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Sports Illustrated writer predicts Detroit Lions to make deep playoff run in 2018

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This is about as bold as predictions come.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

If you don’t know the name Gary Gramling, prepare for him to be your new best friend.

Gramling is a writer and editor for Sports Illustrated’s NFL team, and he, along with 14 other SI and MMQB employees offered their predictions for the 2018 NFL season.

Let’s start with the bad news. 14 of 15 MMQB employees did not pick the Detroit Lions to make the postseason. Even worse, five picked an NFC North rival to win Super Bowl LIII (either the Packers or Vikings).

But Gramling is our knight in shining armor. Not only did Gramling predict the Lions to make the playoffs (as a wild-card six seed), but he had them making a deep playoff run. He predicts the Lions to beat the Eagles and Rams on their way to the NFC Championship Game... against the two-seeded Green Bay Packers.

Sadly, Gramling ends up picking the Packers and also has Green Bay beating the Patriots in a two-decade-old rematch from Super Bowl XXXI, but the MMQB writer admits he chickened out on who he wanted to pick.

“I also thought about picking the Lions to win it all, with the tragically underappreciated Matthew Stafford making the kind of gutsy, late-in-the-down plays that Nick Foles pulled off last winter and stud-in-the-making Jarrad Davis leading an opportunistic defense, but I came to realize I am a coward,” Gramling wrote.

Coward or not, it’s pretty bold of Gramling to not only predict the Lions to make the postseason, but to win two playoff games—something the Lions haven’t managed to do in the last 60 years combined. Here’s hoping Gary is onto something.