Free Press writers Jeff Seidel, Dave Birkett break down Lions meltdown against Vikings in Minneapolis, and wonder why team has regressed Nov. 4, 2018.
Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press

Free Press’ Lions writer Dave Birkett lists his NFL power rankings, and a little insight on why each team is ranked where they are. 

1. Rams (8-1) 

Last game: Lost to the Saints, 45-35 | Previous ranking: 1 | The buzz: No change up top even with a road loss to the Saints.

2. Patriots (7-2)

Last game: Defeated the Packers, 31-17 | Previous ranking: 2 | The buzz: No Gronk, James White gets hurt and Pats keep rolling.

3. Chiefs (8-1)

Last game: Defeated the Browns, 37-21 | Previous ranking: 3 | The buzz: Chiefs and Rams meet in Mexico City on Nov. 19, then get that rare Week 12 bye.

4. Saints (7-1)

Last game: Defeated the Rams, 45-35 | Previous ranking: 4 | The buzz: Of the NFL’s clear top four teams, Saints are the only one with a home loss.

5. Panthers (6-2)

Last game: Defeated the Buccaneers, 42-28 | Previous ranking: 6 | The buzz: Carolina plays Thursday, then gets a mini-bye before facing Lions.

6. Chargers (6-2)

Last game: Defeated the Seahawks, 25-17 | Previous ranking: 5 | The buzz: Kicking problems could come to bite Chargers eventually.

7. Texans (6-3)

Last game: Defeated the Broncos, 19-17 | Previous ranking: 7 | The buzz: Only the bye week can cool off red-hot Texans, winners of six straight.

8. Steelers (5-2-1)

Last game: Defeated the Ravens, 23-16 | Previous ranking: 8 | The buzz: Le’Veon Bell has until Nov. 13 to report or he won’t play this year.

9. Vikings (5-3-1)

Last game: Defeated the Lions, 24-9 | Previous ranking: 9 | The buzz: Rick Wagner is still having nightmares of Danielle Hunter.

10. Bears (5-3)

Last game: Defeated the Bills, 41-9 | Previous ranking: 10 | The buzz: Khalil Mack has to be itching to return after watching the Lions give up 10 sacks last week.

11. Eagles (4-4)

Last game: Bye week | Previous ranking: 15 | The buzz: Golden Tate makes his Eagles debut Sunday night vs. the Cowboys.

12. Bengals (5-3)

Last game: Bye week | Previous ranking: 13 | The buzz: The longer A.J. Green is out, the less likely the Bengals are to make the playoffs.

13. Washington (5-3)

Last game: Lost to the Falcons, 38-14 | Previous ranking: 11 | The buzz: Injuries on the offensive line might derail Washington’s postseason hopes.

14. Seahawks (4-4)

Last game: Lost to the Chargers, 25-17 | Previous ranking: 12 | The buzz: Seahawks are about to get pounded by an angry Rams team this week.

15. Packers (3-4-1)

Last game: Lost to the Patriots, 31-17 | Previous ranking: 14 | The buzz: That’s two straight weeks that fumbles have cost Aaron Rodgers a chance to pull the upset.

16. Falcons (4-4)

Last game: Defeated Washington, 38-14 | Previous ranking: 18 | The buzz: Julio Jones is closing in on his 30th birthday and is still unstoppable.

17. Titans (4-4)

Last game: Defeated the Cowboys, 28-14 | Previous ranking: 20 | The buzz: Titans topped 20 points Monday night for just the second time this year.

18. Ravens (4-5)

Last game: Lost to the Steelers, 23-16 | Previous ranking: 16 | The buzz: Do you think Lamar Jackson would have seen an open Joe Flacco if the roles were reversed?

19. Cowboys (3-5)

Last game: Lost to the Titans, 28-14 | Previous ranking: 17 | The buzz: This has to be it for Jason Garrett, right?

20. Jaguars (3-5)

Last game: Bye week | Previous ranking: 22 | The buzz: Jaguars play one team with a winning record over the next two months.

21. Lions (3-5)

Last game: Lost to the Vikings, 24-9 | Previous ranking: 19 | The buzz: Matt Patricia made Joe Marciano his midseason scapegoat, but the Lions’ problems run way deeper than that.

More Lions:

Film review: Who’s to blame for Vikings’ 10 sacks?

Rich Gannon: Matthew Stafford big reason for Lions losing

22. Dolphins (5-4)

Last game: Defeated the Jets, 13-6 | Previous ranking: 26 | The buzz: They’re not a very good team, but somehow they have five wins.

23. Buccaneers (3-5)

Last game: Lost to the Panthers, 42-28 | Previous ranking: 21 | The buzz: No way I’d play Jameis Winston from here on out and risk having that $21 million option become guaranteed.

24. Broncos (3-6)

Last game: Lost to the Texans, 19-17 | Previous ranking: 23 | The buzz: It’s a good thing John Elway believes in Vance Joseph, cause not many others do.

25. Colts (3-5)

Last game: Bye week | Previous ranking: 24 | The buzz: Eric Ebron is on pace for career-highs in every receiving category.

26. Browns (2-6-1)

Last game: Lost to the Chiefs, 37-21 | Previous ranking: 25 | The buzz: I can see why all those teams wanted Gregg Williams to be head coach.

27. Jets (3-6)

Last game: Lost to the Dolphins, 13-6 | Previous ranking: 27 | The buzz: It’s been a rough first year for Sam Darnold, but he’ll always have that Lions game.

28. Cardinals (2-6)

Last game: Bye week | Previous ranking: 28 | The buzz: Have to wonder if Sam Bradford’s career is over now that he’s been waived by the Cardinals.

29. 49ers (2-7)

Last game: Defeated the Raiders, 34-3 | Previous ranking: 30 | The buzz: Nick Mullens had as many TD passes (3) in his first career start last week as Bills quarterbacks do all year.

30. Giants (1-7)

Last game: Bye week | Previous ranking: 29 | The buzz: If the Giants don’t win this week, they might go 1-15.

31. Bills (2-7)

Last game: Lost to the Bears, 41-9 | Previous ranking: 31 | The buzz: Can’t lie, I’m starting to feel bad for Nathan Peterman.

32. Raiders (1-7)

Last game: Lost to the 49ers, 34-3 | Previous ranking: 32 | The buzz: Jon Gruden’s already on the clock for the No. 1 pick.


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