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NFL Week 15 power rankings: Experts jump Packers over Lions

The media loves them some Aaron Rodgers.

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Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

If you think the Detroit Lions are unlikely to make the postseason, take a look at the Green Bay Packers. They are essentially in an identical situation as the Lions. They need to win out in every game, but here’s the thing: Their schedule is one of the toughest remaining in the NFL. They travel to Carolina this week to take on a the 9-4 Panthers. Then they face off against the two-seed Minnesota Vikings. Then they’ll have another road game against the Lions.

Why do I mention all of this? Because, for some reason, the Packers have inexplicably jumped the Lions in most of these power rankings. Yes, I know that Aaron Rodgers is likely to come back this week and that means anything is possible for this team, but let’s not overlook how questionable the rest of the team looks.

They barely scraped by the Browns last week after allowing DeShone Kizer to pass for a 90.8 passer rating and allowing the Browns to rush for 136 rushing yards at 5.0 a carry. Even when Rodgers was healthy, this was a team that needed a dramatic comeback and overtime to beat the Bengals at home.

I’m not going to argue that the Lions are playing good football and are clearly the better team than the Packers. They aren’t. But this is a pretty clear case of the media getting swept up in Rodgersmania.

Here’s a look at the Lions’ Week 15 power rankings, with the Packers’ ranking alongside

SB Nation (“hope rankings”): 18th (up 1) — Packers 15th
ESPN: 16th (up 5) — Packers 14th
Washington Post: 15th (up 4) — Packers 14th
Bleacher Report (Simms): 12th (up 2) — Packers 19th
Yahoo! Sports: 16th (no change) — Packers 15th
USA Today: 16th (no change) — Packers 13th
CBS: 16th (up 1) — Packers 15th 16th (up 2) — Packers 14th

Seven of the eight rankings listed has the Packers ahead of the Lions.

As for this week’s matchup against the Bears, experts were largely unimpressed with Chicago’s win over the Bengals last week. They remain a bottom-10 team according to every ranking.

SB Nation (“hope rankings”): 23rd
ESPN: 26th
Washington Post: 24th
Bleacher Report (Simms): 27th
Yahoo! Sports: 25th
USA Today: 27th
CBS: 23rd 24th

So it’s another week in which the Lions should win this game. However, the Bears always seem to give them fits. If the Lions really want to go out and prove they’re better than the Packers, they’re going to have to play well down the stretch (for once).