The Detroit Lions are 6-2 for the first time since 2007. But that season, after the Lions' quick start, they proceeded to lose seven out of their last eight games.
Will this year be like '07, or will the Lions make the postseason for the first time since 1999?
Without further ado, my seven bold predictions for the remainder of the Lions' 2011-2012 regular season are:
This year, he's gotten banged up a little but he's played through it.
Stafford is only getting sacked twice a game so far this season. He will continue to stay tough and start every game the rest of the season.
Calvin Johnson has 11 touchdowns through eight games this season and has been arguably the best wideout in the NFL. The Lions will face several terrible pass defenses the rest of the season: the Packers (29th in the NFL), the Vikings (31st), the Bears (27th), the Panthers (21st) and the Raiders (24th).
Expect Johnson to have a few huge games and eclipse the 25 touchdowns mark.
One thing the Lions need to improve on is their running game. With Jahvid Best getting injured seemingly every other game, Detroit needs a reliable running back that can provide 20 good carries a game and be a threat in the passing game. Hillis can do both.
Cleveland has said they might release Hillis and that he has lost the respect of some members of the team. Maybe what he needs is a change of scenery. Hillis had 61 catches last year and he's the smashmouth runner that the Lions need.
Ndamukong Suh, one of the most intimidating players in the NFL, has been fined three times during his year and a half in the NFL. This previous week, he met with Roger Goodell about his flags, fines, and "dirty play."
The meeting won't effect the way Suh plays at all. He'll still play as intensely. He got two fines last season and only one so far this season, in a preseason game against the Bengals. Expect him to get fined sometime again this season.
Last year, Detroit lost to Green Bay 28-26 and beat them 7-3, both times without Matthew Stafford. This year, Detroit vs. Green Bay takes place in Detroit on Thanksgiving and in Green Bay in Week 17.
The Lions will be more driven than ever to beat the defending Super Bowl champs on Thanksgiving and prove to be a real playoff threat. The Week 17 game should be meaningless for the Packers, and it could be the game that decides whether the Lions make the playoffs or if their season ends early once again.
Detroit will narrowly beat the Packers on Thanksgiving, but they will get a convincing road win in the last game of the regular season.
As I said before, Detroit plays extremely weak pass defenses in their last eight games. Stafford's season high so far is 378 yards against the Vikings. If he stays healthy, he should easily have two 400-yard games, if not more.
I think his 400-yard games will come against Minnesota in week 14 and against Green Bay in week 17.
Yes, you read that right—the Lions will finish the season 12-4 for the first time since 1991. Their remaining games are all pretty difficult, but Detroit has looked great this season. They should throw all over the weak secondaries they are going to encounter and win those games.
The two other losses will come against Chicago and New Orleans. The 12-4 record will earn Detroit a spot in the playoffs that Lions fans have been waiting 10 years for.