NFL power rankings: Winless Detroit Lions, finally, fall to No. 32

Detroit Free Press

If it had to happen, it’s fitting this was the way it did: On a field goal by a kicker they cut, from half a world away, followed up by a brutal loss to one of the NFL’s most historically inept teams.

That confluence of events — Matthew Wright made a field goal in London to lift the Jacksonville Jaguars from the ranks of the winless, and the Detroit Lions got drubbed by the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field — dropped the Lions to No. 32 in my power rankings for the first time in the four years I’ve been doing them.

The Lions are the last remaining winless team in the NFL, and while I do not think they are the worst, these rankings are largely a reflection of a moment in time.

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The Lions have lost close games and blowouts, gotten off to fast starts and snoozed through the first half. Sunday’s loss was their first true clunker of the season, and they seem especially hopeless heading into this week’s game against the Los Angeles Rams, the No. 2 team in my power poll.

Of the five teams with one win, I think the Lions would beat four of them on a neutral field.

The Houston Texans are atrocious and will be hard-pressed to win another game this season, but they did beat the Jaguars handily in Week 1, so they will have to wait to take their rightful spot on the seat of suck.

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The Jaguars have a talented rookie quarterback in Trevor Lawrence who will be a very good player in time, but their roster is as talent-deficient as the Lions’, and there’s no telling what Urban Meyer will do to embarrass them next. That’s a win for the Lions seven times out of 10.

And the two New York teams, the Jets and Giants, are largely putrid, though both have put things together enough to upset decent teams, the Tennessee Titans in the Jets’ case, and the New Orleans Saints in the case of the Giants.

As I wrote last week, I do not think the Lions are headed for 0-17, so their spot at the bottom of these rankings is temporary, though unlikely to change before Halloween.

After? Well, we’ll see how they do against a bad but competitive Philadelphia Eagles team. If the Lions don’t win that game, 0-17 watch will be on.

Don’t be fooled: Matthew Stafford didn’t escape Lions, he was part of the problem ]

The power rankings

1. Arizona Cardinals (6-0)

2. Los Angeles Rams (5-1)

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-1)

4. Green Bay Packers (5-1)

5. Dallas Cowboys (5-1)

6. Baltimore Ravens (5-1)

7. Buffalo Bills (4-2)

8. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)

9. Kansas City Chiefs (3-3)

10. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)

11. Las Vegas Raiders (4-2)

12. Tennessee Titans (4-2)

13. San Francisco 49ers (2-3)

14. Cleveland Browns (3-3)

15. New Orleans Saints (3-2)

16. Minnesota Vikings (3-3)

17. Carolina Panthers (3-3)

18. Chicago Bears (3-3)

19. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3)

20. Denver Broncos (3-3)

21. Washington Football Team (2-4)

22. New England Patriots (2-4)

23. Seattle Seahawks (2-4)

24. Indianapolis Colts (2-4)

25. Philadelphia Eagles (2-4)

26. Atlanta Falcons (2-3)

27. Miami Dolphins (1-5)

28. New York Jets (1-4)

29. New York Giants (1-5)

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)

31. Houston Texans (1-5)

32. Detroit Lions (0-6)

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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