A good, simple predictor of any team’s long-term success is usually the difference between how many points they score and how many points they give up.
So how come the Detroit Lions are 2-7?
The Lions have actually outscored their opponents by 13 points this season, but they’ve also lost six games by a grand total of 23 points. Those numbers seem to indicate that they’ve had bad luck in close games — like losing their starting QB to a shoulder injury; twice! — but with a small change in their fortunes … who knows? There might actually be a good team lurking under there.
The Wall Street Journal reports that if their season continues in this fashion, they could end up with the worst record of any team that outscored its opponents for an entire NFL season. The 1971 Bengals had a +19 differential, but finished 4-10.
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