Not since the Detroit Lions’ 5-0 start in 2011 has there been so much optimism surrounding this team.
The Lions entered Week 4 of the NFL with an unfamiliar amount of respect, thanks to a narrow loss to a very good Atlanta Falcons team. Now that Detroit has picked up a signature road win over the Minnesota Vikings, the respect is real and nearly unanimous. Week 5 power rankings around the web are naming the Lions a top-five team, and in all honesty, it feels pretty weird. Take a look:
SB Nation (“hope rankings”): 6th (down 3)
ESPN: 9th (down 1)
Washington Post: 6th (up 3)
Bleacher Report (Simms): 5th (up 1)
Yahoo! Sports: 7th (up 6)
USA Today: 2nd (up 2)
CBS: 6th (up 8)
NFL.com: 2nd (up 2)
Obviously, the first thing that jumps out is the Lions’ No. 2 ranking in USA Today’s and NFL.com’s lists. But they aren’t alone in thinking the Lions could be a top-two team. Our friends at Bleeding Green Nation also have the Lions at two, just behind the Kansas City Chiefs.
This week the Lions even made believers out of Yahoo, who jumped them six spots this week. Yahoo started the season by ranking the Lions 24th overall, but have slowly moved them up in every week this season. Likewise, CBS finally pushed Detroit into the top 10, rocketing them eight spots after Sunday’s win.
The notoriously scatter-brained ESPN were among two publications that actually dropped Detroit, moving them a spot lower to No. 9, while SB Nation’s “hope” rankings pushed them down to No. 6.
But the road doesn’t get any easier for the Lions this week. They’ll have to work to maintain their reputation, because the 3-1 Carolina Panthers are in town, and they’re coming off an impressive road victory of their own over the New England Patriots. As a result, there’s a ton of optimism surround that team right now, too.
Take a look at where they rank in Week 5 power rankings.
SB Nation: 8th
Washington Post: 8th
Bleacher Report (Simms): 11th
Yahoo! Sports: 8th
USA Today: 11th