Lions open outside the top 10 in USA TODAY’s preseason power poll

The NFL kicks off in three short days when the Detroit Lions head to Kansas City to face the Chiefs on Thursday night. The much-hyped matchup figures to be a great game, but at least one national media outlet doesn’t see it as a matchup between top-10 teams.

In the final preseason NFL power poll from USA TODAY, the defending champion Chiefs are ranked No. 1, as expected. The Lions, however, are unexpectedly looking up into the top 10. Analyst Jarrett Bailey slots the Lions at No. 14 to start the season.

After noting the team’s very realistic playoff aspirations and impressive upgrades in the offseason, Bailey concludes the explanation for the Lions’ relatively low ranking with this,

“Detroit is fun, they are America’s sweetheart team, but it’s not enough for fans to just be the lovable underdog- they have expectations now.”

The skepticism is certainly understandable; the Lions have never won the NFC North and started 1-6 a year ago. Detroit is the highest-ranked team in the division, too.

Editor’s note–Lions Wire is part of the USA TODAY network but did not have any input on the power poll

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire