If you thought last week was ugly for the Detroit Lions in the national power rankings, you might really want to shelter your eyes this week. After three straight losses (two in a row thanks to poor special teams play) the Lions are beginning to take it on the chin. It's getting ugly out there as the team continues to plummet in the rankings.
ESPN: 20. Last Week: 18. Dan Graziano sees a common theme in the struggles of the Lions. Last year, he says it was penalties. This year? Special teams breakdowns. Either way, he figures discipline is costing the Lions dearly. It's true, those issues have been Detroit's biggest undoing the past two seasons. Both need to be fixed in 2012 if the Lions are to go anywhere.
CBS Sports: 24. Last Week: 22. Pete Prisco is surprisingly tame with Detroit this week, but does move them down even further in the rankings. He says it might be a surprise to see the Lions that low, but they have plenty of issues. A struggling offense? Bad special teams? Take your pick.
Fox Sports: 21. Last Week: 20. Brian Billick makes an interesting point about the Lions' special teams woes. Billick contends that playing special teams is all about "want to" and the Lions don't have enough players showing that hustle and desire right now. It's an interesting point, because the Lions have looked listless the past few weeks. If it's true, that's another troubling sign this year.
Pro Football Talk: 25. Last Week: 24. Mike Florio is blunt this week, so we'll be short as well. He believes the Lions are going to continue losing. Alright then, enough said. We'll see if he has to change his tune soon.
Sports Illustrated: 22. Last Week: 20. Don Banks' theory on Detroit's problems leads itself back to what Billick hypothesizes. The Lions believed they didn't have to work as hard to win in 2012 because they had arrived in 2011. Their play certainly doesn't make that thought seem farfetched. Either way, heading into the bye, the Lions now have been hit with reality.
Highest Rank: 20th
Lowest Rank: 25th.
Their Overall Consensus? The Lions look like a team that doesn't want to hustle early in 2012. This is seen most in their lack of attention to detail on special teams, which is where such things are often found out. If they don't turn things around, it could get ugly in a hurry.
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