It was interesting listening to Deion Sanders yesterday during the post-game sessions that run nonstop on the NFL Network.
Aside from his continued love pats toward the Packers … “I just love the Packers” … Deion left watchers with an interesting tidbit about how he feels about the 3-0 Lions and how he feels things will turn out by the end of the season.
While also saying the Lions were a good team and that he loves how they play, he doesn’t feel Detroit is ready to take the next step as a contender or even win the division.
Qualifying his statement that the Lions were good, but weren’t ready for the next step, Sanders said that when December and January roll around, it’s going to be the Packers and Bears fighting for dominance in the division.
That’s an interesting take, given that the Bears are now sitting at 1-2 and have one divisional loss to the Packers. In addition, the Lions, at 3-0, are tied atop the division at this point with the Packers.
That said, let’s take a look at the Lions, Packers and Bears remaining games and see if Sanders knows something we don’t at this point.
In my humble opinion, the Packers have possible losses to Atlanta (Oct. 9), San Diego (Nov. 6), Tampa Bay (Nov. 20), at Detroit on Thanksgiving (Nov. 24) and Detroit at home (Jan. 1). The remainder of their schedule should be wins.
Of these five potential losses, I feel the Packers will win two or three of them, meaning the team finishes at 12-4 or 13-3.
The Lions, a bit of an enigma at this point, has potential losses against Dallas (Oct. 2), Chicago twice (Oct. 10 and Nov. 13), Atlanta (Oct. 23), New Orleans (Dec. 4), San Diego (Dec. 24), and Green Bay (Jan. 1).
I feel the Packers will split with Detroit this season, losing the Thanksgiving Day game, but coming back to win on New Year’s Day at Green Bay.
Of the other potential losses, Dallas, New Orleans and San Diego have legitimate shots to defeat the Lions; and when it comes to divisional games, you just never know, especially the way the Lions barely beat the Vikings on Sunday.
So let’s say the Lions lose three or four of those potential losses, that would still leave them at least one game behind the Packers by the time the season ends.
The Bears show potential losses against Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Green Bay.
And depending on how the Bears matchup with division foes the rest of the season, they could suffer at least a couple more defeats.
So, that leaves the Bears in a virtual tie with the Lions, one to two games behind the Packers.
And don’t count out the Vikings as spoilers this year. We all know how division games play out … the way the Vikings have played the first three games, they just might get that second half figured out and pull out a couple of division games yet this season.
Yes, the Lions are hot, but they showed some serious chinks in their armor yesterday. The Bears started with a dominating performance against the Falcons and have dropped two in a row to the Saints and Packers, leaving one to think that their division title last year was a result of an easy schedule.
So, maybe Deion Sanders is right on the money … of course it’s all speculation at this point. We’re not counting how injuries could play into the mix. After all, it’s not WHO you play in the NFL, it’s WHEN you play them.