The Detroit Lions are 0-5 on the season, suffering yet another loss after a last-second, walk-off 50+ yard field. Coach Dan Campbell was emotional after the game, heartbroken for his players that have given their all, yet came up empty again.
Nationally, writers have respected the rawness that Campbell is showing and acknowledging that the players are giving every last bit of effort they have on the field. At the same time, they also believe this team just isn’t ready to come away with a win just yet, and their rankings reflect that.
Let’s take a look at where the Lions sit in the national eye.
NFL.com, Rank: 29 (Previous: 31)
“Dan Campbell isn’t one to hide his emotions, so it wasn’t a surprise when the Lions coach got emotional after his team’s latest heartbreaking loss. Detroit is 0-5, with two of its defeats coming on last-second field goals that bordered on the impossible. This one was made more painful because the Lions had orchestrated a stunning comeback to take a late lead over the Vikings. It still wasn’t enough. “You want it for yourself, as an organization and for all of us,” Campbell said with tears in his eyes. “But you want it for those players. They’re out there busting their ass and … it’s tough.” — Dan Hanzus
ESPN: 31 (Previous: 31)
“Most improved player: LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin
“How they’ve improved: One of the biggest improvements in the eyes of first-year Lions coach Dan Campbell is Reeves-Maybin. He stands out because he primarily saw action on special teams last season. But over the past few weeks, he has gotten better — notably on the road against Minnesota on Sunday, where he forced and recovered a crucial fumble to go along with five tackles. “He makes plays,” Campbell said. “He’s productive for us.” — Eric Woodyard
USA Today: 30 (Previous: 30)
“Losing on field goals of at least 54 yards at the gun twice in the span of three weeks is enough to move any man to tears, especially one overseeing a winless outfit. You’re a real one, Dan Campbell.” — Nate Davis
Yahoo Sports: 30 (Previous: 30)
“The NFL can be a cruel profession. The hours and effort put into preparing for each game are draining, and to have a win snatched away on a last-second field goal is tough. The Lions have been competitive four times and have no wins to show for it. It’s not surprising Dan Campbell shed some tears after the Vikings won 19-17 on a field goal to end the game.” — Frank Schwab
MMQB: 31 (Previous: 30)
“Like everyone else, I love the fight, and I love how Dan Campbell is so invested in his players. It’ll probably be a little while before we can use wins and losses to assess the job he’s doing. For now, at least, the thing to watch is how engaged the team is, and how young players are developing.” — MMQB Staff rotating rankings
CBS Sports: 31 (Previous: 31)
“They have lost some tough games, blowing a late lead to the Vikings on Sunday. Again, they are competing, which is a good sign for a first-year coach.” — Pete Prisco
Sporting News: 31 (Previous: 31)
“The Lions have been pulling all out the stops in search of their first victory under Dan Campbell. But they can’t seem to sync up their offense and defense and haven’t come through in two tough battles of attrition.” — Vinnie Iyer
Washington Post: 31 (Previous: 31)
“The Lions keep getting so close to winning. Unfortunately for them, there’s no credit given in the NFL standings for near-victories.” — Mark Maske ($ubscription required)