Justin Rogers’ 2022 Detroit Lions final grades

Detroit News

Go through the gallery to see The Detroit News’ final grades for the Detroit Lions’ 2022 season, compiled by Justin Rogers. Click here if you have trouble viewing the gallery.

Allen Park — In the days before the start the regular season, my editors force me to predict the Detroit Lions’ final record. It’s an admittedly silly exercise, given how quickly things shift during an NFL season, but it’s a tradition our readers have come to expect, so I oblige. I hopped into the file and glanced at my co-workers’ thoughts. All three had the Lions finishing with seven wins, which is what I had been thinking, but wanting to add at least a little variety, I settled on eight, siding on what felt like merited optimism coming out of training camp.

Seven games into the year, I admittedly felt hoodwinked by what I had perceived with my own eyes through camp. Sitting with a 1-6 record, albeit with some close losses, eight wins seemed like such a silly prediction. But, as noted, things change quickly in the NFL. Two months later, we know how these Lions surged across the finish line.

A rock-solid culture, relentless work ethic and a more talented roster than a year before helped these Lions dig themselves out of that deep hole. The offense, when close to full strength, was one of the league’s most productive. The young defense, after a dreadful start, started to string together better outings as the season progressed. And Dave Fipp’s special teams groups provided plenty of understated value.

All totaled, the Lions finished above .500 for the first time in five years, and the optimism heading into an offseason is higher than it’s been in quite some time. But before we shift gears into free agency and the upcoming draft, let’s stick with another Detroit News tradition and hand out some grades for the 2022 Lions team that exceed my, and likely most of your, expectations.

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