.
Week 17: vs. Chicago Bears
Ken: The Lions should still be trying to contend here, in this scenario I’ve made up, so maybe they are playing for something. The Bears will be playing for a draft pick, because the Bears aren’t good. I’m piling up too many Lions wins here, but this schedule is looking easy, isn’t it? Am I blind? Gimme the Lions.
Derick: If the Lions get swept by this Bears team, they should automatically qualify for the No. 1 pick, regardless of record. They have to win this one at home.
Week 18: @ Green Bay Packers
Ken: If Aaron Rodgers is playing here, the Lions will lose. If he’s not playing, the Lions will still probably lose. So I’m taking the Packers. Simple as that.
Derick: Unless the Packers have already locked up their playoff seed and bench Aaron Rodgers for half the game (like they did last year), the Lions aren’t going into Lambeau and winning in January. We’ve seen this story before.
Final record predictions: