The eve of NFL training camp can bring plenty of optimism, even for fans of a Detroit Lions franchise that hasn't won a playoff game since 1991.
Nate Davis of USA Today is offering an ice-cold bucket of water to temper any lofty expectations.
Davis on Monday unveiled his projections for each NFL team, saddling the Lions with a 3-13 record — tied for the worst in the NFL with four other teams.
That's dead last in the NFC North — six games worse than the projected third-place Green Bay Packers.
"Difficult to envision coach Matt Patricia improving on his 6-10 debut," Davis writes. "Four of their eight home dates come against 2018 playoff outfits — a figure that doesn't include the Packers or Vikings. Two West Coast trips (Week 1 in Arizona, Week 9 in Oakland) in season's first half unlikely to help, either."
The other three-win teams in USA Today's projections: the Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Washington, and the Arizona Cardinals. The Lions have two of those teams on their schedule, opening at the Cardinals, and traveling to Washington in Week 12.