Projected record: 9–7
Jim Caldwell made some curious decisions in late-game situations last year that likely cost his team wins but didn’t cost them a playoff berth. Still, Caldwell has delivered two winning seasons in three years for the first time since 1995–97. Can Matt Stafford build on the best year of his career?
Pivotal game: Week 4 at Vikings. I have Detroit starting 0–3 against the Cardinals, Giants and Falcons, so the first game after that season-opening stretch could be pivotal. A road trip to a division opponent they swept last year could help the Lions kick-start their season.