Looking Back at What We Thought Would Happen is Never Fun
We all like to drink our Kool-Aid and get ready for the upcoming season. Hopes are high, a fresh start is incoming. Then the season hits and a quarter of the way through it we go “what were we thinking?” That is what we did here at the Detroit Lions Podcast. Back in April before the draft, Adam Klepp, Nathan Cheatham and I did a writer’s roundtable where we gave our very early season predictions on the team. Looking back on them now, we were all a little drunk on the Kool-Aid. Well, I can not speak for Nate and Adam, so I will just be talking about myself here and looking back at what I said would happen in weeks 1-4 and seeing where I went wrong. Also I will be looking at the rest of the season to see if what I thought would happen in April will happen now.
How The Season Predictions Look Now
Week one was a win for Detroit and it was predicted as a win. The offensive line struggles were the main reason why it was predicted we would win but in the end, it was just a fantastic comeback led by Matt Stafford.
Week two was a loss for Detroit and it was predicted by everyone to be a win. Detroit destroyed itself in the home opener, getting costly penalties and playing very poorly. Detroit had the win locked up easily but figured out another way to lose a lead and a game.
Week three everyone saw a loss incoming for Detroit and they were correct. Nobody believed that Detroit could beat Green Bay at their own place two years in a row. While Detroit did lose the game, they put up a fight keeping them from a blowout. Detroit was dealing with some injuries that gave Green Bay a clear advantage on offense and they attacked it well.
Finally in week four, two of us had the Lions winning and sadly we were wrong. Detroit couldn’t get anything going on defense or offense against a beat up Chicago Bears offense and a tweaked defense.
Comparing our pre-season predictions to where we are now, we see a complete 180. Predicting a 3-1 start and having it come out to be a 1-3 result is hard to watch. The Lions beat themselves in week two and poor coaching cost them week four. Things are not what they seem so now the scary part is, what were the rest of the predictions and will they happen?
The Rest of the Season Outlook
Weeks five and six I had Detroit winning against the Eagles and Rams. Things have turned around for both teams. The Eagles have an actual quarterback that can play. And while the Rams are still benching their first overall pick, Todd Gurley and company are helping lead the way. Detroit couldn’t stop a backup quarterback and third string running back in Chicago, so they might end up losing to the Eagles this week. Next week against the Rams is a toss-up because the Rams don’t have a star on the offense besides Gurley although we couldn’t stop him last year. Bearing in mind the form of the Rams’ tough defensive line star Aaron Donald, Stafford might get smacked around again. Take this game as a close loss.
Weeks seven through nine I had Detroit losing all three games against the Redskins, Texans, and Vikings. I am sticking with that prediction. While the Redskins are 2-2, Kirk Cousins and company will pick apart our defense like a kid picking out candy on Halloween. Although the Texans are losing J.J. Watt for the season, their defense is still hard to stop and Detroit won’t have a matchup on them. Finally, Minnesota is doing better than expected despite having Sam Bradford at the QB position over Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson out (likely for the season). Detroit just won’t be able to stop them.
Week 11 through 13 I had Detroit losing to Jacksonville, beating Minnesota, and beating New Orleans. Well, flip the first two games and Detroit is 2-1 in this three game stand. Jacksonville was an off-season “winner” with all of their new additions and so far they are 1-3, barely winning last week against the Colts. Detroit is bad, but not Jacksonville bad. Beating Minnesota won’t happen – period. New Orleans is like Jacksonville where they are lucky to be 1-3. They had a nice comeback against the Chargers last week, but that defense is worse than Detroit’s. Drew Brees can only do so much for the team and it won’t be enough.
Week 14 through 17 is where Detroit crashes and burns. I had them beating Chicago, Dallas, and Green Bay. Now we will be lucky to beat Chicago. Jay Cutler will most likely be the starter by week 14 once he is back and healthy but if Detroit couldn’t stop the backups, what will it take to beat the starters? Detroit will find a way to win this game somehow. The Giants will be too much for Detroit, plain and simple. Dallas will have Tony Romo back, but they aren’t doing badly with Dak Prescott and that isn’t good news for Detroit. Whoever is slinging the ball will be very well protected and Elliot will run all over Detroit. Finally, Detroit will close their season against the Packers and the only way they win is if Green Bay rests all of their starters, which could happen – but Detroit could still fall flat on just that.
So in the end I had Detroit going 10-6, but looking at the future I now see them ending 5-11, dashing any hopes of a possible playoff appearance. Detroit will fire their head coach and more, making grown men cry and angry and wishing the draft was right around the corner.