D’Andre Swift Will Lead the NFL in Rushing Yards
Verdict: Not an Overreaction
D’Andre Swift was ‘how-you-say-it?’ ELITE on Sunday against the Eagles. Swift looked quick, sturdy and sharp against a front seven in Philadelphia, which is very formidable in their own right with guys like Haason Reddick, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargraves and other hard nosed hitters on the front line. However, Swift was able to use his excellent elusiveness and ball carrier vision to break through the gaps and make big plays. Talking about big plays, that is all Swift did! Swift totaled 144 rushing yards, which ranks third after the first week of NFL action and 9.6 yards per carry, which ranks first in the league for players with six carries or more. While the Lions back does have some stiff competition with halfbacks such as Jonathan Taylor and Saquon Barkley who have to ‘literally’ carry their teams, Swift has all the potential in the world to win the rushing yard crown at the end of the season.
The Lions Will Reach .500 On the Season
Verdict: Not an Overreaction
According to NBC Sports, the Detroit Lions have the fifth easiest schedule in the league. The four teams ahead of the Lions on that list are the entirety of the NFC East division (Cowboys, Giants, Eagles and Commanders). With that being said, I love what this Lions team has to offer. With a young, bright offensive core in Swift, receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, tight end T.J. Hockenson and right tackle Penei Sewell, the future is only up for this squad. Then on the defensive side, edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson showed good burst off the line of scrimmage in his regular season debut, linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez looks to be one of the steals of the 2022 NFL Draft and nose tackle Alim McNeil is a young guy who looks like he can really breakout this season. The Lions are definitely a tough out any given week and that was evident in their fourth quarter comeback this past week against the Eagles. Look for them to keep improving throughout the season and even turn some L’s into W’s!
Jeff Okudah Will Become a Top-15 Cornerback in the League
Jeff Okudah is entering his third season in the league; however, the young cornerback has still only played a total of eleven games in his career due to a variety of injuries, so we really have not seen a lot of him. When Okudah has been in action, he really has underperformed to the high expectations that come with being the third overall pick in any draft. While injuries and his overall performance have labeled him a draft bust, Okudah showed flashes and potential in the season opener against Philly. He looked clean and technical in press coverage and kept the deep ball closed off, even almost picking off quarterback Jalen Hurts in the match; however, Okudah struggled a little bit more in off and zone coverage. Okudah has the talent, but will he be able to truly grow and develop is the question and with that being said, I do not believe that Okudah will become a top-15 NFL cornerback by the end of the season.
Jared Goff Will Lead This Team to the NFC Playoffs
No! Absolutely not! While quarterback Jared Goff is not the worst option at the position, he is no true game changer. With guys like Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, the talent and skill is so obvious and transparent. With Goff, he just seems to be a guy that can connect a pass or two, but it is nothing special! The aforementioned quarterbacks provide those sparks and moments of extraordinary, not Goff! Yes, Goff has played in a Super Bowl, but that was based on the Sean McVay-led system he played in, plus the fact that he had both Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey on the other side of the football backing him up. Based on this statement, I am not necessarily stating that the Lions won’t find themselves in the playoffs (somehow), but I am saying that it won’t be because of the basic and mediocre Jared Goff! Moving forward, the Lions will need to look to add a true franchise quarterback. Maybe a guy like Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud?