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Marshall Faulk predicts the Detroit Lions to make the playoffs

Despite an offseason of pessimism, one NFL analyst still believes in the Lions.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As we learned with yesterday’s compilation of Week 1 power rankings, most analysts don’t have many, if any, expectations for the 2016 Detroit Lions. In fact, most are expecting this to be a bottom 10 team, as we saw in the CBS 2017 mock draft, which had the Lions selecting eighth overall.

But there is one true warrior fighting against the national War on Lions Football. One analyst who bucks the conventional groupthink of football talking heads. One guy who you can point to your friends and say, “See, he thinks the Lions are going to be good this year,” in a desperate measure to prove your own sanity to your peers as you sneak another swig of Kool-Aid from your Honolulu blue flask.

That man is Marshall Faulk of NFL Network. On the season preview episode of “NFL GameDay,” Faulk and his cohorts were asked to pick a team who had not made the playoffs in 2015 that will make it this season. Here are all of their choices:

Interestingly enough, Kurt Warner selected the Lions’ Week 1 opponent, the Indianapolis Colts, but let’s get back to Faulk.

You can watch the NFL GameDay segment here

Here’s what Faulk had to say to back up his pick:

“It’s their time. Calvin Johnson — as great of a receiver as he is — Matthew Stafford got stuck on him. And now you throw Marvin Jones in there, boy, Golden Tate, they have options — Ameer Abdullah in the back, Anquan Boldin. Listen, wherever Anquan goes, the receiver room, they play up, because he demands it.”

In his career as an analyst, Faulk has been very fair to the Detroit Lions. He hasn’t shilled for them disproportionately, nor has he been unfairly critical of the organization. He gave Matthew Stafford some deserved criticism during his struggles in 2014, but he has also expressed his love for running back Theo Riddick.

So it appears his belief in the Detroit Lions is coming from a genuine place, and not simply an outlandish take made to garner some attention — though he certainly grabbed ours.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.