We are on the final day of June, which means we are now less than one month away from the start of Detroit Lions training camp in Allen Park.
As the offseason has gone on, the hype for the 2022 Detroit Lions football team has just continued to grow, despite the fact that they finished with the second-worst record in the NFL in 2021.
There is no question about it that, on paper, the 2022 version of the Lions is better than the 2021 version. And if the 2022 version can stay healthy, especially in key positions, they have a shot to make some noise this coming season.
Who is the Detroit Lions ‘X Factor’ for 2022?
In an article published on ESPN on Thursday, Ben Linsey said that the Detroit Lions ‘X Factor’ for the 2022 season is none other than CB Jeff Okudah.
Okudah, of course, is returning from a torn Achilles tendon injury and it will be very interesting to see what he can do when he gets back on the field with the pads on.
The Lions have a couple of interesting, young cornerbacks but few sure things. That’s true for Jeff Okudah more than anyone. The former No. 3 overall pick struggled in limited action as a rookie in 2020, battling injuries and difficult coverage responsibilities in Matt Patricia’s defense. Last season, Okudah played just 48 defensive snaps before a left Achilles tendon injury ended his season. Okudah looked like a can’t-miss prospect coming out of Ohio State given his size, skill set and production, but he hasn’t lived up to his reputation through two seasons. Detroit will be hoping that changes for a healthy Okudah this season.
According to the dictionary, the definition of ‘X Factor’ is: “A variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.”
If we are going strictly by definition, I don’t believe Jeff Okudah is the Detroit Lions ‘X Factor’ because I don’t see him as having the “most significant impact on the outcome” in 2022.
Instead, and I generally HATE to go with the obvious, but I believe that QB Jared Goff will be the Lions ‘X Factor’ in 2022.
Goff was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL over the first half of the 2021 season as he tossed eight touchdowns and six interceptions as the Lions did not win a single football game.
But in the second half of the season, Goff threw 11 touchdown passes while only being intercepted twice as the Lions finished with a 3-2-1 record down the stretch.
Yes, I have been a Jared Goff defender since the very beginning, and yes, I still believe the Detroit Lions can win with him as their quarterback if they surround him with the right players and the right play-caller.
I believe the Lions have done both of those things and I expect Goff to have a very good season in 2022.
Nation, who would you label as the ‘X Factor’ for the 2022 Detroit Lions? Do you agree with me that Jared Goff is the only answer or is there a player more important to the team in terms of wins and losses?