September 2, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Detroit News predictions: Lions regular-season record

A look at how many Lions wins our writers and others around the country are predicting this season. (Illustration by Kim Storeygard/Detroit News)

Detroit News writers Josh Katzenstein, Rod Beard, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski offer up their predictions of how many games the Lions will win this season, plus we have guesses from football writers around the country in the illustration above.

Josh Katzenstein: The Lions will be a better team in 2014 than they were in 2013, but it won’t necessarily show up in their final record. The offense is loaded with weapons, but the right tackle spot is a concern. The defense has some top-line talent, but the secondary is too much of a liability. Plus, the NFC North will be one of the best divisions in the NFL after an injury-plagued 2013. Predicted record: 7-9

Rod Beard: The schedule just doesn't have a lot of easy wins, so the Lions will have to steal a few on the road to even make it this far. Matthew Stafford will lead a stellar offense and the defense will be solid — most of the time. The last two games (at Chicago, at Green Bay) will determine whether the Lions make the playoffs. Predicted record: 9-7

John Niyo: The Summer of Stafford should lead to a more productive offense this fall. And the defense could — maybe even should — be the best of a mediocre bunch in the NFC North, provided the secondary stays healthy and the young pass rushers step up. Predicted record: 9-7

Bob Wojnowski: The Lions have more talent in more areas than they’ve had in years, and if Matthew Stafford can transform from prolific passer to complete quarterback, watch out. Jim Caldwell and coordinator Joe Lombardi must turn this into a top-five offense, because the defensive secondary remains the everlasting question. One of these years, someone back there (Darius Slay?) has to emerge. Predicted record: 10-6