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Notes: Projection model predicts significant improvement for Detroit Lions in 2020

At least one analyst believes the Lions are lined up for a bounce-back season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

It’s obviously a little too early to make sure-fire predictions for the 2020 NFL season. Hell, we don’t really even know yet if a 2020 season will happen. Even if we were assured a full regular season, the schedule hasn’t been set yet, and the NFL Draft hasn’t happened. In other words, a lot can change between now and September.

But ESPN’s Mike Clay threw out his early 2020 projections based on his own statistical model, and he appears much more optimistic about the Detroit Lions than those that are placing them at the bottom of their power rankings.

Clay is projecting the Lions to win 8.2 games next season, which ranks them right in the middle of the pack. Even more interesting, Clay ranks the Lions’ roster 14th overall, with the offensive side of the ball coming in at 12th, while the defense remains low at 23rd. Here’s a full look:

In case you were wondering, Clay released projections around this time last year, too. Then, he predicted the Lions to win 7.1 games. Later in the offseason, he actually called the Lions the most-improved team in the NFL and believed they had a true shot at the division. Of course, as we all know now, the Lions finished 3-12-1.

Clay hasn’t always been trumpeting the Lions, however. In 2017, he projected the Lions to finish 7-9, but they went on to go 9-7.

  • ESPN listed the best small-school player for all 32 NFL teams. Michael Rothstein’s pick for the Lions takes you all the way back to the 1960s.

  • Frank Ragnow talked to Tori Petry about his quarantine time and all of his recent generosity:

  • According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, some have pushed Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa down their draft board because of “poor interviews.” Of course, this report comes with the “We’re Two Weeks Away From the Draft So Don’t Trust Anything” warning.

  • What number are y’all? I’m firmly a 4.

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