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How The Detroit Lions Rate: Rounding Up Week Eight’s NFL Power Rankings

November 3rd, 2011 at 10:43 AM
By Max DeMara

After the Detroit Lions "Tebowed" Tim Tebow last Sunday, they head into the bye week with an impressive 6-2 record, good for third best in the NFC. Now, all that awaits them this Sunday is relaxation. One question remains, though: How will the experts rate that win in their power rankings? Will they become buyers in the Lions once again, or will they write it off as a fluke performance against a bad team?

This week it seems that many of the writers are at least (temporarily) back on the bandwagon, as the Lions move up in all but one of the power rankings. Here's the full report at the halfway point of the season:

ESPN: 8th. Last Week: 8th. John Clayton keeps the Lions right where they were last week in his poll. Clayton and ESPN have been very consistent, not overreacting to losses and jockeying the team around. This week, Clayton remarks the Lions had "fun" with Tim Tebow while making light of Ndamukong Suh's 'officiating lesson" in New York on Tuesday. Nothing real earth shattering to report here.

CBS Sports: 8th. Last Week: 9th. Pete Prisco is the first one to gently play the "Lions won because Tim Tebow was so bad" card, as he says: "Nothing like playing Tim Tebow to right the ship." Perhaps he conveniently forgot that Tebow had won the week before and was being heralded up and down by the media. The second part of Prisco's statement nobody can disagree with, however, as he says: "Matthew Stafford showed his competitive fire by playing so well on an injured ankle." It's true, Stafford is a gamer when playing hurt. Detroit fans remember the game against Cleveland in 2009, where his legend was born.

FOX Sports: 10th. Last Week: 11th. Brian Billick takes the polar opposite approach from Prisco, as he makes the point that it didn't matter who the Broncos were starting at quarterback, because the Lions were able to collect another impressive road win. I'm going to agree with the Super Bowl winning coach on this one. Billick also reminds us about the Lions' difficult upcoming schedule, starting with the game against the Bears in two weeks. That game could go a long way towards determining playoff representation in the NFC. It may be the biggest regular season game the Lions have played in some time.

Pro Football Talk: 5th. Last Week: 9th. Mike Florio pushes the Lions into his top five this week, and he couldn't help but go back to the "Ndamukong Suh tells the Falcons to get a cart out for Matt Ryan" story again with another clever dig. This week, he suggests the Lions could have been asking the Broncos to bring a body bag out for Tebow. Ouch.

Sports Illustrated: 7th. Last Week: 8th. Don Banks remains a believer in the Lions. He says he was impressed with the team's ability to get the job done and head into their bye week with a win while staying in the headlines. He also makes a bold prediction that every citizen of Detroit would love to make, but still cannot bring themselves to just yet. Banks says: "I still see Detroit getting to 10 wins, earning an NFC wild card birth, and ending the conference's longest active playoff drought at 11 years. Restore the roar, indeed." Just tell the playoff starved Lions fans where to sign for all of that, Don.

Highest rank: 5th

Lowest rank: 10th

Their overall consensus: The Lions took care of business against Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos, which was positive for the team heading into their bye week. The win may have been equal parts Denver being bad and the Lions being good. In the end, it was still a good road win for Detroit to build off of to keep their playoff dreams alive in the NFC.

 

Tags: Detroit, Detroit Lions, Football, Ndamukong Suh, NFL

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