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Way-too-early predictions for the Lions’ 2019 schedule

You want predictions. We’ve got them.

NFL: Pro Bowl Skills Challenge Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On its own, the NFL’s schedule release is supposed to be an exciting event to whet the appetite of those starved for something—anything—football. Complete with leaks, tweets of both high and low-quality production value, and a bunch of hand wringing once all the dates are set in place, it doesn’t take long to realize this whole thing is about as exciting as your uncle pulling a quarter from behind your ear when you’re fourteen.

Speaking of hocus pocus, you know what is actually exciting? This Magic 8-Ball generator I found on the App Store to help me decide the fate of the 2019 Detroit Lions.

Let the prognosticating begin.

Week 1 - at Cardinals

Will the Detroit Lions put on an encore two years in the making against the Arizona Cardinals?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Without a doubt”

After the Lions pooped their big-boy pants in truly extraordinary fashion on primetime television in last year’s season opener against the Jets, you might experience some pregame jitters before Detroit takes the field against Arizona. But now, after the Magic 8-Ball has removed all doubt from the equation, you can feel free to lay it all on the line for the Leo’s. And by “lay it on the line,” yes, that means gamble every single asset you have on the Lions covering the spread. Healthy habits!

Week 2 - vs. Chargers

Will Ameer Abd Kerryon Johnson rip off a big run for a touchdown again?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Signs point to yes”

*wistfully remembers the first—and sadly—the best moment of the Ameer Abdullah era*

If I’m reading this schedule right—and I’m pretty good at reading—the Lions are going to be 16-0 at season’s end. But that’s only happening if Kerryon Johnson can be two things for this team: as productive as he was a season ago—5.4 yards per carry level of good—and healthy all year long.

Week 3 - at Eagles

Will Lions fans be the ones eating horse poop after their matchup with the Eagles?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Better not tell you now”

Two scat references and I’m barely 300 words in. Tell me you’re finding content like this anywhere else.

But shame on the Magic 8-Ball for withholding what it knows. If we’re going to be the ones having to eat poop, I’d like to know because that would suck.

Remember the Eagles season last year? Tumultuous. Full of quarterback controversy. A 4-6 start to the season made Philadelphia’s long, but a 5-1 finish to the season helped them squeak into the playoffs as a wild card. And then Cody Parkey happened. If you polled 100 people, how many of them would rather eat horse poop than be Cody Parkey the night of the NFC Wild Card round? 70 percent? 80 percent? All of them?

The Lions have Philadelphia’s third-round pick in the upcoming draft, and the Eagles no longer have Golden Tate, so I see this one being pretty lopsided. Lions win by a 30-burger, 86 the horse pie.

Week 4 - vs. Chiefs

Will Patrick Mahomes adopt me and let me give him piggy-back rides around the club like Prince did with his bodyguard?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Don’t count on it”

Can an adult legally adopt someone younger than them? That’s gotta be an option, but LegalZoom isn’t giving me the answers I want. I would assume so. I’m not going to count on it, Magic 8-Ball, but I’m not giving up hope.

Week 5 - BYE

Will the Lions early bye week come back to bite them?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Most likely”

Detroit has what’s likely the league’s most favorable schedule in 2019 despite their bye week happening so early in the season. With the league’s biggest rest differential in hand, the Lions might have some kind of advantage over the rest of the league... I guess? I don’t know. If I get a day off from work, I spend it eating frozen pizza and binge-watching “Atlanta” for the umpteenth time.

Week 6 - at Packers

Will the Packers finish with the worst record in the NFC North?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Very doubtful”

Okay, but at the very least I had to ask. Sort of will it into existence by breathing it, y’know?

Since the Bleacher Report article that outlined the dysfunction between ex-Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay hit the sports spin cycle, the discourse surrounding the sort-of-assumed news has already both ebbed and flowed to a non-issue. Green Bay has a new head coach in Matt LaFleur, Aaron Rodgers is still the most gifted quarterback in the NFL, and the Lions are going to need a lot more than a Mason Crosby affair with the field goal posts to best the Pack in 2019.

Oh yeah, this is on “Monday Night Football” at Lambeau, and the Lions have been beating up on the Packers as of late so you can take your permanent marker of choosing and scrawl a big fat ‘L’ over this one.

Week 7 - vs. Vikings

Will Vikings fans reach a breaking point with Kirk Cousins this season, and will this be the game it happens?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Outlook good”

The fans over in Minnesota seem to still be holding out hope that Captain Kirk is the piece that transforms them from an NFC Championship Game thrashing into true Super Bowl contenders. Case Keenum flew too close to the sun for y’all to just trade him in for Cousins like he was a Hyundai Sonata.

Advanced Passing Table
Passing Advanced Passing
Rk Player Year QBrec Att Cmp% Y/A+ NY/A+ AY/A+ ANY/A+ Cmp%+ TD%+ Int%+ Sack%+ Rate+
1 Kirk Cousins 2018 8-7-1 606 70.1 98 99 104 105 124 105 113 103 113
2 Case Keenum 2017 11-3-0 481 67.6 104 109 108 112 115 102 115 114 111
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/19/2019.

If you believe in that sorta fairy dust, I have some Michigan State alternate jerseys—complete with Seattle Seahawks gloves—to sell you on too.

Week 8 - vs. Giants

Will Dave Gettleman be handing out candy to kids dressed in OBJ jerseys on Halloween because he’s no longer the Giants GM before October ends?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Yes, definitely”

How does this dude still have employment in an NFL front office? I’m no expert on evaluating talent or knowing how to manage a salary cap, but I do know that Odell Beckham Jr. is infinitely more fun than Eli Manning—and also just a better football player. And I’ve never been on a sinking ship before in my life, but if I had to be on the Titanic with either Eli or OBJ, I’m meeting my watery grave with the dude who is on pace to be one of the greatest wide receivers in the history of the league.

Week 9 - at Raiders

Will Antonio Brown and Derek Carr even be able to coexist in the same locker room at this point?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Ask again later”

If we’re being honest, I couldn’t care less about the Raiders as a football organization. They have some of the best jerseys in the league, but beyond superficial reasons, after Al Davis died—and with him all the gusto of taking risks on athletic football players in the first round with Day 3 tape—the team isn’t the same.

Oh yeah, and Jon Gruden trading Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears for ten cents on the dollar, that sort of puts the pass-rushing cherry on top of the apathetic-flavored sundae.

At the halfway point, the Lions are probably what, 6-2 at this point? If for no other reasons than Patty Mahomes and a gambler’s fallacy.

Week 10 - at Bears

Will Mitchell Trubisky ever be worthy of selecting No. 2 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “lol, no”


Week 11 - vs. Cowboys

Will Lions fans be checked out of the season at this point or what?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Signs point to yes”

Even though I had the Lions pegged for 6-2 at the halfway point, there’s also just as legitimate a possibility the team is staring at a 2-7 record by the time they face off against the Cowboys here in Week 11. If that’s the case, draft talk is in full swing by November and I’ll be enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with my family in two weeks instead of stressing out over a football game—and you will too!

Now ask yourself, what’s more important: a stress-free meal with loved ones, or a football game?

Man, I hope the Lions don’t suck.

Week 12 - at Washington

Will people ever stop getting upset over our website opting out of using a racial slur when communicating info related to Washington’s professional football team?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Very doubtful”

There’s one professional football team in Washington, D.C. The owner of the franchise won’t change the name because of the value of his brand—not because of empty reasons like “heritage” or “pride” for Native Americans—and the temporary negative impact it would have in the worth of his franchise.

Where others continue to refer to the team by a nickname that’s both offensive and a racial slur, Pride of Detroit is going to continue to opt out of being racist and pride itself on being an all-inclusive website. See, that’s how you use the weight of that word correctly!

(Washington has Case Keenum now and that’s good for Detroit. Go Lions).

Week 13 - vs. Bears

Will Detroit’s halftime performance be worth the price of admission?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Unless we’re getting Toto, then no”


Week 14 - at Vikings

Will Detroit ever get the chance to leave the NFC North and play in the AFC East or something?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Concentrate and ask again later”

It’s sorta pointless to ask again now that the schedule is set in stone, but why do the Lions have to play in what’s perhaps the most talented division from top to bottom? At this point, playing the Vikings for the second time in the season, it’s just exhausting. Why can’t they play the Dolphins twice a year? Or the Bills? Or the Jets even?... Wait, scrap all of this. Sorry, I’m sorry, I’m trying to remove it.

Week 15 - vs. Bucs

Will Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn be on the hot seat if this game is only valuable from a draft position standpoint?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Most likely”

Look at the Magic 8-Ball™! Equipped with the same temperament as your average, normal, everyday fickle league owner!

In reality, I think I might agree with the juice here. I don’t think Year 2 of Patricia’s stint in Detroit will make or break him, but if he doesn’t have his team at least vying for a wild card spot, things are gonna get vocal in a hurry, and he’s going to be coaching for his job come the following season. Of course, that means Bob Quinn, who was able to handpick his guy, is by proxy riding or dying with him.

Also, who’s excited to see Jameis Winston play quarterback in the XFL because I know I am.

Week 16 - at Broncos

Will altitude matter this week?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “My reply is no”

Hmm, okay. How about a quick, very relevant follow up...

Is Joe Flacco gonna be elite on this day?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “You may rely on it”

The Lions always get Elite Flacco because that’s just how it goes. Here are the last three times Detroit has played His Eliteness:

  • Week 13, 2017 - 23 of 36 passing, 269 yards, two touchdowns, 105.0 passer rating (Ravens win, 44-20)
  • Week 15, 2013 - 20 of 38 passing, 222 yards, one interception, 70.3 passer rating (Ravens win, 18-16)
  • Week 14, 2009 - 13 of 20 passing, 230 yards, one touchdown, 120.8 passer rating (Ravens win, 48-3)

Flacco has hung a couple of 40-burgers on the Lions in his career! And that game in 2013, he did a masterful job of putting Justin Tucker in field goal range to chip in a 61-yard field goal with just 38 seconds left in regulation.

Detroit can only hope that John Elway has furthered his mission to forever be the greatest Denver Broncos quarterback of all time by continually drafting terrible quarterbacks and putting them in positions to fail to maintain his status. Lather, rinse, repeat. He’s playing for legacy, folks, and all fans can hope for is a Flacco-less Week 16 for Christmas.

Week 17 - vs. Packers

Will the third installment in the “Beating Green Bay in Week 17 and it meaning nothing” trilogy be the best episode yet?

Magic 8-Ball’s response: “Upgrade to Mystic Magic Ball Pro for $3.99”

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