Fresh off their bye week, the Detroit Lions are the last remaining winless team in the NFL (0-8) and the national perception of the organization is low. Really low. It doesn’t help that the Week 8 butt kicking by the Philadelphia Eagles lingered in the minds of the national media, but it’s led to speculation about the possibility of an 0-17 season.
A few writers have the opinion that a winless season is inevitable, while others have shown faith that a win is on the horizon—even if it seems unlikely in the next few weeks.
Bottom line, until they get that elusive win, expect them to be ranked as the worst team—or worst team adjacent—in the NFL.
MMQB: 31 (Previous: 30)
“At some point this year, the Lions are going to need proof of process. Dan Campbell’s raw honesty and plucky game plans can carry the water for only so long. This is a bad team, but as the Texans have shown us, anyone can—and should—log a ‘W’ at some point.” — MMQB’s rotating writers
NFL.com: 31 (Previous: 31)
“The second half of the season could go one of two ways for Dan Campbell: The Lions could continue to fight and hang tough in games and eventually pull out a win or three; or, the losses create a snowball effect, hopelessness sets in and, eventually, Detroit reaches an unsavory final record that nobody wants connected to their résumé. The bye arrived at a helpful time for a team trying to escape an avalanche. “This season is not over,” Tight end T.J. Hockenson said after the team’s Week 8 loss to the Eagles. ‘And we’re able to write the story with what guys want to do, what we want to do as a team and where we want to go with this organization and with this city.’” — Dan Hanzus
ESPN: 32 (Previous: 32)
“Bold second-half prediction: The Lions will win a game.
“The last time Detroit experienced a victory was Dec. 6, 2020. Since then, things have gone downhill — which even includes the 2021 preseason, when they dropped all three contests before starting 0-8 in the regular season. It seems as if history may repeat itself with another winless season, like the infamous 0-16 squad from 2008, but I’m here to tell you that the Lions will win a game. Now, the chance of this happening is still very slim, but I’m confident that they can at least get one on the back end of the year — possibly against the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving or the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 26.” — Eric Woodyard
Yahoo Sports: 31 (Previous: 31)
“The Lions, coming off a bye, get to play the Steelers who are playing on Monday night. In terms of a scheduling spot and rest, it’s as advantageous of a situation as you’ll find. The Lions can use any edge they can get.” — Frank Schwab
USA Today: 32 (Previous: 32)
“It would have been more fun if they’d actually decided to claim OBJ.” — Nate Davis
CBS Sports: 32 (Previous: 32)
“They come off their bye with the real possibility that they won’t win a game this year. Is 0-17 a reality? You bet.” — Pete Prisco
Sporting News: 32 (Previous: 32)
“The Lions picked the wrong week to be off given several more bad teams added to their win total. Will they create some winless separation as the worst team? Back-to-back road trips to Pittsburgh and Cleveland are next on their schedule.” — Vinnie Iyer
Washington Post: 32 (Previous: 32)
“Their bye is in the past, and now the countdown begins: Can the Lions become the first 0-17 team in NFL history? Their next two games are Pittsburgh and Cleveland.” — Mark Maske ($ubscription required)