The Detroit Lions will not win more than six games
2021 is an important year for the Detroit Lions. After initiating an impressive franchise “facelift,” the Lions brass is in a unique position. It’s one that Detroiters haven’t seen. And that position is they’re genuinely rebuilding the franchise. There are no more band-aids to big problems. There have been no stupid hires. And at last, there is no fluff. Ladies and gentlemen, citizens of Detroit, your Detroit Lions are operating as an actual NFL franchise.
It’s a feeling that’s refreshing in the Motor City. Despite that feeling, a storm is coming.
And that storm is called the regular season.
The Detroit Lions begin their 2021 season at home on September 12th. The San Francisco 49ers are coming to town. And just like Matt Patricia, Dan Campbell will potentially have his Lions head coaching debut against a rookie quarterback.
Oh brother, here we go. The Detroit Lions have will face many difficulties this season.
I fully expect the Lions to handle business in their season opener. Despite that, get ready for a season of doom and gloom. Or to get straight to the point, be prepared for a 6-11 season. For the typical Lions fan who wants to drink the Honolulu Blue kool-aid, six wins might tick you off. Heck, it may cause you to Google my name to find my address so you can kick my butt.
That’s fine. I’ll take that.
However, my prediction of six wins for the Lions is pretty generous considering the schedule’s layout because their schedule is brutal.
CBS Sports has the Lions tied with the Cincinnati Bengals for the sixth most challenging schedule. For the upcoming season, the six wins I have for the Lions will be against the 49ers (Week 1), Packers (Week 2), Bengals (Week 6), Rams (Week 7), Bears (Week 12), and Broncos (Week 14).
And if we’re honest, there could be a legit argument that Week 1 and Week 2 could (and should) be losses, making them 4-13.
Here is my logic in predicting the six wins this season. With the coaching staff the Lions have in place, they should beat the 49ers, Bengals, Broncos, and at least split a game with the Bears. These are teams in the middle of a rebuild themselves. I feel the Lions coaching staff can potentially be better than those opponents. Outside of the Bengals, the quarterback situation of those other teams is a question mark. Along with that, both the 49ers and Bears probably have a Jimmy or Andy Dalton starting at QB, respectively.
Unless both teams start their rookie quarterbacks.
Luck is not on Lions side with rookie quarterbacks.
Historically, rookie QBs tend to perform pretty well against the Lions. Kyler Murray and Sam Darnold are two of the more recent examples. In Darnold’s first game of the season, he led the New York Jets to a 48-17 thrashing of the Lions at Ford Field. And it was on Monday Night Football, at that. Darnold threw for 198 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Murray eerily threw for two touchdowns and one interception a year later, just like Darnold did, which was also during Week 1. The difference is he threw for 308 yards. And the Lions-Cardinals game ended in a 27-27 tie.
I don’t predict we’ll see a repeat of either performance. Not with Dan Campbell in town. And for damn sure not with the staff he’s assembled.
For the Packers game in Week 2, there is only one reason the Lions, in my opinion, can win, and that’s if Aaron Rodgers is not playing. Now I don’t know if the Packers will trade Rodgers by then or if he’ll be holding out. After all, it’s hard to imagine him walking away from over $38 million a year. However, the Lions can win if he’s gone.
Despite everything mentioned above, let’s get to the elephant in the room (or this piece you’re reading). And that’s my prediction of the Lions winning their Week 7 matchup vs. the Los Angeles Rams.
Matthew Stafford will lose to his old team in dramatic fashion.
Yes, I have the Lions traveling to LA and beating Matthew Stafford and Co. Why? Well, it’s just a feeling and nothing else. Stacking the rosters up against each other, the Rams should smoke the Lions handily. However, as we know in sports, some games aren’t about which team has the better players. It’s simply about a phrase we come to love. And that’s “any given Sunday”. As much as Stafford wants to beat the Lions, several Lions members wish to demolish the Rams as well. There’s GM Brad Holmes, Assistant GM Ray Agnew, Secondary coach Aubrey Pleasant, and defensive tackle Michael Brockers.
Oh yeah. I almost forgot. There’s also this guy named Jared Goff who wants to kick their tail as well. I mean, imagine leading a team to a Super Bowl appearance, and you’re replacement is a man who never won a playoff game.
These men mentioned above started 2021 as part of the Rams organization. Now they’re in the Motor City, and they all have a chip on their shoulder. And when you have one motivated person vs. several motivated people, something has to give. From my time watching the Lions, they tend to win at least one game that, on paper, they have no business winning. Week 7 will be that game.
There is no telling if my prediction will be right or wrong. We all have to wait and see. Nevertheless, predicting that the Detroit Lions will more than six games is nothing more than wishful thinking. For this season, winning six games is their ceiling.
If they win anything north of that, not only is that amazing, but it’s another sign of how terrible of a coach that Matt Patricia was in Detroit.