Ranking the Lions ahead of the Bears?

Hopefully you caught Tuesday night's "SportsCenter" preview of the NFC North. The video offers a snippet of the themes, encapsulated by analyst Bill Polian.

Polian said the Green Bay Packers are "a great team," suggested the Detroit Lions are "very close to being a great team" and said the Chicago Bears "can be a great team if everything falls into place." All three could make the playoffs, Polian said, and the Minnesota Vikings will "give you a battle."

I guess I'm surprised at how many national observers consider the Lions ahead of the Bears at the moment, despite the Bears' offseason improvements. Later Wednesday, we'll take a look at one analysis that suggests otherwise.