Detroit Lions: Colin Cowherd predicts 7-9 record for the Motor City in 2018
National sports pundit Colin Cowherd predicts the Detroit Lions will be the third best team in the NFC North, finishing under .500 in the standings.
The NFC North figures to be a much-improved division in 2018. That is likely one of the reasons the Detroit Lions decided it was time to make some drastic changes this offseason.
Over the past three years, the Lions have been hovering around the .500 range in the standings, posting records of 7-9, 9-7, and 9-7 respectively. But last season, Detroit missed a real opportunity to win their division with two starting quarterbacks suffering season-ending injuries in the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers and the Minnesota Vikings’ Sam Bradford.
With the Chicago Bears still in rebuilding mode with a rookie quarterback under center, the Motor City had a real chance to emerge as NFC North champions in 2017. Instead, under head coach Jim Caldwell, the Lions started last year 3-3 and late-season losses to the Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens sunk their playoff hopes.
Following their final regular season game, Detroit promptly fired Caldwell, despite his recent success in the Motor City. The Lions front office has no interest in maintaining the status quo. They aggressively pursued the hottest coaching candidate on the market, landing former New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia following his latest Super Bowl run.
Wisely, Patricia opted to keep one of the league’s top passing offenses intact, leaving Jim Bob Cooter as offensive coordinator. The Lions beefed up their lackluster rushing attack, adding running backs LeGarrette Blount and Kerryon Johnson to their backfield. Detroit also used their first-round pick to select Arkansas center Frank Ragnow, who should complete their overhauled offensive line.
Defensively, the biggest addition is Patricia. The defensive guru and literal rocket scientist is expected to bolster the Lions’ defense through his exotic schemes and championship pedigree playbook.
Despite all of these offseason changes, one national sports commentator still believes the Lions will end up with the third best record in their division.
"“Last year [the Lions] were 9-7. But it should be noted they were 2-0 against the Packers because they faced Brett Hundley twice. So I think there a third place team,” said Colin Cowherd on his nationally syndicated radio show, The Herd. “They got a new coach, Matt Patricia. I don’t think this is gonna be a homerun mostly because none of Belichick’s coordinators are a homerun as a head coach.”"
Cowherd would go on to predict the standings for each of the teams in the NFC North. He has the Packers winning the division with an 11-5 record behind a strong comeback season by Rodgers. Cowherd believes the Vikings go 9-7, the Lions will be hovering around .500 again at 7-9, and the Bears will be dead last at 5-11.
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The Detroit Lions will face an improved division and a much tougher schedule in 2018. And they have placed a Lion’s share of this year’s success on the shoulders of Matt Patricia, especially on the defensive side of the ball. If this former Bill Belichick disciple struggles in Year One, Colin Cowherd’s 7-9 prediction for Detroit could easily come true.