To get ready for the 2014 season, Pride Of Detroit's writers weighed in with predictions on a variety of topics. You can make your own predictions by voting in the poll at the end of this post, and you can see what our writers had to say below.
First up: What will the Detroit Lions' record be in 2014?
Sean Yuille: 9-7
I'm expecting a streaky season from the Lions. I have them winning their first two games before dropping a game at home to the Green Bay Packers. I then have them winning two straight games, losing two straight, winning two straight, losing two straight and winning three straight. This would put them at 9-5 going into road games against the Chicago Bears and Packers, but I don't see them winning either contest. That leaves them at 9-7 for the season.
Christopher Tomke: 11-5
I'm doubling down on last year's prediction. 11-5. Golden Tate, Eric Ebron and Joe Lombardi help the offense reach new heights, and the defense is adequate enough to stymie most of the mediocre non-divisional passing attacks the Lions face. Pour me another glass of that Kool-Aid, please.
Jeremy Reisman: 7-9
I hate making record predictions, because there are just too many unforeseen variables that can alter the fate of a football team. This team has the talent to win 11 games this year. But it also has enough question marks for me to seriously question whether they'll be able to equal the sum of their parts. With an entirely new coaching staff, the team may stumble out of the gate while learning new offensive and defensive schemes. Will this coaching staff finally be able to get consistent play from this set of players, or are these athletes just perpetually inconsistent? I don't know. Throw in a competitive division, and a questionable (and extremely thin) defense, and you get another frustratingly mediocre season.
Eric Shinabarger: 9-7
This season is somewhat of a mystery, as the Lions enter the campaign with new leadership and a strength of schedule that ranks in the exact middle of the league. There are a lot of winnable (and losable) games that could go either way, and 10 of the Lions' games this season are against opponents that finished within two wins of the Lions last year. Nothing would surprise me.
Justin Simon: 9-7
In the end I think this team’s over/under is right at eight wins. Because of an easy early part of the schedule I’m going to go slightly over and say nine wins. It’s always tough to predict specific wins at this point in the year, but I think this is a more talented team than they were a year ago when they finished with seven wins. If they can learn how finish out games and maintain a lead, nine or more wins isn’t out of the question in 2014.
Brian Packey: 8-8
I just read Drew Magary's Why Your Team Sucks, so I'm not feeling as warm and fuzzy and optimistic as I normally am. The Lions are operating under a new system, and new systems often tend to have some growing pains. Jim Caldwell's not walking into the 2009 Colts here.