If you're an optimistic Detroit Lions fan, as many are these days, you're not likely to agree with this assessment by The Athletic, the sports department for the New York Times.
The Athletic is predicting nine wins for the Detroit Lions this season. If that holds true, the Lions might have a hard time making the playoffs. On the other hand, the publication predicts that no other team in its division is predicted to win more games than the Lions.
Here's how they came to this conclusion:
First, Austin Mock runs his NFL betting model using various metrics to create projections for each team. He uses them for each game of the season to get a projected spread and then converts it into a projected winning percentage. He loads his projections into a simulator that plays each game in the NFL season to see how many games every team would win. The simulator repeats this process 10,000 times to find an expected win total for each team.
Accompanying The Atheletic's prediction is this write up by Colton Pouncy:
The Lions finished 9-8 last season after a 1-6 start. Their second-half run, winning eight of their final 10 games, was a product of better health and young players emerging. On paper, the Lions got better this offseason. A talented rookie class looks ready to roll, and the team has free agency to thank for its new-look secondary, which could be the key to unlocking Aaron Glenn’s defense. In a weak NFC North division, the Lions have more than enough talent to surpass nine wins.
The publication has the Kansas City Chiefs winning the most games with 12. The Chiefs square off against the Lions this Thursday night at 8:20 p.m. at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.