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3 Reasons the Detroit Lions Have Hope in 2023

As fans already know all too well, being a Detroit Lions supporter comes with its fair share of ups and downs. If we’re being honest, the roller coaster mostly features downs, as the franchise has only qualified for the postseason three times since 2000, heading into the current campaign. The narrative has centered around building a culture and restocking the cupboard for the future all too often.

While that storyline remains relevant, the feeling around the franchise does appear to have changed. A once moribund Detroit team, which seemed lifeless and willing to go down the instant they were hit in the mouth, now looks resilient and competitive. 

We’ll look at three legitimate reasons why the Lions should have hope heading into the future.

Campbell’s Attitude Is Contagious

Super Bowl odds 2023 isn’t something that Lions fans are used to talking about, but don’t tell that to head coach Dan Campbell. From the minute he took over the job, he’s been preaching toughness and doing whatever it takes to win. Some of his quotes have been a little over the top, but his willingness to get to the promised land has resonated with his players.

Campbell once infamously stated his team would bite kneecaps to prove they were more equipped to last for the full 60 minutes of an NFL game if that’s what it took to win. This comment was seen as funny at the time, but it did give fans a sneak preview of what Campbell was hoping to establish in Detroit.

As we move forward to the present day, it’s fair to see that Campbell’s aims in this regard have succeeded. During the 2022 regular season, the Lions have gone for it on fourth down the third most times in the league, which proves that the team is trying to win the game rather than attempting not to lose it. 

A Trove Of Young Talent And More To Come

As we referenced above, the idea that “next year” is the year Detroit will turn things around has been a constant theme for a long time. However, there’s well-founded optimism that the Lions might have found something with their younger players and can add more difference-makers in the near future.

Some questioned whether the Lions were wise to use the second overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft on Aidan Hutchinson, but he’s had a solid rookie season. He’s started every game and has shown a surprising ability to come down with interceptions, which is unusual for an edge rusher.

Running back D’Andre Swift has been in and out of the lineup this year but still shows flashes of talent which motivated the Lions to invest a second-round pick on him in the 2020 NFL Draft. He may not be the type of back who dominates carries out of the backfield, but his versatility in the running and passing games has been valuable.

Detroit had to wait until late in the season to get a look at their other 2022 first-round pick, but wide receiver Jameson Williams has slowly been getting his feet wet at the NFL level. The team has big plans for the former University of Alabama star.

If this positive news wasn’t enough, the Lions also own the Los Angeles Rams’ first-round pick in 2023. The Rams had a disastrous season, falling off dramatically after winning the Super Bowl the year before. As a result, the Lions will have a high selection and a chance to bring in another future star.

More Than Just A Seatwarmer

Of course, Detroit owns Los Angeles’ draft capital because of the trade that sent Matthew Stafford to the Rams and Jared Goff to the Lions. The initial thought was that the Lions made the deal primarily to bolster their number of picks and that Goff was a placeholder for the next young player Detroit wanted to trot out under center.

It might still turn out that Goff is keeping the seat warm for someone else, but don’t be so sure. He’s still 28 years old and has proven to be more than capable of leading an offense with weapons around him. Goff also has a Super Bowl appearance to his name, which is something that most quarterbacks around the NFL can’t say.

Many fans will point to Goff’s salary and comment that he may not be worth the money. For this team at this time, though, it feels like he has found a comfort zone and earned his teammates’ respect. Detroit would be unwise to move on from that unless they were sure they could find a better replacement.

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