In Week 14, the Detroit Lions had their most convincing win since dominating Brett Hundley and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau. The outcome was never really in doubt in the second half, as the Lions defense held strong and the offense made enough plays to keep victory out of range for Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears.
But the NFL experts weren’t all that impressed by the Lions’ performance. Most Week 15 power rankings have the Lions moving up just a spot or two after the win. Of course, that makes a lot of sense considering how bad the Bears are, but if anyone watched the game, the Lions looked a heck of the a lot better than they did last week against the Buccaneers.
Here’s a look at the update rankings:
SB Nation (“hope rankings”): 14th (up 4)
ESPN: 16th (no change)
Washington Post: 12th (up 3)
Bleacher Report (Simms): 12th (no change)
Yahoo! Sports: 15th (up 1)
USA Today: 15th (up 1)
There isn’t anything all that notable. The Lions remain among the middle of the league, maybe a little better than league average. That sounds about right. But there was one thing, from our good friends at ESPN, that was a little troubling:
This week in hilarious power rankings.— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) December 19, 2017
ESPN keeps Lions at 16th after win, keeps GB at 14th despite loss.
Sure the Packers technically hung with the Panthers on Sunday (so did the Lions, mind you), but it took an onside kick for them to even really make it look close.
With Aaron Rodgers likely done for the season and Green Bay’s defense still a mess, I don’t know how you justify keeping them at 14th, but the Packers undoubtedly move the needle in the NFL.
Moving on to this week’s opponent: the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are coming off of two blowout losses and their power rankings certainly reflect that. They are unanimously among the bottom seven teams in the NFL.
SB Nation (“hope rankings”): 28rd
Washington Post: 27th
Bleacher Report (Simms): 25th
Yahoo! Sports: 28th
USA Today: 30th
Thought it’s always challenging to win on the road, especially outdoors in a cold climate in December, the Lions (again) have no excuse to lose this week. They’ll need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.