Week 15 - Dec. 18, 2022 | Jets vs. Lions
MetLife Stadium | Buy Tickets
State of the Team
After three seasons with Matt Patricia (13-29) at the helm, Campbell was hired in January 2021. Two months later the Lions and Rams completed a blockbuster trade with Detroit sending QB Matthew Stafford to L.A. for QB Jared Goff, two first-round draft picks (2022 and 2023) and a third-rounder (2021). Stafford proceeded to lead the Rams to a Super Bowl title while Goff had a 3-10-1 record in 14 starts with 3,245 yards, 19 TDs, 8 INTs while being sacked 34 times and losing a league-high 6 fumbles.
This season, there's a new offensive coordinator (Ben Johnson) and a top rookie wide receiver -- the Lions traded up into the first round to pick Alabama's Jameson Williams at No. 12 overall, even though he continues to rehab from a torn ACL injury sustained in the national championship game in January.
Detroit's defense should benefit bigly from the drafting of Aidan Hutchinson and the re-signing of LB Jarrad Davis, who spent last season with the Jets. The Lions had only 30 sacks last season, the third-fewest in the league. The team shored up its defensive backfield with the signing in free agency of Mike Hughes and the expected return from injury (torn Achilles tendon) of CB Jeff Okudah, the No. 3 selection in the 2020 draft.
Biggest Offseason Addition
Sitting at No. 2 in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Lions had their fingers and toes crossed that Jacksonville, picking at No. 1 overall, would do them a favor of sorts and skip over the guy who had been the consensus top pick for months -- Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. The Jaguars spurned the guy who ESPN's Daniel Jeremiah rated the top draft prospect to take Georgia LB Travon Walker. That left Hutchinson, a native of Plymouth, MI ,who will turn 22 in August, for his "hometown" team. Hutchinson, who some observers see as a Nick Bosa-like player, had 14 sacks for the Wolverines in 2021, a school record. Hutchinson (6-7, 260) was the winner of the Ted Hendricks Award, the Lombardi Award (and others), while finishing second in voting for the Heisman Trophy.
Something's got to give: The Lions are desperate to improve their pass rush and the Jets are hellbent on protecting second-year QB Zach Wilson.
The drafting of Hutchinson puts Detroit on that path, but it's going to take more to improve upon last season's 30 sacks. The rookie will need help from D-lineman Levi Onwuzurike, who is entering his second NFL season after appearing in 16 games with a lone sack and 35 combined tackles. The Lions hope that 11-year veteran Michael Brockers has something left in his tank, who also played in 16 games last season with one sack. A weak defensive line last season resulted in the team's top eight tacklers coming from among linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties.
For the Jets, the fortified offensive line has the potential to be elite. The addition in free agency of Pro Bowl guard Laken Tomlinson, signed from San Francisco, gives the Jets' left side a solid feel, whether he plays next to George Fant or Mekhi Becton at tackle. Second-year man Alijah Vera-Tucker flips to the right side, with the veteran Connor McGovern back at center. General manager Joe Douglas also added to the line's stability (and provided two more options for Wilson) by signing in free agency tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin.
Inside the Numbers
|Passing Yards (TDs)||Jared Goff||3,245 (19)|
|Rushing Yards||RB DeAndre Swift||617|
|Receiving Yards||WR Amon-Ra St. Brown||912|
|Receiving TDs||WR Amon-Ra St. Brown||5|
|Tackles||S Tracy Walker||105|
|Sacks||OLB Charles Harris||7.5|
|Interceptions||CB Amani Oruwariye||6|