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NFL Week 6 power rankings: Lions tumble as wheels come off in New England

Checking in on where the Detroit Lions stand in the national rankings.

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Detroit Lions v New England Patriots Photo by Nick Grace/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions (1-4) are coming off one of their worst losses under coach Dan Campbell and a lot of the positivity they were receiving from the national media has dissipated. Even the most optimistic of analysts have dropped the Lions into the bottom seven teams in the league, and frankly, they deserve to be there.

“I think everybody is in the same boat here,” Campbell said at his Monday press conference. “Everybody is upset. Everybody is frustrated. Nobody likes losing here. I think everybody knows we’re better than 1-4, but we haven’t shown that collectively.”

Let’s take a look at this week’s NFL power rankings.

NFL.com: 26 (Previous: 24)

From Dan Hanzus:

“The Lions have been a mess on defense all season, but the offense was there to keep the team competitive and afloat. Sunday’s 29-0 loss to the Patriots is what happens when Jared Goff and Co. don’t put their best foot forward. The cracks are showing for a Dan Campbell regime that is high on charisma and likability, but still dangerously low on tangible success. “To me this is about as bad as it gets,” the coach said Sunday. “... I believe we hit rock bottom, so now the only place to go is back up.” Detroit will use its bye to examine everything, including fourth-down decision making: The Lions went for it on fourth down six times on Sunday and failed to convert once.”

USA Today: 26 (Previous: 19)

From Nate Davis:

“Sunday was the first time Detroit was shut out under Dan Campbell. No word as to whether the Lions took a doughnut in the kneecaps bitten column, too.”

MMQB: 27 (Previous: 22)

From Conor Orr:

“Getting blanked by the Patriots was a heartbreaking moment for the Lions-will-turn-this-around crowd. With all the talent offensively (both on the field and in the coaching booth) it’s stunning to see this team sitting at 1-4.”

The Athletic: 27 (Previous: 20)

From Bo Wulf:

“The 2020 Lions defense fell just 14 points shy of breaking the NFL record for points allowed in a season, held by the 1981 Baltimore Colts, who surrendered 33.3 points per game. Two years later, the Lions appear dead set on finishing the job. They’re surrendering a league-worst 34 points per game and rank 32nd in defensive DVOA (30th against the pass, 31st against the rush).

Yahoo Sports: 27 (Previous: 24)

From Frank Schwab:

“At least the Lions could count on a fun offense before Sunday. Getting shut out in New England was a big step back. All of a sudden it’s just a 1-4 team with a horrendous defense and an offense we can’t even count on anymore. The Lions go into the bye with any preseason excitement about this season long gone. No wonder they had a team psychologist meeting on Monday.”

Note: For clarity, the above sentence links to a tweet from Detroit News’ Justin Rogers, who provided an update that “the meeting was part of a league initiative and had been scheduled heading into the bye. Nothing to do with the team’s recent play, record, chemistry, etc...”

The Ringer: 27 (Previous: 25)

From Austin Gayle:

“After entering the week with an NFL-high 140 points scored, the Lions were shut out against the Patriots. Quarterback Jared Goff played his worst game of the season, and the offense as a whole simply couldn’t move the chains on money downs. Detroit converted on just 33 percent of third downs (4-of-12) and none of their six fourth-down attempts against New England. This was a reality check moment for any Lions’ faithful starting to back Goff as the quarterback of the future.”

ESPN: 30 (Previous: 25)

From Eric Woodyard:

“Chance to make the playoffs: 0.7%
Chance to win their division: 0.1%

“Let’s be real: From a talent perspective, this team doesn’t have a lot of game-changing players on defense. And through four weeks, the Lions accomplished something that no other team in league history had done since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger when they led the NFL in points per game while ranking last in points per game allowed. That’s a problem! Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn says they struggle with consistency and defending the red zone. Also, Glenn feels the interior defense has been solid, but the Lions are now focusing on improving the perimeter defense — mainly in the secondary. There’s a lot of work to be done and the coaches are taking accountability, but securing a postseason spot (for the first time since 2016) is far in the distance.”

Touchdown Wire: 30 (Previous: 26)

From Mark Lane:

“The Lions were seemingly doing well through the first three games of the season, but they had trouble with the Seahawks last week and were shutout on the road against the New England Patriots. The Dan Campbell way may need a refresher in the Motor City.”

Sporting News: 30 (Previous: 29)

From Vinnie Iyer:

“What was that? The hottest high-scoring offense in the league failed to score a point against Bill Belichick’s Patriots defense on the road. When that happens, it further exposes a defense that cannot stop anything.”

CBS Sports: 30 (Previous: 29)

From Pete Prisco:

“The defense was bad again, but this time in the loss to the Patriots the offense was just as bad. They couldn’t even score a point, which is not a good look.”