Predictions are tough, if not impossible, at this point in the offseason. Preseason power rankings are just an exercise in futility and should be consumed for entertainment purposes only.
The Detroit Lions have spanned just about everywhere on these lists this offseason. Just last week, the Lions placed eighth on the Sporting News’ preseason rankings. Earlier this offseason, ESPN’s Mike Clay had the Lions near the bottom at 27th overall.
Though the numbers have varied wildly in every power ranking you can find, there is one constant. No matter where you look, the Green Bay Packers are ranked above the Lions.
Bleacher Report’s Chris Simms released his 2017 preseason power rankings and the Lions placed at a modest 11th. Shockingly, however, Simms dropped the Packers all the way to 14th. “There's just one guy who makes them a threat,” Simms wrote. “Without Aaron Rodgers, this is a 6-10 or 7-9 squad at best—and the Packers got worse this offseason.”
There are other oddities in Simms’ list. The New York Giants are his No. 2 team overall, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 18th and the Colts are all the way at No. 26.
Simms narrative on the Packers isn’t a new one. Many have criticized Packers general manager Ted Thompson for failing to build a team around Aaron Rodgers and wasting his prime years. But despite this long-running theory, the Packers have prevailed; Green Bay has won the NFC North in five of the last six seasons.
Still, the Lions have challenged the Packers as of late. Both in 2014 and 2016, the two teams faced off in the season finale with the division title on the line. Though Green Bay came out victorious both times, the tides may finally be turning. Simms apparently sees it that way.