To say it has been a long time since the Lions have won the division would be an understatement. To think that they could make some noise in the playoffs, meaning win at a minimum of one playoff game, would be the first time something like that happened since 1991. This Lions team captured the hearts of many by being put on display for everyone to see with last year’s Hard Knocks series. They continued to entertain as they almost flirted with sneaking in the back door to the playoffs. They fell short but still ended the season playing spoiler to Aaron Rodgers’s last game in Green Bay.
Their offseason has been an enigma, seeming to take two steps forward and three steps back. They were able to get a moderate number of free agents to want to come to Detroit which usually isn’t the norm. To follow this they had a handful of players suspended for gambling not long after. They drafted a great group of players in the draft, they just managed to take most of them a bit too early. As the dust begins to settle people are buying the hype putting them as the odds-on favorite to win the division. They are also awarded being the first team to face the reigning world champions to kick off the season.
The expectations are higher than they have been in over thirty years for Detroit, can they live up to them?
Detroit Lions Record Prediction: Every Game On The Schedule
Week 1: @ Kansas City Chiefs @ 7:20 PM (TNF)
Dan Campbell, when reflecting on the Detroit Lions schedule release, stated that they wouldn’t be in this position if the NFL felt the Lions would “get their ass kicked.” They likely will have their inflated sense of self-confidence shattered, however, as a blowout is well within the possible outcomes of this game. While the Chiefs will kick off the season unveiling their second Super Bowl banner in the Mahomes era, the last time the Lions won a playoff game was in 1991.
These teams are in two different universes and it’s not particularly close. The Lions will begin the season down a second wide receiver in Jameson Williams and with their two high-profile offensive additions in the offseason being running backs. They will be the sacrificial lamb to the world champs. They don’t have enough firepower to keep pace with this Chiefs team and will be humbled on opening night.
Lions Lose, 0-1 Record
Week 2: v Seattle Seahawks @ 12 PM
In a lot of ways, this Seattle team is the Bizarro Lions team. They, too, had a season no one expected last year with a quarterback many had previously written off. Leading up to the draft some predicted that either of these teams would draft a young gun both having picks within the top ten, however, both opted to roll with the vet quarterbacks. The Hawks however seem to have added a lot more offensive power to bolster Geno Smith whereas the Lions made moves to fortify the entire team. For that reason, the Lions should come away with this game against perhaps their most evenly-matched opponent of the year.
Lions Win, 1-1 Record
Week 3: v Atlanta Falcons @ 12 PM
The Falcons play a similar style of football that the Lions do. With the addition of rookie running back Bijan Robinson, they should continue to do so. The Falcons have the chance to be this year’s Lions as they have a ton of potential on their offense and have added a moderate amount of star players on the defensive side of the ball.
The Lions, however, should come out swinging and enforce their will with the dynamic duo of David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. The more the Lions control the ball and run up the score, the more pressure they will put on second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder. The more that happens, the more Aidan Hutchinson and company can pin their ears to make him fold. Lions string together a couple of nice wins early in the season.
Lions Win, 2-1 Record
Week 4: @ Green Bay Packers @ 7:15 PM (TNF)
The rematch of the best NFC North divisional game from last year gets prime time lights in week four. While the Lions played spoiler not just to the Packers playoff hopes, but Rodgers’ last home game as a Packer, they may get more than they bargained for in this matchup. Newly acquired David Montgomery has a history of playing well against the Packers but it may not be enough. Christian Watson was just beginning to catch fire the first time these teams played and in their final matchup, he torched this Lions defense for over one hundred yards.
If this becomes a shootout the Packers will have an edge being able to send Jaire Alexander out to lock down Amon-Ra St. Brown. Lions again fail to live up to the primetime lights.
Lions Lose, 2-2 Record
Week 5: v Carolina Panthers @ 12 PM
Goff will likely feel the pressure against this Panthers team. While so much of the offseason hype has been surrounding this Lions team, if they fail to meet expectations the blame will fall to Goff and this team will begin to look at Hooker as the solution. If his offensive line can neutralize Brian Burns, Goff could be in for a big day. Jaycee Horn will likely be following Amon-Ra St. Brown all over the field but this could be the game they make good use of rookies Jahmyr Gibbs and Sam LaPorta in the passing game. Lions get a key victory after being humiliated twice in primetime.
Lions Win, 3-2 Record
Week 6: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ 12 PM
This Bucs team is better than what they are getting credit for. If Wirfs is able to neutralize the pass rush, the rest of this Lions defense will be put to the test for how much they have truly improved in the offseason. This Bucs defense should cause plenty of problems for Goff and the run game. Dan Campbell and the Lions will be simply outmatched in their third loss of the season.
Lions Lose, 3-3 Record
Week 7: @ Baltimore Ravens @ 12 PM
Remember when the Ravens made Lamar Jackson an unrestricted free agent and no team made an offer? He does, and he will be on a revenge tour this entire season playing his best football against those teams. The Lions are a game that he should have circled as he would’ve been a clear upgrade over Goff. This defense has shown it has trouble with mobile quarterbacks allowing division rival Justin Fields to accumulate almost 300 yards rushing and two touchdowns in just two matchups last season. This Lions team plays a physical style of football, but they will be out-muscled here.
Lions Lose, 3-4 Record
Week 8: v Las Vegas Raiders @ 7:15 PM (MNF)
After a disappointing start to the season given the hype that was awarded to this team, this matchup will likely be one that neither Detroit, Las Vegas, or casual fans will be looking forward to. Many will remember how Davante Adams was able to dominate with ease when he was on the Packers and expect him to do the same in primetime. While not much has changed in terms of Adams’ talent, his quarterback situation has drastically changed. Going from Carr, to Stidham, and now maybe a healthy Garoppolo, he has come a long way from having Rodgers throw him open. Goff will likely be able to give the Lions to boost they need to come away with the first victory in primetime here.
Lions Win, 4-4 Record
Week 9: -BYE-
Week 10: @ Los Angeles Chargers @ 3:05 PM
Many had the Lions and Chargers in the same tier to begin this season. As both had hopes of being contenders, the stark contrast in talent between these two teams will be plain as day here. Justin Herbert is one of the best young quarterbacks in this league with an absolute cannon for an arm. Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Quinten Johnston may push to be the best receiving trio in the league this season. Ekeler is a problem coming out of the backfield and new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore wants to light up the scoreboard. After entering the bye on a positive note, the Lions should be demoralized by an ugly loss here.
Lions Lose, 4-5 Record
Week 11: v Chicago Bears @ 12 PM
In recent seasons, while the Vikings occasionally pushed the Packers for the division title, the Bears and the Lions had a little brother rivalry of their own. While they allowed Fields to crash their game plans last season by running all over them, they will likely be able to neutralize him in this initial matchup. One of the best ways to neutralize an opposing offense is by keeping them on the bench and David Montgomery will provide them with that opportunity. Montgomery will likely go over one hundred yards in his revenge game and the Lions should get back on track with a win here.
Lions Win, 5-5 Record
Week 12: v Green Bay Packers @ 11:30 AM (Thanksgiving)
A Turkey Day matchup as old as time. While the Lions are used to being embarrassed by Rodgers consistently on Thanksgiving, they will likely be able to turn the tables now that he is gone. With Detroit’s rookies more integrated within their offense, they will likely be able to keep the Packers defense on the ropes early and often. As most of us sit down for our Thanksgiving meal, we will likely see Goff chowing down on a turkey drumstick after a victory. Lions stack another key win here in a divisional showdown.
Lions Win, 6-5 Record
Week 13: @ New Orleans Saints @ 12 PM
This game will have multiple layers to it as Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has already made reference to his return home. With former teammate Mike Thomas being someone who rarely shies away from confrontation, this should make for great television. As if this game needed any further narratives to keep it interesting, this team is where Dan Campbell spent a portion of his time getting into coaching under Sean Payton. As many have made comparisons between this year’s first-round running back Gibbs and Kamara, look for Gibbs to show why those comparisons are valid. Lions look to capture bragging rights in this matchup in the Bayou.
Lions Win, 7-5 Record
Week 14: @ Chicago Bears @ 12 PM
Scheme all you want but Fields did his best last season when his back was against the wall and making something out of nothing. The Lions got the better of the Bears in their first matchup, but both teams will have changed from that point forward. The Lions may feel a bit cocky coming off three straight wins and the Bears will be clawing for their playoff hopes to stay alive. It may take a while for the Bears new defensive additions to gel with each other but once they do, they should be a tough match against any opponent. D.J. Moore also adds a layer of explosiveness to this offense as well. Lions begin a downward spiral here with a loss against a divisional rival.
Lions Lose, 7-6 Record
Week 15: v Denver Broncos @ (TBD)
Whether Russell Wilson is back to his old self, or still struggling to find his rhythm, Sean Payton will have this Broncos team playing dramatically different than it did last year. Payton won’t be afraid to pull the plug on Wilson if he stinks or any other player on the team for that matter. While the Lions will be close to desperation mode, Payton will have Patrick Surtain lock down Detroit’s number one option. Payton also knows Campbell and how he thinks. It will only take a handful of mistakes on the Lions end for the Broncos to run away with this game.
Lions Lose, 7-7 Record
Week 16: @ Minnesota Vikings @ 12 PM
The Lions may be caught off guard by how much the opposition will have invested in this matchup. The Minnesota Vikings played a number of nail-biters, made memorable comeback after memorable comeback, and yet no one can stop talking about the Lions. Aaron Rodgers is no longer in the division and the team that most have picked to win the division hasn’t won it since the early nineties. With playoffs and pride on the line, Kirk Cousins at a noon start time will shine. Lions drop below .500 after seemingly making a push to be back in the playoff picture.
Lions Lose, 7-8 Record
Week 17: @ Dallas Cowboys @ 7:15 PM (Saturday Night Football)
This just feels like a game that the Cowboys lose. After sending three teams from the NFC East last season, this division race will likely come down to the last couple of weeks of the season. As the Cowboys will likely be faced with a win-and-in scenario, look for them to squander that opportunity to a Lions team that is coming off of three consecutive losses. Micah Parsons does create some concern for them however if the Lions play their cards right, they can run the ball efficiently. This will work for them twofold as it will tire out Parsons forcing him to go sideline to sideline, and keeping the Cowboys offense on the bench. Goff brings this Lions team back up to .500.
Lions Win, 8-8 Record
Week 18: @ Minnesota Vikings (TBD)
Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson may already have the playoffs locked up at this point but there will still be plenty of pride to play for. Whether the rest their starters or not in this game, this match will likely slip through the Lions hands. Vikings have gotten the better of this rivalry in the past three years winning four out of their six matchups. One of those games included an epic finish from Osborn and Cousins last season. The Lions will have come full circle from last season. From playing spoiler to a team trying to make the playoffs to failing to be able to beat a team already in the playoffs, Lions end a disappointing season on a disappointing note.
Lions Lose, 8-9 Record
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