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Power Rankings Positions for the Detroit Lions Around the Web

Dean HoldenAnalyst INovember 5, 2016

Power Rankings Positions for the Detroit Lions Around the Web

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    They may not be playing the flashy brand of football that sent them to a 5-0 start last season, and they're not surprising anybody this year, but the Lions are still in the playoff hunt.

    Of course, while we wait to see how the remainder of the season will play out, we deal in the currency of power rankings.

    Every major sports site does them for the NFL, and opinions tend to vary wildly. Some outfits are high on the Lions after a big win against fellow Wild-Card contender Seattle, while others are more tentative.

    But why would you travel all around the web trying to find power rankings? I've got them lined up for you right here, complete with analysis, for your perusal.

    Enjoy.

NFL.com Position: 14th (Up 10 Spots)

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    NFL.com analyst Elliot Harrison not only moved the Lions up to the top half of his power rankings, he made the Lions (and Buccaneers) the focus of his piece.

    Harrison cites a bunch of near-.500 teams losing as a big reason for the 10-spot (!!!) jump up to 14th for the Lions.

    I'm not sure the Lions would be that excited about barely knocking off the Seahawks, but it was the first game of the season in which more appeared to go right than wrong.

    Harrison also pointed out that the Lions are actually starting to resemble a team with a running game, after they ran for 84 yards against a stiff Seahawks defense.

    That's an odd thing to notice after Titus Young's big game, but he's not wrong.

ESPN.com Position: 17th (Up Two Spots)

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    Dan Graziano puts the Lions at 17th and refers to Matthew Stafford as a quarterback "establishing" himself as a "fourth-quarter assassin."

    I guess Graziano missed the part where Stafford and the Lions set NFL records for comeback victories in 2011? But I digress. He deserves some respect for not anointing Stafford too soon. Cam Newton is a cautionary tale there.

    What puzzles me a little (not a lot), is that ESPN puts the 4-4 Seahawks at 13th, citing the defense "hitting a rough patch."

    The Lions did score 28 points against the Seahawks, but that's not exactly a meltdown, and this is what people have expected the Lions to do all season.

Bleacher Report Position: 15th (Up Two Spots)

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    Matt Miller calls the Lions a "maddening team", which not even Lions fans could likely argue with.

    Miller has kept the Lions relatively high in his power rankings, even in the face of their losing ways early in the season. It seems he has recognized what so many Lions fans have clung to in the first half of the season: this team is too talented to lose like it has.

    Miller is right in that the Lions could be dangerous if they string some wins together (especially if they can get the next two on the road against Jacksonville and Minnesota), but they are quickly burning through their margin for error.

    The Lions may not have played well to this point, but they haven't been blown out of any game. If they can start doing the little things that they didn't do in their losses, there's no reason they can't turn things around in the second half.

CBSSports.com Position: 19th (Up One Spot)

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    The Lions don't get much love from Pete Prisco, but depending on your opinion of Prisco, that might be a good thing.

    After all, this is a guy who used his Power Rankings column space to trash his own prediction that the 4-3 Indianapolis Colts would win one game all season.

    That said, he does suggest that the Lions' game-winning drive against the Seahawks was potentially "season-saving."

    I think 19th is probably a little on the low end of where the Lions belong this week, but it's not a travesty. I do, however, question the validity of the hot mess Eagles (who the Lions just beat a few weeks ago) at 15th despite sharing the Lions' 3-4 record.

FoxSports.com Position: 12th (Up Seven Spots)

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    Brian Billick is the only person to place the Lions higher than the Seahawks after the Lions' victory last week.

    Even I think the Lions are a little overrated at 12. Regardless of their potential to play well in the second half (which is very much real), they still are a team with a losing record.

    The Lions at 12th puts them above the 4-4 Seahawks and 4-3 Dolphins, and several spots ahead of the 4-3 Colts and 4-4 Cardinals.

    The vote of confidence is fine, but I'm not sure the Lions have earned it just yet.

Yahoo! Sports Position: 14th (Up Seven Spots)

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    The Lions get a vote of confidence from Bryan McIntyre, who bumps the Lions up seven spots into the top half of the rankings.

    McIntyre correctly identifies two things about the Lions at this juncture: that Calvin Johnson has been neutralized and that the Lions' next four games are crucial.

    If the Lions are to be even relevant in the second half of the season, they need to win their next two road games against Jacksonville and Minnesota, and buckle down to try splitting their next two at home against Green Bay and Houston.

    The Green Bay game is especially important, considering the Lions are already in a 0-2 hole in the division and the Packers are currently a wild-card contender.

    If the Lions can go 3-1 over this stretch with wins over Minnesota and Green Bay, they improve to 6-5 (2-2 in the NFC North), and most likely slide into a very strong playoff position, having dealt blows to a pair of Wild-Card contenders.

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