When you get blown out by a mediocre team, people are going to notice. The Detroit Lions may have been within a score in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens, but the final score of 20-44 is a little more indicative of how things actually went on Sunday.
The Lions played poorly, and, to be frank, they’ve looked like a pretty poor team for some time now. As a result, the team is plummeting in national power rankings.
SB Nation (“hope rankings”): 19th (down 5)
ESPN: 21st (down 8)
Washington Post: 19th (down 4)
Bleacher Report (Simms): 14th (down 3)
Yahoo! Sports: 16th (down 3)
USA Today: 16th (down 1)
NFL.com: 18th (down 4)
Now the majority of rankings have the Lions as a bottom-half team, and at this point, it’s hard to argue against that. ESPN is particularly harsh on Detroit after Sunday, dropping the team eight spots to 21.
This week, however, the Lions will go against a team that is considered, unanimously, worse than them. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 4-8 and have lost seven of their last nine games. The experts all agree, this is a bottom-10 team in the league.
So the Lions, still clinging to playoff hopes, have no excuses not to win in Week 14. However, it may be an instance of too little, too late for Detroit and Jim Caldwell.