With training camp officially underway for all 32 NFL teams, HBO’s annual Hard Knocks series has also returned to the spotlight. It was announced early on that this year’s offseason version of the hit television show would focus on the young Detroit Lions roster and their larger-than-life head coach Dan Campbell. When does Hard Knocks start? How can you watch it, and what storylines can we expect to be covered?
When does HBO’s Hard Knocks start?
The offseason version of Hard Knocks that focuses on the Lions will premiere on Tuesday, Aug. 9. Earlier this week, a trailer for the show was released on NFL.com. It highlighted the shifting mindset in Detroit, with Campbell’s monologue focusing heavily on a much-improved roster and level of play.
Campbell’s voice echoed over some quick highlights of training camp footage with the words “You’ve never seen Lions like these” on the screen. Behind the clever play on words was a clear message that this Detroit team is looking to improve significantly from their 3-13-1 record from last season.
Hard Knocks is now heading into its 17th season, and this will be the first time the Lions are featured. There is also an in-season version of the show that started last year with the Indianapolis Colts. In 2022, it will be the Arizona Cardinals’ turn to be featured.
How to watch Hard Knocks: Channel, time, and more
NFL fans can catch Hard Knocks on the premium channel HBO. In addition to catching it live at 10 p.m. ET, it can be streamed after its initial airing on HBO’s streaming platform HBO Max.
Tuesday, Aug. 9
10 p.m. ET
This season, there will be five episodes of Hard Knocks. Here is the schedule for those episodes, which all air on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
- Episode 1
Tuesday, Aug. 9
- Episode 2
Tuesday, Aug. 16
- Episode 3
Tuesday, Aug. 23
- Episode 4
Tuesday, Aug. 30
- Episode 5
Tuesday, Sept. 6
Detroit Lions Hard Knock storylines
As we head into the Detroit Lions’ Hard Knocks debut, there is a ton of buzz surrounding this team. After putting together one of the better draft day performances this offseason, there is hope that the roster can continue to grow and play up for their popular head coach. Here are some potential storylines we can watch out for during this season’s Hard Knocks.
Will Detroit’s own Aidan Hutchinson be an immediate factor?
When Aidan Hutchinson fell to the Lions’ second overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, it was all but guaranteed that Campbell and the organization would jump at the chance to add a premier homegrown talent to their roster. Regarded as one of the top pass rushers in the class and a Heisman Trophy runner-up, expectations are high for Hutchinson. So far in camp, he has continued to impress.
“Certainly Hutch, I mean, he just, he pops,” coach Campbell said at his morning press conference. “To watch him just continue to work and go through it, I’m telling you every day he just gets a little bit better, and that’s all you care about, is that you just see a little bit of improvement every day.”
After Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons set the bar incredibly high last season for rookie edge rushers, Hutchinson is hoping to adapt to the NFL game just as quickly. His development will be something to keep your eye on during Hard Knocks, especially when he lines up against 2021 first-round draft pick Penei Sewell.
What will Detroit’s retooled offense look like and can the team compete?
The much-debated decision to trade Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams and replace him with Jared Goff is one that we don’t need to get into. Regardless of how that deal came to be, the Lions are still moving forward with Goff under center. He was decent enough last year, completing 67.2% of his passes, but the offense was clearly lacking firepower.
In 2022, that will likely no longer be the case. Amon-Ra St. Brown had a breakout season last year and will be looking to continue to develop. The 22-year-old put up 912 receiving yards and five touchdowns as a rookie fourth-round pick.
In addition, the team brought in free agent DJ Chark and added rookie Jameson Williams in the first round of the draft. Williams is coming off of an ACL injury and will likely not be healthy to start the year, but he’ll still make an impact upon his return.
With a top-tier offensive line, a decent upgrade talent-wise in the WR room, and Goff now in his second year with the team, we could see a much better offense in 2022. With a season win total set at 6.5, sportsbooks are predicting only a slight increase in the team’s record. However, PFN’s Ian Wharton recently released his record predictions for the Lions and believes the over is in play.
“Plenty will go right for the Lions as a franchise in 2022. The wins will not come easily, but their schedule has favorable stretches. They have winnable games against the Bears twice, Giants, Jets, Jaguars, and Panthers starting Week 10.
There’s room for error for the Lions to upend a contender and take care of business en route to a cover on the 6.5-win total line.”
Clearly, there is optimism around Detroit, and Hard Knocks is likely going to play into that storyline on a weekly basis.