Detroit Lions slide in our NFL power rankings after collapse vs. Bears

Detroit Free Press

So much for the Detroit Lions being underrated.

I put the Lions at No. 18 in my preseason NFL power rankings last week, and wanted to put them higher but wrote I couldn’t “based off last season’s failures.”

Well, Sunday’s loss was reminiscent of last season’s failures, and it’s naturally caused them to drop in this week’s poll.

The Lions check in at No. 22 this week, down four spots and in the mix with some of the NFL’s other functional 0-1 teams. 

The Cleveland Browns, who had a disastrous Week 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, are No. 23, and like the Lions have an interesting and potentially explosive offense but a long history of organizational struggles to overcome.

The Denver Broncos, with their young offense are 24th, and the Atlanta Falcons, with their aging offense are No. 25.

For subscribers: Lions’ stunning loss to Bears answered 9 important questions

Just two 1-0 teams sit below the Lions in the rankings, Washington and the Jacksonville Jaguars, who I think are two of the worst teams in the league despite their upset Week 1 victories.

Jacksonville, which brought up the bottom of my Week 1 rankings moved up five spots to No. 27 but was not the biggest gainer on the list.

That honor goes to the Green Bay Packers, who went from No. 13 to No. 6 based on Aaron Rodgers’ big day. I picked the Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC North, but I may have undervalued the Packers. Rodgers shredded Minnesota’s defense on the road and played like a superstar with a chip on his shoulder, as if his team drafted a young quarterback in the first round of April’s draft.

[ Lions’ Week 1 collapse was bubbling long before D’Andre Swift’s dropped pass ]

The Packers and Lions square off this week in Lambeau, and Detroit has games against two other top-11 teams in the first quarter of the season: Week 3 they travel to Arizona to face a Cardinals team that had last week’s biggest win, over the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers; and in Week 4 they host the New Orleans Saints, who check in as the top NFC team in my rankings, but decidedly behind AFC powers the Kansas Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens.

My full Week 2 power rankings

1. Chiefs (1-0)

2. Ravens (1-0)

3. Saints (1-0)

4. Seahawks (1-0)

5. Titans (1-0)

6. Packers (1-0)

7. 49ers (0-1)

8. Patriots (1-0)

9. Bills (1-0)

10. Buccaneers (0-1)

11. Cardinals (1-0)

12. Rams (1-0)

13. Cowboys (0-1)

14. Vikings (0-1)

15. Raiders (1-0)

16. Eagles (0-1)

17. Texans (0-1)

18. Colts (0-1)

19. Bears (1-0)

20. Chargers (1-0)

21. Steelers (1-0)

22. Lions (0-1)

23. Browns (0-1)

24. Broncos (0-1)

25. Falcons (0-1)

26. Washington (1-0)

27. Jaguars (1-0)

28. Giants (0-1)

29. Dolphins (0-1)

30. Bengals (0-1)

31. Panthers (0-1)

32. Jets (0-1)

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Lions content. 

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