DSN Detroit Lions Season Record Predictions

It seems like everybody is down on the Detroit Lions this year. It’s hardly a surprise given their relative lack of success but after finishing the season on a 6-2 run and spectacular play from quarterback Matthew Stafford, you’d think somebody would be buying in.

The sudden retirement of All-World receiver Calvin Johnson and the brutal start to last season clearly weigh heavy in the minds of many. Few are predicting better than a .500 season for the Lions and even fewer believe in the Lions’ chances of making the playoffs.

Some of our Lions staff writers have put in their own predictions and for a variety of reasons, they seem to have found a little blue Kool-Aid at last.

Paul Rochon (10-6)

My own percentage based algorithm pegs the Lions at 10.25 wins, calling them the favorite in 12 of their 16 games. This formula tends to lean predictions towards the mean but I’ll stay on the conservative side based on Lions’ history and a lack of trust in the coaching staff to handle close games correctly. A relatively clean bill of health and strides on the offensive line could easily push this number north but the opposite is also true.

Even throughout all the Lions’ struggles, they own the best divisional record in the NFC North at 12-6 over the past few years and I expect them to contend for the division, though, they are more likely to end up a wild card team. I believe the Lions have a large variance factor this year in particular with so many question marks making for an exciting and unpredictable season.

Don Drysdale (10-6)

I have the Lions going 10-6 and making the playoffs after finishing 2nd in NFC North. Thanks to the play calling of offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, Matthew Stafford played like one of the best QB’s in football as the Lions were able to finish the second half of the 2015 regular season with a 6-2 record. Sure, the Lions may have lost Calvin Johnson, but Stafford still has plenty of weapons to help him out on the offensive side of the ball, including newly acquired wide receivers Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin.

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The offense will be solid, but it’s the defense that will lead the Lions to 10 wins (or more) in 2016. Ziggy Ansah and Darius Slay will be dominant at their positions and the return of DeAndre Levy will be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Let’s Go!

Julius Porter (11-5)

Health is by far the biggest factor of success this year for Detroit. Lack of depth at key positions leaves little room for error but if the injury bug can lay low, we are looking at a vastly underrated football team. Dark horse MVP candidate Matthew Stafford can lead this team to a big season.

Zach Fanko (10-6)

The Lions are tough to peg, especially when attempting to add context to their hot finish in 2015. Even without Calvin Johnson, expect Matthew Stafford to spread the ball to his many weapons under Jim Bob Cooter’s direction. The offensive line will determine the offensive ceiling.

The return of DeAndre Levy and a punishing defensive line will give opposing offenses fits. A strong pass rush should help the secondary fly around and force turnovers. Overall the Lions look like a fringe playoff team. If they plan on earning a postseason spot, splitting with Green Bay and Minnesota will be key.

AJ Reilly (11-5)

I have the Lions at 11-5, not because I believe in them, but going game by game I believe in their schedule. I think Detroit splits the first four with wins against the Titans and Colts. They’ll follow a 2-2 start with a 4 game winning streak defeating the Eagles, Rams, Skins, and capped by a huge road win in Houston. I think they’ll finish 5-3 over the final stretch taking down the Jags, Vikings (at home), Bears (at home), Cowboys (on the road), and GB (at home).

I may be crazy for thinking this, but what the heck. (Editors Note: Confirmed, Blue Kool-Aid makes you crazy)

 

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