The first ESPN power rankings of the season are out and the Detroit Lions are right where you'd expect them to be -- in the middle of the pack.
The Lions came in 18th in the initial rankings, nestled right between two teams they face this season: Atlanta at No. 17 and Tampa Bay at No. 19. As one of the power rankings voters, I actually had the Lions a shade higher than the consensus, dropping them in at No. 16 (my power rankings vote is below).
Talent-wise, there is little question Detroit should be higher on this list. Yet there are the same old questions when it comes to the Lions. Can this new coaching staff turn the consistent mediocrity of the franchise into something else? Will the penalties ever stop? Will Matthew Stafford take the steps he needs to in order to become a great quarterback?
How do the new schemes fit? Can the secondary hold up?
Just with those questions alone, I think you get my point that there are just too many unknowns about the Lions at this point to really put them any higher than the middle of the pack.
Here's how I'm going to handle my vote every week: I'm not going to base things just on where a team was the week before. I'm going to take into account who they played, how they played, and where it fit into the schedule. So there might be some radical shifting from week to week, but I'll be open for any discussion in the comments, etc.
So have at it, and remember, this is the preseason version so a lot can change by next week: