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Roundtable: When Should Jameson Williams Make Debut for Lions?

The latest SI All Lions Roundtable focuses on when Detroit Lions rookie wideout Jameson Williams will make his NFL debut.

1.) What was your reaction to the Lions schedule that was released? 

Vito Chirco: On the surface, it looks relatively easy. And, it, in fact, is the fifth-weakest schedule, based on the combined winning percentage of the Lions' opponents from last season. So, I believe Dan Campbell & Co. have a chance to tease Detroit fans and look better than they really are, especially in the early goings of the campaign.  

However, these are the Lions we're talking about, and they're not in position to be a playoff-caliber team just yet. And, I believe that'll become more and more evident as the season progresses. 

Adam Strozynski: I think this team is going to hype up the fanbase and break its hearts. The schedule appears to be soft early on, but down the stretch and late into the season, it becomes more difficult. I don't see many wins in the final two months of the season. 

2.) How many wins do you realistically see for the Lions? 

Chirco: I'll say seven wins. I still don't see this team being even close to the level of a fringe playoff contender. So, I think the way-too-early 10-win predictions for the Lions this upcoming season are absolutely erroneous. However, with the additions of guys like Aidan Hutchinson, DJ Chark and Jameson Williams this offseason, I do believe that seven victories is attainable.

Strozynski: I think six wins is doable. I see the Lions picking up four of the six before October is over. So, they will look good early, but struggle down the stretch. 

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3.) The Lions deserved to at least have one nationally televised primetime game, didn't they?

Chirco: I agree with Adam. The answer is no. Detroit went a measly 3-13-1 a season ago, and realistically, should not be expected to be a winning squad in 2022.

There's also the case to be made that Detroit's annual Thanksgiving game -- which this year is slated to be with the Buffalo Bills -- makes up for the lack of a primetime game. 

Strozynski: No! You get what you earn. Last year, this team was awful. You get Thanksgiving and you'll like it. No more!

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4.) What is your favorite and least favorite game on this year's schedule?

Chirco: I'll go back to Detroit's Thanksgiving contest with the Bills for my favorite game. I'm of the mindset that you couldn't script a much better Thanksgiving game. 

The Bills are one of the favorites to hoist the Lombardi Trophy at season's end, and are coming off a 2021 campaign in which they lost to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.

It'll be interesting to see if this "Turkey Day" clash becomes a shootout. 

As for my least favorite game, I think I'm going to go with Detroit's Week 16 tilt with the Carolina Panthers. Both teams will likely be out of the playoff picture by this point, and I'm not excited by a potential QB matchup between Jared Goff and Sam Darnold or Goff and Panthers rookie signal-caller Matt Corral. If I had it my way, I probably wouldn't be tuning in to this late-season contest. 

Strozynski: October 2 against the Seattle Seahawks is my favorite game. I think the Lions win against this retooling Seahawks team.

Least favorite is the Week 17 game against Green Bay, I hate playing the Packers late in the season in Green Bay. The weather is brutal, the Lions' season is over, and guys like Matt Flynn make massive paydays through embarrassing Detroit. I hate it.

5.) Detroit has to take things very cautiously with its new top wideout. When should Jameson Williams actually play for the Lions?

Chirco: For me, it's simple. He should play when his ACL has fully healed. Until then, the Lions should be extra cautious with him and keep him on the sideline. It's not worth having him play through the ailment and risk having him worsen it. 

This is the approach I believe Detroit will deploy as well, as the organization knows that it won't be winning anything of significance in 2022. It's about building for 2023 and beyond, which Williams is going to be an instrumental part of. 

Strozynski: Thanksgiving. The Lions will have dropped a few games back-to-back, and the fanbase will be uneasy. This gives it something to cheer for. Also, it allows Williams almost a full year to recover. Let him take his time. No need to rush him back.