Detroit Lions season predictions: Record, stat leaders, NFL playoffs and Super Bowl picks

Detroit Free Press

Our Free Press sports writers and columnists make their predictions on who many wins the Detroit Lions get in 2020, and whether they’ll qualify for the new expanded playoff format:

Dave Birkett: 9-7

The reason: Back in 2018, I dinged the Lions’ win total because the vibe around the team was so bad, and they struggled to a 6-10 record. Well, the way Matt Patricia and Co. have handled this very unique offseason has given me the opposite feeling. The Lions could be a surprise this year, and Matthew Stafford and the offense look good enough to make the playoffs.

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Biggest win: Vikings, Week 17 to make the playoffs

Lions’ MVP: Matthew Stafford

Lions’ leading rusher: Adrian Peterson

Lions’ leading receiver: Kenny Golladay

Matthew Stafford TD/INTs: 32/10

Starts by Jeff Okudah: 10

Where Lions’ offense will rank: Ninth

Where Lions’ defense will rank: 19th

NFC division winners: Seattle, Minnesota, Dallas, Tampa Bay

NFC wild cards: San Francisco, New Orleans, Detroit

NFC title game: Seattle over San Francisco

AFC division winners: Baltimore, Kansas City, New England, Indianapolis

AFC wild cards: Cleveland, Buffalo, Houston

AFC title game: Baltimore over Kansas City

Super Bowl: Baltimore over Seattle

[ How the Lions stack up against every team in NFC North ]

Carlos Monarrez: 9-7

The reason: A revamped defense should make a world of difference. A healthy Stafford and a healthy running backs room will complement what should be a top-notch receiving corps. And don’t forget about T.J. Hockenson having his rookie year behind him.

Biggest win: Houston on Thanksgiving

Lions’ MVP: Stafford

Lions’ leading rusher: Kerryon Johnson

Lions’ leading receiver: Golladay

Matthew Stafford TD/INTs: 25/12

Starts by Jeff Okudah: 10

Where Lions’ offense will rank: 15th

Where Lions’ defense will rank: 18th

NFC division winners: Philadelphia, Green Bay, New Orleans, San Francisco

NFC wild cards: Dallas, Tampa Bay, Seattle

NFC title game: San Francisco over New Orleans

AFC division winners: Buffalo, Baltimore, Tennessee, Kansas City

AFC wild cards: Pittsburgh, Houston, Indianapolis

AFC title game: Baltimore over Kansas City

Super Bowl: Baltimore over San Francisco

Jeff Seidel: 7-9

The reason: The Lions should have a fantastic offense but that defense is highly suspect. It will be bottom tier defense. Patricia has grown and it was smart to give up defensive play-calling responsibilities. But I won’t trust this front office, much less this coaching staff, until it shows me that it knows how to win. 

Biggest win: New Orleans 

Lions’ MVP: Stafford 

Lions’ leading rusher: Peterson

Lions’ leading receiver: Golladay 

Matthew Stafford TD/INTs: 32/10 

Starts by Jeff Okudah: 14 

Where Lions’ offense will rank: 12th 

Where Lions’ defense will rank: 23rd 

NFC division winners: Dallas, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Seattle 

NFC wild cards: New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco 

NFC title game: Dallas over Minnesota

AFC division winners: Kansas City, Baltimore, Tennessee, Buffalo 

AFC wild cards: Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, New England 

AFC title game: Kansas City over Baltimore 

Super Bowl: Kansas City over Dallas 

Shawn Windsor: 9-7

The reason: Stafford remains an upper-tier QB when healthy. He has receivers, running backs and a solid offensive line. At some point the defense should improve under Patricia. If not this season, then when? Besides, if the Tigers can compete for a wild-card spot, the Lions can, too.  

Biggest win: At Tennessee 

Lions’ MVP: Stafford 

Lions’ leading rusher: Johnson 

Lions’ leading receiver: Golladay 

Matthew Stafford TD/INTs: 27/11 

Starts by Jeff Okudah: 13 

Where Lions’ offense will rank: Seventh 

Where Lions’ defense will rank: 16th 

NFC division winners: Dallas, San Francisco, Minnesota, Tampa Bay 

NFC wild cards: Philadelphia, Seattle, New Orleans 

NFC title game: Tampa Bay over San Francisco 

AFC division winners: Buffalo, Kansas City, Baltimore, Houston 

AFC wild cards: Tennessee, Pittsburgh, New England 

AFC title game: Kansas City over Baltimore 

Super Bowl: Kansas City over Tampa Bay  

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