NFL Power Rankings: Are Detroit Lions a Top 10 Team?

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 01: Ndamukong Suh #90 of the Detroit Lions sits on the sidelines against the Buffalo Bills  at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 1, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions rode Matthew Stafford to a Week 1 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he proved that his durability is the only remaining question mark over his head.

Stafford played a near-perfect game as his sole interception came on an accurate pass to the flat that was tipped to Aqib Talib.

Getting 305 yards and three touchdowns from their starting quarterback is a major boost for the Lions, but what really helped them was the chemistry. Nate Burleson and Stafford have a good understanding, which allowed Burleson to finish the game with five receptions for 60 yards.

Getting the rest of the offense around Stafford involved is what the Lions were missing last year with Shaun Hill under center. Hill was effective, but he doesn't make the Lions offense click in the way that Stafford can.

Defensively the Lions were solid against a good offense with a great young quarterback. However, the team will be looking to get more from their defensive line as Stephen Tulloch and Kyle Vanden Bosch got the only sacks of the day.

The combination of Josh Freeman's size and the Tampa heat probably had a major effect on their effectiveness. This shouldn't be a problem as we enter the winter months and the Lions play in more cold weather environments (and domes) within the division.

Right now the Lions are on the rise. They have an abundance of talent and look to be one of the most exciting teams in the league.

However, they still must prove it on the field to be considered a top 10 team.


Early Week 2 Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers (1-0)  17. St. Louis Rams (0-1)
2. New England Patriots (1-0) 18. Washington Redskins (1-0)
3. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)

19. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0)

4. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) 20. San Francisco 49ers (1-0)
5. New York Jets (1-0)  21. New York Giants (0-1)
6. New Orleans Saints (0-1) 22. Oakland Raiders (1-0)
7. Chicago Bears (1-0) 23. Miami Dolphins (0-1)
8. San Diego Chargers (1-0) 24. Minnesota Vikings (0-1)
9. Houston Texans (1-0)  25. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) 26. Carolina Panthers (0-1)
11. Atlanta Falcons (0-1) 27. Tennessee Titans (0-1) 
12. Detroit Lions (1-0) 28. Denver Broncos (0-1)  
13. Dallas Cowboys (0-1) 29. Seattle Seahawks (0-1)
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) 30. Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
15. Buffalo Bills (1-0) 31. Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) 
16. Arizona Cardinals (1-0) 32. Cleveland Browns (0-1)