It’s the start of Week 1 of the NFL season, and that means the predictions will slowly start rolling out from a lot of national experts. We’ve already seen a lot of mixed thoughts about the Detroit Lions. They’ve gotten a significant amount of buzz this year as a sleeper team capable of possibly even winning the division. But, of course, there are many who think this team is going nowhere and the era of Matt Patricia may be coming to an end.
On Monday, Pro Football Talk’s Peter King threw his hat into the ring with his “Football Morning in America” column. In it, he makes his picks for the 14 playoff teams—remember, there is an extra Wild Card team this year—complete with conference championship matchups, and a Super Bowl winner.
The Lions are the last-seeded team to make his NFC playoff field. He placed the Lions in the third tier of NFC teams, behind the Saints, 49ers, Seahawks, Cowboys, Buccaneers, Vikings and Eagles, but he still has them making the postseason.
“Detroit was averaging 391 yards per game on offense at midseason, top five in the league, when Matthew Stafford was lost for the year,” King wrote. “Not sure of the ratio in the backfield now that Adrian Peterson is a Lion, but the run game will be good enough. The defense will have four ex-Pats starting, but the most important addition will be cornerback Jeff Okudah, who needs to be a day-one stopper with Aaron Rodgers, Kyler Murray and Drew Brees on the schedule in the first month.”
King doesn’t designate a specific record for the Lions, but it’s worth noting that he has the Vikings winning the division, but failing to get to the NFC Championship game.
This isn’t the first time King has stanned for the Lions. After the first month of the 2019 season, he listed Matt Patricia as a Coach of the Year candidate. And way back in 2011, he even used the words Lions and “Super Bowl” in the same sentence. That isn’t to discredit King—we’ve all been overly optimistic about the Lions at times. It’s just interesting to see his history with the team.