We’re now just over a week away from the start of the 2019 NFL season, which means it’s time for publications to start releasing their yearly predictions.
NFL.com stepped up to the plate on Wednesday, gathering a panel of 28 NFL analysts—full of former players and coaches like Maurice Jones Drew and Steve Mariucci—to make their predictions for the season.
First, the panel chose the winner of each division. Unsurprisingly, the Patriots were the near-unanimous choice for the AFC East, while the Rams and Saints were the predictable choices for their respective divisions.
For the NFC North, it may surprise you to see that the Minnesota Vikings received the most votes. 11 members of the panel picked the Vikings, while the Chicago Bears barely trailed behind with 10 votes, and the Packers came in third with seven. The Detroit Lions, however, did not receive a single vote.
Okay, fine. Whatever. The Lions haven’t won an NFL division in over 25 years, so why would anyone give them the benefit of the doubt? Let’s move on.
Next, the panel was asked to pick their two Wild Card teams in each conference. And wouldn’t you know it, the Lions got shut out there, too. 12 of the 16 teams in the NFC got at least one vote for one of the two wild card spots, but the Lions weren’t among them—nor were the Cardinals, Buccaneers and Washington.
UPDATE: It appears the Lions did actually get one vote for the second wild card spot. Kevin Patra was the lone analyst voting for Detroit. The NFL.com article was updated on 1:47 p.m. ET, so this may have been a late addition.
With kickoff 11 days away for the Detroit Lions, you better get used to analysis like this. Experts are going to be throwing their predictions into the hat over the next week and a half, and given the Lions’ reputation, we probably won’t be seeing a lot of rosy predictions for Detroit from anyone.