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ESPN’s NFL power rankings: Lions drop 4 spots after Week 1 of preseason

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The Worldwide Leader in Sports have soured on Detroit’s chances in 2017.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

With the first week of preseason football in the books, ESPN updated their power rankings to get with the times.

As far as ESPN in concerned, the Detroit Lions are worse for wear after their matchup with the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday. Detroit dropped four spots from their post-draft ranking at No. 15 to No. 19 on Tuesday.

Here’s ESPN’s rationale for the Lions slipping:

A quiet offseason has the 2017 Lions looking very much like the 2016 Lions. That's not necessarily a bad thing for a team that made the playoffs, but the Lions did get outscored last season (358-346). It remains to be seen if bigger changes from the draft and free agency may have helped.

There’s an awful lot to parse through here, but let’s start with the most obvious. The 2017 Lions don’t look very much like the 2016 Lions. Like, at all. Let me submit my first—and only—piece of evidence:

NFL: Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts
Totally new, totally different jerseys mean this year’s team looks vastly different from the previous season. Fact.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Also important to make note of is how their rankings have changed post-draft because it “remains to be seen if bigger changes from the draft and free agency may have helped” the Lions. Well, the team still has three preseason games left, but what they saw on Sunday out of those offseason acquisitions was enough for ESPN to depart from the optimism they had for the team after the draft.

Oh, and the Colts, whose depth looked dire and their team looked like a disaster even Andrew Luck couldn’t save, jumped the Lions in their rankings. So, you know, these things clearly aren’t a science.