Where are the Detroit Lions projected to finish in the NFC North?

Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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Ford Field, Detroit Lions
Ford Field, Detroit Lions (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images) /

NFC North projections from around the country

I started off with Nate Davis at USA Today, since he correctly guessed the three win season (although not the Week One tie) a year ago. Davis has the Lions finishing 7-9 in 2020, with Green Bay repeating as champs in the division.

By far, the Packers have the most analysts picking them to win the division. Personally, I think last year’s 13-3 record for them was something of a fluke, and that the Vikings have a stronger squad. After a breakout 2018 and huge expectations last year, no one is too confidence about the Bears at the moment.

Next up I went with the ‘Old Guard’ trifecta of Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, and Athlon Sports for their NFL previews:

  • Sports Illustrated predicts the Lions finishing 7-9, third in the division, with Green Bay winning the crown.
  • The Sporting News is less kind, with a 5-11 record and last place (Vikings picked first).
  • Athlon Sports doesn’t give a projected record, but they have Detroit last in the NFC North. Athlon is also thinking the Vikings are the top dogs this time around.

Outside of the famous magazines, the rest of the internet sports world isn’t too keen on giving credit to the Lions either going into this year. Detroit shows up last in the division on various prediction articles published by FanSided and Bleacher Report, and Dan Hanzus of NFL.com has them as his 30th ranked team overall on his most recent power rankings.

For what it’s worth, the Lions are a 78 overall on Madden ’21, well below average, with Action Network giving them 100 to 1 odds (in other words, ‘slim to none’) to win Super Bowl 55. The Packers have the best Madden team rating , with Action Network giving the Vikings  the best Super Bowl odds out of the division.

Of the dozen-plus sources that I went to for NFL previews and predictions, the only one projecting a winning season from the Lions is contributor Pac Tamez with Bellyup Sports. Tamez is giving the Lions… drum roll please… nine wins!

It’s hardly a ringing endorsement, especially considering that Pac also projects 9-7 records from both the Vikings and Packers (and conveniently leaves out who would win the three-way division tiebreaker in this case).  That’s the only place outside of dedicated Lions sites that I’ve seen predict a winning record for the Honolulu Blues this year.

Haven’t all these outside publications heard about the “win now” mandate?