- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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Lions reporter Michael Rothstein revises his season prediction at the midway point of the season:
Preseason prediction: 8-8
Revised prediction: 10-6
Why the Lions will finish better: Detroit (6-2) played better than expected during the first half of the season, but that's not why I'm saying the Lions will finish at 10-6 and make the playoffs. It's because of how they have been winning. Instead of watching leads collapse, they have rallied to win games in the fourth quarter. Instead of being flashy with offense and having little defensive substance, the Lions have won because of a stifling defense -- particularly against the run -- and have been pedestrian on offense because of injuries to WR Calvin Johnson, RB Reggie Bush and others.
The Lions enter a harder part of their schedule now, though, which is why 10-6 is the most likely scenario, with four home wins and four road losses. Going to Arizona and New England, neither of which have lost at home yet this season, in back-to-back weeks will be a very difficult task. That comes after Sunday's game against a surprising Miami team and is followed by a short week to get ready for Chicago, one of Detroit's biggest rivals. If the Lions split November, they'll put themselves in good shape heading into December, with Minnesota and Tampa Bay at home before going to Chicago and Green Bay to finish the season.
If the Lions are able to surprise and win one on the road -- at Chicago is the game to watch there -- then perhaps they can even sneak away with the NFC North title. That road will continue to go through Green Bay, though, a place where the Lions haven't won since the Barry Sanders years.