Always one of the highlights of the offseason is when the NFL regular season schedule is released. The season seems just a little bit closer once the schedule is out.
Fans can starting planning road trips and we can start talking predictions and win-loss records.
Mike O'Hara and I made our first-glance, pre-draft predictions on Detroitlions.com when the schedule was released Tuesday. O'Hara had the Lions going 11-5 and I had them 10-6.
We asked the fans to make the same game-by-game predictions in a Detroitlions.com survey. Well, the results are in, and according to the fans, the Lions will go 15-1 in 2012. The only loss the fans could agree on (73 percent) was Week 14 in Green Bay.
The Lions have some of the best fans in the league and they've stuck by their team through a lot over the years. For their part, the Lions have rewarded that loyalty by fielding a much better product over the last two seasons.
After a 10-6 season in 2011 and a trip to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years, there's certainly a lot of optimism heading into this season.
That's a pretty bold statement by the fans.
I'm not as confident as the fans the Lions can win in San Francisco Week 2 or in Philadelphia Week 6. Consecutive home games against the Packers and Texans in November will be tough, and let's not forget about an improved Bears team, either.
It's a tribute to Tom Lewand, Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz that a 15-1 prediction isn't cause for immediate bouts of uncontrolled laughter.
Personally, I think 10, 11 or maybe 12 wins are more likely depending on next week's draft and how healthy the Lions can stay throughout the season. But who really knows? I've been proven wrong plenty of times before. Maybe the Lions are in store for the best season in team history in 2012.
If this poll shows one thing, it's Lions fans have HUGE expectations for the Lions this season.
Here's how the vote went:
Week 1 -- RAMS: W-1523 L-5 (W 99%)
Week 2 -- at 49ers: W-849 L-679 (W 56%)
Week 3 -- at Titans: W-1,434 L-94 (W 93%)
Week 4 -- VIKINGS: W-1,516 L-12 (W 99%)
Week 5 –BYE –
Week 6 -- at Eagles: W-788 L-740 (W 52%)
Week 7 -- at Bears: W-872 L-656 (W 57%)
Week 8 -- SEAHAWKS: W-1,497 L-31 (W 98%)
Week 9 -- at Jaguars: W-1,495 L-33 (W 98%)
Week 10 -- at Vikings: W-1,413 L-115 (W 92%)
Week 11 -- PACKERS: W-922 L-606 (W 60%)
Week 12 -- TEXANS: W-1,296 L-232 (W 85%)
Week 13 -- COLTS: W-1,517 L-11 (W 99%)
Week 14 -- at Packers: W-410 L-1118 (L 73%)
Week 15 -- at Cardinals: W-1,410 L-118 (W 92%)
Week 16 -- Falcons: W-1,226 L-302 (W 80%)
Week 17 -- BEARS: W- 1,392 L-136 (W 91%)