I think it’s safe to say that expectations for this Detroit Lions team have skyrocketed after their 3-1 start. The Lions have made what was supposed to be an extremely difficult start to the schedule look a lot easier than previously thought—with some help of a bad Giants team.
But the Carolina Panthers haven’t looked too bad themselves. They just took down the almighty New England Patriots on their home turf, so certainly there is some national buzz hanging around Cam Newton and company.
Apparently, not so much (except for that other thing). This Lions teams is garnering serious faith from both national and local analysts. More than 80 percent of experts are picking Detroit to be the team that moves to 4-1 on Sunday. Take a look:
ESPN: 9 of 10 picked Lions
SB Nation: 7 of 8 picked Lions
CBS Sports: 4 of 8 picked Lions
Pro Football Focus: 8 of 9 picked Lions
Sports Illustrated: 6 of 6 picked Lions
Total: 34 of 41 picked Lions (82.9%)
Everyone outside of CBS is heavily picking the Lions to win this week, which is a serious increase in confidence. Last week was the first time the Lions were the more popular pick among national experts, and only 61 percent went with Detroit.
While it’s not that surprising that the majority went with the Lions—they are favored, after all—to see such a huge portion of analysts go with Detroit in a matchup between two 3-1 teams is kind of shocking.
MLive: 1 of 2 picked Lions
Freep: 4 of 4 picked Lions
Detroit News: 3 of 4 picked Lions
Detroit Jock City: 5 of 6 picked Lions
Pride of Detroit: 10 of 10 picked Lions
Total: 23 of 26 picked Lions (88.5%)
The local guys have even more faith in Detroit. None of these five publications have more than one analyst picking the Panthers this week.
Can the Lions live up to such big expectations? Or are fans doomed for another letdown? Kickoff is hours away.