Inside the Article:
It may take another year or two, but the Detroit Lions are well on their way to winning their first Super Bowl, right? Well, according to ESPN's Future NFL Power Rankings, that may not be the case as the Lions did not even make the Top 10.
Detroit Lions Disrespected in 2023 NFL Future Power Rankings
On Wednesday, ESPN published their Future NFL Power Rankings, and the Lions came in at No. 11. The rankings, which are based on each team's quarterback situation, remaining (non-QB) roster, drafting ability/capital, front office, and coaching.
Reason for hope: The Lions finished last season by winning eight of their final 10 games, competing for a playoff spot until almost the very end and knocking division-rival Green Bay out of the postseason hunt in their season finale at Lambeau Field. The culture change that coach Dan Campbell has engineered in a short period of time offers reason to believe the Lions can build off last year's success. — Graziano
Reason for concern: Does Detroit have the pass rush to take down the real heavyweights of the league on a consistent basis? Yes, Aidan Hutchinson had 9.5 sacks in his rookie season, and first-year linebacker James Houston was spectacular with eight sacks in seven games after being elevated from the practice squad. But the Lions also ranked 25th in pass rush win rate (36%), so it is clear that they need more help up front. — Riddick
Stat to know: That the Lions ranked fourth in offensive EPA per play is a testament to offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and the Lions' coaching staff. Detroit was extremely efficient despite having Jared Goff (who ranked 24th in QBR the year prior) at quarterback, a mediocre pass-protecting line (18th in pass block win rate) and just one good receiver in Amon-Ra St. Brown. — Walder
- Encouraging Progress: The Detroit Lions demonstrated significant improvement in the previous season, winning eight of their last ten games and narrowly missing a playoff spot. Coach Dan Campbell's culture change has had a positive impact on the team, providing hope for continued growth and success.
- Pass Rush Concerns: While the Lions have promising young players like Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston who showed potential in generating sacks, their overall pass rush win rate was low, ranking 25th in the league. Addressing this weakness on the defensive front will be crucial for the team to compete against the stronger teams consistently.
- Offensive Efficiency: Despite concerns about quarterback Jared Goff's performance, the Lions' offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and the coaching staff managed to make the offense remarkably efficient. Ranking fourth in offensive EPA per play indicates the potential for offensive success even with Goff, but finding a more reliable and dynamic quarterback in the long term could be beneficial for sustained competitiveness.
Bottom Line: Detroit Lions vs. EVERYBODY!!!
it's disheartening to see our beloved team ranked only at No. 11 in the NFL Future Power Rankings. We've witnessed promising strides, with a culture shift under Coach Dan Campbell and some standout performances from our young players. However, the ranking overlooks the tremendous potential we hold. We've waited long enough for our Super Bowl dreams to come true, and while the journey may be longer, our pride for the Lions will never waver. One thing's for sure: when the Lions finally hoist that Lombardi Trophy, we'll prove the doubters wrong and roar louder than ever!