Embed from Getty Images After simulating the upcoming NFL regular season 1 million times, the Detroit Lions have been picked as the favorite to make the jump from worst to first. Ever since 2002, at least one NFL team has made the jump from worst to first in its division every season outside of one. Last year, both the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears pulled off the feat.
When the NFL realigned the divisions back in 2002, 22 teams have gone from worst to first. An impressive jump to be sure. The NFL prides itself of parity. 2014, was the only season that no bottom feeder went to the top.
DVOA, simulated the upcoming season 1 million times. The Detroit Lions are viewed to have a 25.5% chance of winning the division and a 39.8% chance of making the playoffs after the extensive simulation.
“When a team declines as much as the Lions did last season, it usually rebounds a bit the next year. Our system also likes the talent the Lions have added this offseason,” the Football spokesman said when breaking down the upcoming NFL season.
“There are more reasons to be optimistic about the defense hidden among the numbers. The Lions are in the second year of a new scheme, and all else being equal, teams take a little step back in the first year of a new scheme and a step forward once they have more experience in it.” The spokesman added.
Ever since the start of the offseason and free agency the Detroit Lions have been trending upward. Throw in a very good, very solid NFL draft and the recipe for success is there.
Lions head coach Matt Patricia, has taken a softer stance in his second training camp. The former New England Patriots defensive coordinator, was brought in to bring a culture shock to a football team that desperately needed one.
Patricia, knew exactly what it takes to be a championship team. Having been gruff, blunt and difficult for players and media alike has changed this offseason.
Part of it is players now know what to expect. Last season Patricia sent clues to both his team and media by showing up late for meetings and press conferences. I believe that was by design to show who was in charge.
This season Patricia has laughed at practices, shown up on time and been kind to media members. Now the team can move forward.