Detroit Lions: Ben Johnson staying put, building ‘something special’

Detroit Lions, Ben Johnson (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions, Ben Johnson (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions look like they’ll keep an all-important piece to their coaching staff in Ben Johnson.

The story of the 2022 Detroit Lions should begin and end with offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, who took the team to new heights.

Nobody imagined the Lions would be within a game of the postseason, but that’s exactly what Johnson was able to accomplish with Detroit this past season. For that, he was one of the hottest coaching candidates for NFL vacancies over the past several days.

The Lions’ offensive coordinator was one of the rumored candidates for both the Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers, with Johnson being a favorite for the latter.

It didn’t take long, however, for Johnson to make a decision on his future. Even though he had head coaching opportunities in his near future, Johnson opted to stay in Detroit for at least one more season.

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will give it one more year with the team in order to make a playoff push

The Lions came so close to the playoffs this year, and Johnson was a big reason why. Johnson’s Lions ended the regular season as the league’s number four overall offense in terms of yards per game (380.0).

Detroit was also fifth in scoring offense, putting up 26.6 points per game.

This was supposed to be a throwaway year for quarterback Jared Goff, who came over in that Matthew Stafford trade with the Los Angeles Rams prior to the 2021 season. Goff’s contract was a sticking point. It was a big reason why the Rams gave up hefty draft compensation to land Stafford.

Sure, the Rams won a Super Bowl. But, the future looks that much brighter in Detroit because of Goff’s play under Johnson. Goff was aided by his offensive coordinator to a season that saw him throw for 4,438 yards, 29 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions.

Those seven interceptions, by the way, were the fewest Goff had thrown in five seasons.

Johnson staying put means the Lions can continue building on what they started in 2022, and quite possibly make a realistic playoff push in 2023.

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