Before this past season began, Pride Of Detroit's writers put together various predictions for how things would play out in 2013. POD readers also made various predictions by voting in polls before the 2013 season kicked off, and below is a look back at how our picks from early September fared.
How we voted: 10-6 led the way with 29 percent of the vote.
In reality: The Detroit Lions seemed well on their way to a 10-6 season after getting off to a 6-3 start, but they stumbled down the stretch and finished 7-9. Only 95 people (9 percent) voted that the Lions would go 7-9 in 2013.
Jim Schwartz's job status
How we voted: 65 percent of the voters thought Schwartz would still be the Lions' head coach in 2014.
In reality: Schwartz was fired a day after the 2013 season came to a close. Had the Lions actually finished with a 10-6 record like most people expected before the season, chances are Schwartz would still be the head coach.
How we voted: Calvin Johnson got 50 percent of the vote and was the clear winner. Reggie Bush and Matthew Stafford were a distant second and third with 22 and 20 percent of the vote.
In reality: I think it's safe to say we got this one right. Johnson missed two games in 2013, and the Lions struggled to do much of anything on offense in those two games. The offense was really lost without Megatron, and he was pretty clearly their most valuable player on that side of the ball.
How we voted: Ndamukong Suh ran away with this poll even more than Johnson did for the offensive category. Suh received 55 percent of the vote, and second place was Nick Fairley with a mere 13 percent.
In reality: Suh is a fine choice for defensive MVP, but you could make a strong case for DeAndre Levy as well. Interestingly, Levy wasn't even included in our poll from before the season, although 4 percent of the vote did go to the "Other" category. I guess that just shows how surprising Levy's outstanding season was. Nobody really saw it coming back in early September.
Special teams MVP
How we voted: 67 percent of the vote went to Sam Martin. David Akers came in second with 14 percent.
In reality: Just like the defensive MVP category with Suh, Martin is a fine choice for special teams MVP. You could also make a strong case for Jeremy Ross, who obviously was not included in our poll from before the season. That's because he was with the Green Bay Packers at the time. His emergence after joining the Lions during the season was really a surprise.
Breakout offensive player
How we voted: Joique Bell narrowly edged Ryan Broyles by a margin of 34-31 percent.
In reality: Bell had another solid season, so that part of the prediction was pretty good, but Broyles had a pretty disappointing 2013 after suffering another serious injury. Dominic Raiola deserves some recognition for the breakout season he had, but his outstanding performance was another complete surprise considering he wasn't even on our radar for this category before the season.
Breakout defensive player
How we voted: Fairley won the poll with 34 percent of the vote, and none of the other players really came close to that mark.
In reality: Levy was the clear winner for this category given how much he elevated his game in 2013. Once again, he was not even included in the poll from before the season, but we're definitely taking notice of him now. Well done, Mr. Levy.
Rookie of the year
How we voted: Ziggy Ansah edged Darius Slay by a margin of 32-28 percent to win this poll.
In reality: Ansah had a solid first season in the NFL, and he led all rookies in sacks. Slay... not so much. Regardless, the real winner here was Larry Warford, so well done to the 27 of you who actually voted for him before the season.