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3 overrated Detroit Lions from the 2022 season

3 overrated Detroit Lions from the 2022 season

3 overrated Detroit Lions from the 2022 season

After a 3-13-1 finish in season 2021, hopes were naturally a bit higher for the Detroit Lions heading into the 2022 season. A push toward a .500 record was certainly not out of the question. But a 1-6 start came.


But the Lions ultimately did find their way and take that next step this year, winning eight of their last 10 games to finish 9-8 and just outside the playoffs. 


As the Detroit Lions exceeded expectations as a team, these three players fell far short of their individual expectations in 2022.

#3. Charles Harris, Linebacker

Harris saved his career from certified first-round bust territory in 2021, when he led the Lions with 7.5 sacks. The team rewarded that breakthrough with a two-year deal last offseason.


Harris started this season slowly, with one sack in the first four games. Then a groin injury cost him five of the next seven games. Harris landed on IR with the groin issue heading into Week 13. 


The Lions can part ways with Harris fairly easily this offseason, if they want to. His role in the edge rusher mix looking toward next season is unclear. A nearly $8 million cap hit is pretty expensive for a backup, let alone someone who hasn’t been particularly good except for one season in his career.


Detroit Lions definitely hoped Harris could repeat what he did in 2021 this year, but they ended up very wrong, albeit with a seemingly pretty significant injury as a factor.

#2. Amani Oruwariye, Cornerback

In 2021, Oruwariye was a bright spot on an otherwise dismal Lions’ defense. He finished third in the league with six interceptions, and looked like a shutdown cornerback to build a secondary around.


But Oruwarye struggled a lot early this season, as PFF’s lowest-graded qualifying cornerback at one point. Then he was benched in Week 5. He played every snap in Week 7 and 8 coming out of the bye, because there were no other options.


Once there were other options available , Oruwariye only played when it was absolutely necessary, and he was one of few fully healthy bodies in the cornerback room. When he did play in the second half of the season, opposing quarterbacks regularly had a bullseye on him.


The Lions did not give Oruwariye a contract extension last offseason, as he moved toward the final year of his rookie contract. That now looks like a great decision, and great might not be quite strong enough a word.

#1. D’Andre Swift, Running Back

Entering his third season, D’Andre Swift emerged from the season opener with an ankle injury. He played in Week 2 and Week 3, answering the offseason challenge from running backs coach Duce Staley to play through minor injuries.


He added a shoulder issue to his injury list in that Week 3 game and missed the next three games, with the bye week also in there. Swift saw a fair amount of snaps when he returned in Week 8. He played a total of 29 snaps over the next two games, much to his open chagrin one of those weeks, and his snap share exceeded 40 percent just twice over the rest of the season.


Some of Swift’s underachievement this season is rooted in how good running back Jamaal Williams was. He showed flashes of his potential, to create some question over why his usage was being so limited, even with Williams’ success. 


Next season is a big one for Swift, even bigger than this year. It’ll be the final year of his rookie contact, and an extension is not coming from the Lions this offseason. 

The overall results just did not come for Swift this year, rooted in his two early injuries that were an ongoing thing. He couldn’t shake the injury prone label, and maybe he never will.

5.0 / 6

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