Another brazen fourth quarter comeback by Matthew Stafford leads to more ranking advancement for the Detroit Lions. This week, the team tries to begin their slow but steady accent from power ranking obscurity to begin the second half push. Finally, we can say that they're moving on up across the board. Stafford's play is a major talking point this week, as well.
ESPN: 17. Last Week: 19th. Dan Graziano moves the Lions up from the upper echelon of the teens, and says that Stafford is quietly becoming one of the feared fourth quarter assassins in the NFL. No disagreement here, and at least he didn't make mention of the fact that Detroit always has to come from behind, right?
CBS Sports: 19. Last Week: 20th. When Pete Prisco declares a team has life, let's face it, they may as well have been given a heart and lung transplant. Prisco moves Detroit up a modest one spot this week, but says that the drive against Seattle was a season saver, and the Lions have life now. We'll see, but coming from Prisco, that's a complement.
Fox Sports: 12. Last Week: 18th. Former coach Brian Billick tends to know good play when he sees it, so his move of Detroit up six full spots this week says just as much as his words. He admits that Stafford looks to be coming back into form as the quarterback everyone remembers from 2011, but is still quick to point out the Lions have gotten next to nothing out of Calvin Johnson this year.
Pro Football Talk: 16. Last Week: 24th. Mike Florio includes a team MVP for his power rankings this week, and names Stafford the most valuable Lion, but then tries to be funny in saying "even though he isn't." That's actually true and not funny, because without Stafford putting together three late drives, the Lions aren't even 3-4. Yes, he's struggled, but he has directly contributed to clutch victories for his team. That's true value, despite what the stats may say.
Sports Illustrated: 17. Last Week: 25th. Perhaps Don Banks sold too soon on the Lions, as he scrambles to buy stock again this week while moving Detroit up from the graveyard of his power rankings. He says the Lions have a shot to reach .500 this weekend and go from there, lauds Stafford for his comeback magic, but then wonders why he seems to feel no sense of urgency in the first three quarters. Who knows, Don. Just sit back and enjoy the show.
Highest Ranking: 12th.
Lowest Ranking: 19th.
Their Overall Consensus? The Lions saved their season again with a humongous comeback win against Seattle, and have a chance to enter the midway point of 2012 at .500. Stafford is a comeback king and the most valueable player, but the Lions are missing the production of Johnson the most right now, causing their offense to have momentary lapses.
*Note: Help with the Hurricane Sandy relief effort. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to go towards the Red Cross Disaster Relief.Tags: Calvin Johnson, Detroit, Detroit Lions, Football, Matthew Stafford, NFL