Either Louis Delmas is forecasting a particularly bad season for the entire NFC North, or he believes the entire conference will be down this season.
That is the only way his prediction can make a lot of sense – or come true. The second-year safety for the Detroit Lions looked into the future and has announced that his team will likely make the playoffs this year. With eight wins. Do the math. It’s not an easy thing to do.
“We know what we can do," Delmas said, according to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. "We just slipped up last year. I know that we lost a lot of games on last drives last year. It's no surprise if we come out and get eight wins -- I won't be surprised at all. We know we can do it.”
But eight wins would be good for what?
“With eight wins?" Delmas said. “If we get eight wins and we don't make it to the playoffs, I'll be pissed. So that's what we're shooting for.”
The odds are stacked against any eight-win team reaching the postseason. The San Diego Chargers did it in 2008 when they won the AFC West after the Denver Broncos choked it away down the stretch. But that is a rare feat. Wild-card bids typically need to count on 10 wins to get into the postseason for sure. Two nine-win teams made the playoffs this past season.
Delmas is counting on the Lions going from the outhouse to the penthouse in the division, which was won by the Minnesota Vikings last season. Some are predicting the Green Bay Packers to be the team to beat this season and the Chicago Bears have made substantial investments as they aim to break a three-year run of not reaching the postseason. A case could be made it will be one of the better divisions in the league this season.
“It's a hard division," Delmas said. “It's very big, but football is football. You've got to strap it up and go out there and play and that's what we plan on doing.”
Hey, at least Delmas isn’t Jon Kitna-level delusional. It was the former Lions quarterback who said three years ago, “"Anything less than 10 wins would be a disappointment." Delmas is picking a more realistic starting point for a turnaround for a franchise that hasn’t reached the playoffs since 1999. But a .500 season will likely leave the Lions at home watching the postseason.
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