NFL.com's Gil Brandt released his offseason NFL power rankings on Tuesday, and the Detroit Lions came in at No. 10 in the league. They are one spot behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and one spot ahead of the Atlanta Falcons.
Why does Brandt have the Lions 10th? He is a big fan of Jim Schwartz, Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, but he says that the Lions need to improve their running game. Also, the secondary is a "big concern," although perhaps the rest of the defense can make up for that concern. Here's his full explanation:
Jim Schwartz is one of the top young coaches in the NFL today. His Lions boast a top young QB in Matthew Stafford and the premium receiver in the game, Calvin Johnson. But Detroit needs a better running game to maximize its aerial attack. Can the defense hold up over the course over the season? The secondary's a big concern, but the Lions' talent up front can cover up a lot of issues, especially if Nick Fairley starts to play up to his potential in Year 2.
Brandt's top five includes the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans. Interestingly, all of those teams except the Patriots are on the Lions' 2012 schedule.