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NFL Week 1 Power Rankings: Detroit Lions start the year in the middle

Experts can’t seem to agree where the Lions stand.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

You know it’s officially the regular season when it’s Tuesday and power rankings are out. Again, this year, we will be aggregating the most notable power rankings around the league and tracking where the Detroit Lions rank week-by-week.

Heading into the season, there is little consensus where the Lions belong among the NFL’s rankings. Some, like Bleacher Report’s Chris Simms, have been in the Lions’ corner all offseason. While others, like ESPN Mike Clay, think this team is destined to take a step back and fall among the league’s worst in 2017.

Week 1’s power rankings reflect exactly that. While no one has the Lions among the top 10 entering the season, they still have quite a wide variance among NFL experts. Here’s a look at where the Lions rank according to several publications:

Lions Week 1 power rankings

SB Nation: 12th
ESPN: 23rd
Washington Post: 11th
Bleacher Report: 13th
Bleeding Green Nation: 14th
Yahoo! Sports: 24th

As you can see, several sites have the Lions knocking on the door of the top 10. This seems like a fair assessment for a team that made the postseason last year, but failed to really contend against the league’s best all year.

However, there are also a few contingents who believe this team is doomed to fail once again. ESPN and Yahoo both think this is a bottom-tier team, who may be drafting in the top 10 in 2018. This isn’t an uncommon feeling, as the national buzzword around the 2017 Lions is “regression.”

Let’s look forward to the Lions’ Week 1 opponent, the Arizona Cardinals. After a hugely disappointing 7-8-1 record last season, not many are picking the Cards to return to prominence once again. Here’s where they rank in Week 1 power rankings:

Cardinals Week 1 power rankings

SB Nation: 21st
ESPN: 17th
Washington Post: 22nd
Bleacher Report: 18th
Bleeding Green Nation: 9th
Yahoo! Sports: 11th

Four of six publications have the Cardinals among the bottom half of teams this year. However, if you look closely, three of the above sites actually have the Cardinals ranked above the Detroit Lions.

The Lions will have the chance to prove their superiority on Sunday. However, between now and then, expect a lot of different predictions for this Week 1 matchup. Both of these teams seem to be highly polarizing amongst experts, leaving a very intriguing and equally unpredictable opening weekend.