After the Lions beat the Green Bay Packers last week, many brushed it off as simply a formal burying of the 2017 Aaron Rodgers-less Packers team. Detroit barely moved at all in Week 10’s power rankings.
But perhaps after Green Bay proved they aren’t quite dead yet by defeating the Bears in Chicago on Sunday, analysts gave that Monday night by the Lions win a little more thought. Because despite their struggles against the 0-9 Browns, the Lions moved up in every power ranking this week. In fact, a few publications actually moved them up into the top 10. Check it out.
SB Nation (“hope rankings”): 10th (up 4)
ESPN: 14th (up 2)
Washington Post: 13th (up 4)
Bleacher Report (Simms): 10th (up 5)
Yahoo! Sports: 13th (up 2)
USA Today: 13th (up 3)
CBS: 14th (up 2)
NFL.com: 14th (up 2)
This seems like the most fair rankings we’ve seen in awhile. Right in that 10-16 range looks about right for a team that is 2-4 against teams with winning records and 3-0 against teams with losing records. They’re above average, but there is still a clear step they need to take to prove their worth.
This week, they won’t get the opportunity to prove they belong among the NFL’s elite. They’re traveling to face the Chicago Bears, who saw any chance of an unlikely playoff run die at the hands Brett Hundley. As a result, most experts have the Bears back as a bottom-10 team in the NFL.
Chicago has played some teams tough and even have some impressive wins over the Panthers, Steelers and Ravens. In other words, this isn’t your typical 3-6 team. Still, even if the Lions win this road division game, they’ll still have a lot to prove to NFL critics.