ESPN is offering up a prediction of a Lions projection, of sorts.
Bill Barnwell of ESPN gave his best guess Monday on the number of wins Las Vegas will give each NFL team when over/under marks hit the sportsbooks.
For the Lions, that number will be seven, according to Barnwell — not much better than the six victories they actually earned in 2018, and almost certainly not enough to get into the postseason.
“The Lions had a bizarre season in the AFC East alone,” writes Barnwell, who makes clear these are not his projections, but his prediction for Vegas. “Who would have projected that the Lions would blow out the Patriots, comfortably beat the Dolphins, and then lose to the Bills and Jets?
“Matt Patricia’s team was 23rd in offensive DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) and 27th in defensive DVOA, so Patricia promptly fired offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and replaced him with former Seahawks coordinator Darrell Bevell.”
Barnwell writes that defense should top the Lions’ offseason to-do list.
“The Lions have yet to fill many of their holes on defense,” he writes, “as hiring Patricia was no immediate salve. They’ll need to make investments on that side of the ball this offseason to improve much on their 6-10 mark.”
Barnwell predicts the following for what Vegas’ over/under will be for other NFC North teams: Green Bay, 8.5 victories; Minnesota, 9; Chicago, 10.5.