The Lions spent all of 2016 living up to their Cardiac Cats nickname, rattling off comeback win after comeback win en route to the playoffs. The advanced metrics weren't flattering, but they can't take away the fact that this was a playoff team in 2016.
But do they have another playoff run in store this season? Let's break it down.
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|Projected wins||In playoffs||Win division||Conference||Super Bowl|
SportsLine projects some give back from the Lions after last year's nine-win finish, but not as much as some may anticipate considering the amount of late comeback wins the team put together. Still, it appears the Lions are fighting an uphill battle to return to the playoffs.
|Win total||Playoffs||Division||Conference||Super Bowl|
|7.5 (U -125)||+280||+650||30/1||60/1|
All odds via Westgate.
The Under on the Lions' regular season win total appears to be a nice play considering the projections above paint Detroit as a 7-9 team. However, Matthew Stafford showed last year that you can never count the Lions out.
Ryan Wilson defends his 9-7 prediction:
Matthew Stafford was one of the league's best quarterbacks last season, and he did it without Calvin Johnson. Instead, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones had big years, and tight end and former first-round pick Eric Ebron looks poised to put it all together in 2017.
The biggest issue is on the other side of the ball, where the Lions were among the league's sorriest defenses. But they drafted two Florida stars -- inside linebacker Jarrad Davis and cornerback Teez Tabor -- in the first two rounds, and both will contribute immediately. On paper, this team is better than the '16 version that went to the playoffs.