Back in April, when the NFL schedule was released, I predicted the Lions would go 10-6 after a quick once-over of the schedule.
After seeing who the Lions drafted and following every practice and preseason game since, I have made a few changes, but the ending result of a 10-6 record and berth in the playoffs is still the same.
Week 1 -- ST. LOUIS RAMS
Rams running back Steven Jackson has averaged 114 yards rushing in three career games again the Lions. The Rams don't have enough other weapons to beat the Lions at home, though.
LIONS 31, RAMS 21
Week 2 -- at San Francisco 49ers
We all remember what happened after a sloppy 25-19 game at Ford Field. This should be a great early- season matchup between one of the best defenses in the league and the Lions stellar offense. It'll be difficult for the Lions to beat the 49ers on the road.
49ERS 24, LIONS 20
Week 3 -- at Tennessee Titans
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz returns to Tennessee and will be bringing running back
LIONS 27, TITANS 21
Week 4 -- MINNESOTA VIKINGS
The Lions won both games against the Vikings last year but it came right down to the end both times. The Vikings should win more than three games this year, but one of them won't be Week 4 on the road.
LIONS 31, VIKINGS 17
Week 5 -- BYE WEEK
Week 6 -- at Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are looking to make amends for a disappointing 8-8 season in 2011. They feature some of the best collection of talent in the NFL, especially on offense in the pass game.
EAGLES 27, LIONS 24
Week 7 -- at Chicago Bears
This will be the first-ever prime time game at Soldier Field for the Lions. That's kind of hard to believe. The Bears got better on offense this offseason with the additions of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Michael Bush.
BEARS 24, LIONS 20
Week 8 -- SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Quarterback Russell Wilson will have a few games under his belt at this point. He looks to be the real deal, but Ford Field is becoming just as difficult a place to play as Qwest Field in Seattle. Seahawks have a top 10 defense, but the Lions get it done at home coming off two tough losses on the road.
LIONS 28, SEAHAWKS 20
Week 9 -- at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars had the league's 32nd-ranked offense in both passing yards and total yards last year. The best thing they have going for them on offense is Maurice Jones-Drew and he's not happy. Lions feast this week.
LIONS 27, JAGUARS 17
Week 10 -- at Minnesota Vikings
I had them losing this game when I did my prediction after the schedule was released in April. This is a tough game for Lions because that's such a tough place to play. The fact that the Vikings are likely to start five or six rookies has changed my opinion of this game.
LIONS 24, VIKINGS 20
Week 11 -- GREEN BAY PACKERS
The Lions beat themselves with penalties and dumb plays in this game at Ford Field last year. Even if they play smarter, there's really no stopping MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers and all those weapons.
PACKERS 31, LIONS 27
Week 12 -- HOUSTON TEXANS
The Texans' defense gets overshadowed by some of the stars they have on offense, but it ranked no worse than fourth in any statistical category last year. Texans are my dark horse to be the AFC representative in the Super Bowl this year. I think they're that good.
TEXANS 28, LIONS 24
Week 13 -- INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Lions fans will get their first look at Colts new quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck, unfortunately, will see a lot of
LIONS 34, COLTS 17
Week 14 -- at Green Bay Packers
Green Bay in December. Enough said.
PACKERS 34, LIONS 24
Week 15 -- at Arizona Cardinals
How many different starting quarterbacks will the Cardinals have had by this point? Have to have a good quarterback to beat good teams nowadays. Even at home.
LIONS 27, CARDINALS 17
Week 16 -- ATLANTA FALCONS
The Falcons got the better of Lions at Ford Field last game in a game that got chippy. This will be a must-win game for both teams to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Lions were in the same position last year and won these late-season games. They do it again this year.
LIONS 21, FALCONS 20
Week 17 -- CHICAGO BEARS
This will be the game of the year at Ford Field with both teams needing a victory to make it into the playoffs. I expect the Bears will face a similar environment they did for that Monday night game last year. Similar result, too.
LIONS 24, BEARS 13