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2019 NFL predictions: What will be the Detroit Lions’ season record?

We take our best guess at the Lions’ 2019 record.

NFL: NOV 18 Panthers at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2019 NFL season is here, and it’s time for our big predictions. You’ve waiting all week for this, and now it is time to reveal our Detroit Lions season record projections.

Look across the mediascape and you’ll find a wide variety of predictions for Detroit. They’ll be anywhere from 3-13 to the eventual NFC North champions. Yesterday, only one staffer predicted the Lions to win the North, but does anyone else see them squeaking into the playoffs as a Wild Card?

Here are our Detroit Lions 2019 season record predictions:

Andrew Kato: 8-8, no playoffs

Detroit will improve slightly to 8-8 by winning a few late games after they are eliminated from the playoffs.

John Whiticar: 9-7, no playoffs

As mentioned in my 2019 NFC North record prediction article, I think the Lions could finish 9-7. I go into further detail there, but the gist of it is that while the Lions have a much-improved roster, their schedule is really difficult. They could easily start the season 1-5. As well, all of the NFC North games are, in my opinion, a toss-up. Given the huge swing that those games could cause, the Lions could either win the division or bottom out. I think 9-7 is a good middle ground, though I will admit that I’m a bit generous with some of the wins I gave them.

Hamza Baccouche: 11-5, playoffs

If I were actually drinking kool-aid in proportion to how much I’m taking the bait on the Lions this year, my tongue would be very blue. Give me 11-5 and a home playoff game. You read that right.

That is, of course, contingent on relative health; I think there are three untouchables on this team: Matthew Stafford, Damon Harrison Sr., and Darius Slay. If those three stay generally healthy, losing a couple other key players—as happens to every NFL team—won’t sink the ship and can guide them to that inevitable home playoff game.

You’re out of your mind Hamza, they’ve got one of the toughest schedules in the league!.

How many years in a row have we said that, only for the schedule difficulty to be flipped on its head? You never know which teams will surprise you, both in good or bad ways, in the NFL. There’s no telling the way the schedule will truly play out until it does, and what do you know, maybe the Lions just turn out to be... good?

Kyle Yost: 7-9, no playoffs

I just do not see how this team reaches .500 as it currently stands. Matthew Stafford will almost certainly bounce back, and the offense should be productive despite regressing toward old-school tactics, but that is not going to be enough to carry this team forward. There are serious questions among the linebacking corps and the secondary, and enough other teams took bigger steps forward to keep the Lions in their traditional area of the standards. I say 7-9 and another year without postseason play.

Ryan Mathews: 9-7, no playoffs

It’s an improvement, a step in the right direction, but this roster is still a good draft away from being a playoff contender. And it’s because they’re only one injury away at any position save the defensive line—and maybe running back/tight end—from being in real, real trouble

Jeremy Reisman: 10-6, playoffs

I look at this roster, and I compare it to last year, and the two teams seem barely recognizable. Just about every unit save the offensive line has added at least one key piece that was missing at the end of last year.

This team is better than 2018, there’s no doubt about it in my mind. The question is simply: How much better?

A four-win improvement is a big ask, but it is warranted in this case. The defense was the team’s biggest downfall early in the season, and it should be much, much better with a second year under the system and the likes of Trey Flowers and Mike Daniels actually providing a pass rush.

Offensively lies the key to Detroit’s 2019 fate. If Darrell Bevell can finally bring a consistent running game to Detroit, this team’s potential is very high. But I expect some early struggles that may have this team playing catchup early. A favorable late schedule may allow that to happen, though, so the I have the Lions squeezing in.

Mike Payton: 10-6, Playoffs

Just because I don’t think the Lions can win the division doesn’t mean I don’t think they can make the playoffs. Right now, I’m sort of in this position where I’m all-in on this team, and I believe they’re capable of being 10-6 or better and making the playoffs. Maybe they even win a game once they get there.

This defense is too good and this offense has too much potential for me to give the old 9-7 or 7-9 prediction that most go with. This team can be good, but, again, it’s going to have to rely on health and the Lions actually realizing their potential. They usually have trouble with both of those things.

Justin Simon: 9-7, playoffs

It will all come down to those division games. Right now, I see all of the NFC North teams beating each other up and looking to make up the ground outside of the division. I don’t see any team in the division winning more than 11 games. With all that said, give me the Lions making the playoffs as a Wild Card, but it’s going to be a difficult road in a very tough NFC.

Chris Perfett: 7-9, no playoffs

We can keep doing this until we’re blue in the face. There has yet to be a sticking point that insists the Lions have made any improvements that warrant a multiple-win delta from last year. An early bye and a brutal front schedule are not prime ingredients for a competitive gumbo, nor are persisting questions about the offensive line that will inevitably put Stafford into trouble.

We can argue endlessly about the talent the Lions do have, but the records remain the same. Other teams acquire talent and grow as well—the Lions aren’t special in that they got a new tight end and improved the defensive line, that’s simply the basic ask of any NFL team not named the Dolphins.

The struggle of the Lions—of the past few years too, really==is that we can look about and see the talent is there in several units and players, but it never forms to a coherent result. The Lions have yet to show they can put together sustained excellence with what they have available, while coaching out the holes they possess. It is underachievement season in Detroit, and whether you believe they can overcome that in 2019 falls squarely on how much faith you have in a second-year head coach. Skepticism is warranted.


What will the Lions’ record be in 2019?

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2033 votes total Vote Now


Will the Lions make the playoffs in 2019?

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1277 votes total Vote Now

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