ESPN analysts lean into history to go over-under on Detroit Lions 2023 win total
It feels like a new day for the Detroit Lions, but an ESPN analyst just can’t help leaning into history to make a prediction for their 2023 win total.
After winning eight of the last 10 games last season, and finishing above .500 for the first time since 2017, the Detroit Lions are lined up to take another step forward this year. They are the early favorites to win the NFC North for many.
But of course the Lions are also working against history, and all of the long-ingrained perceptions it comes with. No championships since 1957. One playoff win in the Super Bowl era (1991 season). No division titles since their division was called the NFC Central, and there were 28 teams in the NFL (1993).
But these may not be the “Same Old Lions”, as the phrase “Brand New Lions” has gained a bit of traction. The burden of expectations, rare as it has been for this franchise, is there for 2023. Time will tell if expectations are met, and it’s ok for fans to be skeptical based on the scars of history.
ESPN analyst can’t help leaning into history to tab the over-under for Detroit Lions 2023 win total
ESPN gathered their betting analysts to predict over or under on each team’s 2023 win total, along with a win projection for each from fantasy analyst Mike Clay.
The Lions win total over-under sits at 9.5, with Clay projecting eight wins for them. Betting analyst Tyler Fulghum provided his prediction and some analysis.
"Over/under: 9.5Mike Clay’s projection: 8Prediction: Under 9.5 wins. I know people are excited about the trajectory of this team, and it is justified. The Lions have a lot of young talent on this team; however, they are still the Lions — a franchise that has little experience or success realizing its potential over the years. Should they really be the division favorites? I’m not so sure. Their draft process was flawed. WR Jameson Williams is suspended the first six games of the season. I will not be betting into the narrative that this team is the best in the division.–Fulghum"
Fulgham mentions all the low-hanging fruit narratives.
–“they are still the Lions–a franchise that has little experience or success realizing its potential over the years.”
-“Their draft process was flawed.”
-“WR Jameson Williams is suspended the first six games of the season.”
Sorry, but find something new–not everything everyone else will say if they want to come in under on the Lions’ win total this year. Maybe you don’t believe in Jared Goff. Maybe you think Dan Campbell is a caricature and just not a very good head coach. Maybe you think they should have had a different approach in free agency. But history, the first round of the draft and Williams being suspended are excuses to fall short more than great analysis. And we know what Campbell thinks about excuses.
Then again, Fulgham’s explanation for going under 9.5 wins for the 2023 Lions got my attention, Not lamenting the prediction on the surface per se, just the lack uniqueness as to why it was landed on.
It’s on the Lions to put to bed all the lazy, convenient narratives for why they’ll fall short of expectations this year. Then national analysts will have to find something else to lean into regarding this franchise.