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Bill Polian on ESPN’s power rankings: Detroit Lions ‘ranked far too low’

Amidst a current of negativity, one ESPN analysis believes in the Lions.

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills Photo by Michael Adamucci/Getty Images

We’ve reached the “NO RESPEKT” portion of the offseason. With free agency mostly done and the draft over, NFL analysts are starting to turn their attention to 2018 season predictions. And, predictably, most of these early prognostications are not very favorable to the Detroit Lions. We’ve seen Detroit ranked among the the middle of the pack in power rankings. The Lions are only favored in four games this season, according to Vegas oddsmakers. Heck, Detroit is even getting a top 10 pick in some early 2019 mock drafts.

The latest offender is, unsurprisingly, ESPN. The Lions are a lowly 20th in their latest post-draft power rankings. Only four NFC teams (Bears, Giants, Buccaneers, Cardinals) rank lower than them.

However, there is one ESPN analyst that is fighting against the current. Former Colts general manager Bill Polian joined “NFL Live” this week, and quickly came to the Lions’ defense in regards to those power rankings.

“Detroit Lions, ranked way too low,” Polian said. “Last year they went 9-7, missed the playoffs by a hair. They added Kerryon Johnson from Auburn this year, the slam-bang downhill running back they lacked a year ago. They added depth on the offensive line. They have Matthew Stafford. This is a good team. They’re ranked far too low.”

While Polian’s description of Johnson is a bit off, his overall point about the Lions’ running game is legit. If all of the efforts the Lions went into improving the run pay off, Detroit could turn one of the worst units in the league into a legitimate threat. Considering the Lions ranked seventh in points scored without a running game last year, they have the potential to be one of the most dangerous offenses in the league in 2018.

Of course, this is all speculation at this point, but what else do we have for the next three months?