Another game. Another week of heavy expectations.
Last week, literally everyone in the sports world was picking the Detroit Lions to defeat the Cleveland Browns. The Lions took those raised expectations and... well, they won. That’s all that’s really important. There is no tiebreaker in the playoff race for style points.
This week, the Lions have a tougher assignment. The Chicago Bears have defeated some good teams this year, and a road division game is never a gimme in this league—even if the Lions are currently 2-0 in those games.
But despite the increased degree of difficulty, the Lions are still dealing with incredibly high expectations this week. While experts aren’t unanimously picking Detroit, it’s not exactly easy to find someone predicting the Bears to come away victorious.
ESPN: 10 of 10 Picked Lions
SB Nation: 7 of 8 picked Lions
CBS Sports: 8 of 8 picked Lions
Pro Football Focus: 8 of 9 picked Lions
Sports Illustrated: 5 of 6 picked Lions
Total: 38 of 41 picked Lions (92.7%)
Sometimes when the national audience is so hyped on the Lions, it takes some local writers to knock expectations back to a realistic level. But not this week. Detroit writers are just as optimistic about the Lions’ chances as anyone.
MLive: 2 of 2 picked Lions
Freep: 4 of 4 picked Lions
Detroit News: 3 of 4 picked Lions
Detroit Jock City: 6 of 7 picked Lions
Pride of Detroit: 10 of 10 picked Lions
Total: 25 of 27 picked Lions (92.6%)
While I, too, picked the Lions to win this game, I’m a bit surprised by such a heavy consensus. Detroit is only favored by three points in this game, and that honestly feels about right. This Bears team can contend, and the Lions notoriously struggle at Soldier Field.
We’ll see if Detroit can handle the increased expectations for a second week in a row and prove the very infrequent doubters wrong.