The Duel

ESPN Has Shocking 2020 Projection for Lions

Jason Schandl
ESPN has NFC North projections that will get Detroit Lions fans very excited for 2020.
ESPN has NFC North projections that will get Detroit Lions fans very excited for 2020. / Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

It's not much of a hot take to say that the Detroit Lions are much better than their 3-12-1 record from last season would suggest. They were off to a 3-4-1 start before Matthew Stafford went down with a season-ending injury, and they didn't win another game all year.

Well, Football Outsiders projections on ESPN are taking things to another level. They not only project the Lions as the most likely team to go from worst-to-first in any division, but they actually have the Lions as the favorites to win the NFC North.

That's right, with a projected 27.5 percent chance of winning the division, the Lions rank ahead of both the Minnesota Vikings and the defending champion Green Bay Packers.

Even under Stafford, the Lions lost to both the Pack and the Vikes in 2019, though neither game was a total blowout. It was just a 1-point loss to Green Bay, and Stafford threw 4 touchdowns in the loss to Minnesota.

Healthy again, Stafford is even getting some buzz as a dark horse MVP pick, and he has the fourth-best odds to win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year on FanDuel Sportsbook.

These projections come as a huge surprise, but it's certainly an exciting surprise for Lions fans.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.