In preparation for the start of the 2015 regular season, our writers and editors predicted how the Detroit Lions will look this year. Make your own predictions by voting in the poll at the bottom of this post.
Next up: Will the Lions make the playoffs this season?
Joseph Buszek: Yes
The Lions won’t win the division but they will earn a wild card spot in the NFC.
Alex Reno: Yes
Yes, the Lions will make the playoffs again and they'll pick up at least one playoff win... and it will be against the Dallas Cowboys by controversial decision. There will be no hug between Jerry Jones and Chris Christie -- who is going to get slaughtered in the upcoming Republican primaries. There will be a sad and angry Dez Bryant, who will inevitably throw a tantrum on the field. Yes, the Lions will make the playoffs this season.
Ryan Mathews: Yes
I do see the Lions making the playoffs this season, and once again, I think the Lions will end up being one of the Wild Card teams in the NFC -- the other being the Atlanta Falcons. It’s going to be a close race, but the Lions schedule -- while difficult in the first half -- is much more fortuitous once the calendar turns to November. They get an away game hosted on a neutral field, the team's bye week comes before they travel to Green Bay to play the Packers, and five of the final seven opponents they face this season didn’t have winning records last year. If the Lions do make the playoffs this year, it will mark the first time since 2011 when they played New Orleans because they definitely didn’t play in a playoff game in Dallas last season where the game was dramatically altered by the indecisiveness of an officiating crew bullied by a wide receiver. Like, I mean, that never happened.
Kyle Yost: Yes
The Lions will make it two years in a row as the six-seed in the NFC. While last year featured many tight wins, I believe that this year's team is better prepared to find early leads rather than hope for comebacks. The Lions return enough key pieces and made smart additions during the offseason to help repeat last season's successes. In 2015, the Lions will take one Wild Card spot, with the other going to the NFC East runner-up.
Jeremy Reisman: No
Well, since I'm the only no vote, let me rationalize my answer. The Lions were lucky to be an 11-win team last year, extremely lucky. Eight of their games last year were decided by nine points or less: the Lions won six of them. I just don't see this team being as lucky this year around. Though the offense will be better, the defense will take a slight step back. Mix in a tough schedule and a increasingly hard NFC North and you're left with the Lions on the outside looking in.
Drew Erickson: Yes
Even without Jordy Nelson, I’m taking the Packers to win the NFC North as long as No. 12 is healthy. After that, I’m taking the Seahawks and Cowboys in the West and East, respectively. I’ll take the Falcons to emerge from the mediocrity that is the South division. After that, I count about seven teams that could win ten games or could pick in the top ten next season. Obviously, since I picked them for a record of 10-6, I’m putting the Lions as one of the Wild Card teams. My other would be the Eagles as they ride an easier schedule to the other spot over the Vikings, Cardinals and Rams.
Christopher Lemieux: Yes
Brian Packey: Yes
I think something close to 90 percent of teams who go 10-6 make the playoffs... every time.
Justin Simon: Yes
The NFC is a strong conference. There are close to ten teams that all could make legitimate cases to make the playoffs this year. If the Lions have ten wins, it may not be enough to get in. It could come down to how many games the Lions win against NFC top dogs like the Seahawks, Packers and Eagles. It's going to be tough, but I do see this team as playoff bound in 2015.