In preparation for the 2016 Detroit Lions season, we polled the Pride Of Detroit staff on their predictions for the Lions season. We finish off this series with the record predictions
What will be the Detroit Lions record in 2016?
Kent Lee Platte
The Lions will finish with a 6-10 record this season, finishing third in their division and missing the playoffs.
It's very hard to predict the Lions record this year. It's easily between 7-9 and 10-6. From what we've seen thus far, I'll be going with 9-7 in 2016.
A little bit pessimistic, but I do not fully believe in the second half of last season. Despite the recent success against the Bears and the injury of Teddy Bridgewater, I only see a couple of wins against the division. While the Lions may do decently against the AFC South, I am not overly confident about their chances against other NFC teams.
Compared to last year's schedule, 2016 looks to favor the Lions. Facing the AFC South and NFC East, easily the two worst divisions of 2015, will benefit them greatly. I initially had the Lions around 7-9 or 8-8, but the Bridgewater injury makes me think they can at least split, if not sweep the Vikings this year.
The Lions are going to finish this season at 9-7. The Bridgewater injury changes the entire look of the NFC North. What would have probably been two losses now might end up being a split or sweep for the Lions. They also play the notoriously weak AFC South this year, but they will actually have to capitalize on those teams this year. The last time the Lions went up against the AFC South in 2012 this is how they faired: An overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans (41-44), a convincing win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road (31-14), another overtime loss against the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving (31-34), and a last-second loss to the Indianapolis Colts (33-35). That 2012 Lions team only won four games, but it just as easily could have been seven if they would have taken care of business in very winnable games. I think this year they win more than they lose against the AFC South
10-6 now that the Cowboys are without Romo, the Vikings are without Teddy, and the Colts defense is a mess. Prior to the Romo and Bridgewater injuries, I'd have put the Lions at 8-8 but now they should have a good chance to win at home against the Vikings and the game against the Cowboys.
The Lions will finish the 2016 season with a record of… 10-6. I really can’t believe I just put that in writing, but there it is, right there in the line above this one. The Lions have problems and some are more glaring than others. The depth at cornerback is a huge concern on defense and there’s uncertainty with how the offensive line will perform. With all of that said, I think the Lions have one of the more favorable draws this season when it comes to scheduling. Call me an optimist.
Much as I want to point to some exciting talent on the defensive line or the Cooter system, there's still debilitating flaws at core units and nothing has given me any sign there's been improvement. There will be fun games. There will be exciting games.. And there will also be plenty of games where you just watch this team unable to stop a comeback or a back-breaking mistake from ruining their Sunday.
To me, this team does not look very good on paper. For starters, I'm worried about whether the offensive line will take a much needed step forward from last year, and I have my doubts when it comes to the running game. The Lions are also very thin in the secondary—where they have suffered most of their injuries in recent past—as well as at linebacker and tight end. My confidence is low with this year's squad, but I still see them hitting the .500 mark, mostly because of their easy schedule.
For someone who writes the weekly previews, let me make a shocking confession: I hate making predictions. I don’t even really like to read them. It’s an opportunity for either me to look smart or stupid, when in reality, I’ll just be lucky or unlucky.
But when I am reading predictions, nothing gets me more angry than an 8-8 prediction. PICK A SIDE. But I can’t and I won’t. This team is just too confusing right now. I was ready to ride the optimism train until the preseason seemed to confirm every fear I had. Normally, I wouldn’t read anything into the preseason, but when the exact problems everyone was worrying about turned out to be troubles in the game, it had me taken aback. So, too bad, y’all. I refuse to give in. The Lions won’t have a winning or losing season.