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 ESPN Power Rankings : Lions #17 
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Post ESPN Power Rankings : Lions #17
The number in parenthesis is the number from the previous rankings (pre-draft).

1 (2) Patriots 14-2-0 The Patriots took some hits this offseason, but with Belichick, Brady, Dillon, Seymour, etc., they're still the team to beat.
2 (3) Eagles
13-3-0 The Terrell Owens saga will obviously continue to be the big story in Philly. Owens can certainly be a headache, but there's also no doubting his talent and that the Eagles are a better team with him on the field.
3 (4) Colts 12-4-0 Offense will obviously be there, but did the Colts do enough in the offseason to help the defense?
4 (16) Vikings 8-8-0 Loss of Randy Moss will impact the offense, but the additions on defense (Pat Williams, Fred Smoot, etc.) should make the Vikings an improved team in 2005 and the favorites in the NFC North.
5 (1) Steelers 15-1-0 We're not trying to preach, but riding a motorcycle without a helmet (as Ben Roethlisberger has said he'll continue to do) is about as smart as playing football without a helmet.
6 (6) Falcons 11-5-0 With Michael Vick's new big contract and some offseason issues, he'll find a decent amount of pressure on him to take his game up to another level.
7 (13) Ravens 9-7-0 The Ravens got Kyle Boller some weapons this offseason, now he has to prove he knows how to use them.
8 (5) Chargers 12-4-0 The Chargers have come a long way since our offseason Power Rankings a year ago, when they were No. 32.
9 (8) Jets 10-6-0 The Jets seem like a good spot for Ty Law. The Jets need another CB and you know Law would be excited to get to play twice a year against the Patriots.
10 (17) Panthers 7-9-0 It's been a tough offseason for the Panthers, but with their talent, they should be back among the NFC's best teams this season.
11 (18) Chiefs 7-9-0 K.C. was all about defense this offseason (signing Kendrell Bell, trading for Patrick Surtain, drafting Derrick Johnson). But will it be enough to make the Chiefs a contender again?
12 (26) Cowboys 6-10-0 With some solid offseason additions, and a weak NFC, the Cowboys should be back in contention for a playoff spot in 2005.
13 (10) Seahawks 9-7-0 They might not have wanted him back, but the Seahawks are a better team with Shaun Alexander running the ball.
14 (11) Jaguars 9-7-0 The Jaguars improved from 5-11 to 9-7 last season. Don't expect another four-win jump, but a playoff spot is a reasonable expectation.
15 (9) Broncos 10-6-0 The Broncos made waves by picking Maurice Clarett in the third round. But would you bet against Mike Shanahan turning him into a solid NFL back?
16 (19) Bengals 8-8-0 The offense, which was No. 10 in the NFL in scoring last year (23.4 points per game), should be even better in 2005 with a more experienced Carson Palmer.
17 (21) Lions 6-10-0 With Roy Williams, Mike Williams and Charles Rogers to throw to, it's an understatement to say the pressure is on Joey Harrington.
18 (7) Packers 10-6-0 The Packers had a tough offseason. But with Favre, Walker and Green back on offense, it's too early to write them off in the NFC North.
19 (12) Bills 9-7-0 The Bills were headed in the right direction at the end of 2004. But can they maintain that momentum with J.P. Losman, essentially a rookie, taking over at QB?
20 (14) Saints 8-8-0 The Saints are such an up-and-down team, trying to predict what they'll do is almost useless.
21 (15) Rams 8-8-0 The Rams might not be much better than they were in 2004. But in the NFC West, that might not matter.
22 (23) Cardinals 6-10-0 In a weak NFC West, the Cardinals have to be considered legitimate playoff contenders heading into the season.
23 (28) Raiders 5-11-0 Offense (Randy Moss and Lamont Jordan) dominated the offseason. But if the defense isn't any better, the Raiders won't be either.
24 (20) Texans 7-9-0 Is this the year David Carr finally takes the next step to be among the NFL's elite QBs?
25 (24) Giants 6-10-0 Eli Manning doesn't need to lead the Giants to the playoffs this year, but he does need to show considerable improvement or he's going to start to feel the heat.
26 (29) Bears 5-11-0 We're actually Thomas Jones fans, but Cedric Benson gives the offense more of an every-down back and more stability.
27 (25) Buccaneers 5-11-0 The Bucs defense isn't good enough anymore to overcome an offense that has averaged just 18.8 points per game each of the last two seasons.
28 (30) Dolphins 4-12-0 The Dolphins didn't have much of a choice when it came to trading Patrick Surtain. But they'll miss him on the field. He's still one of the NFL's best corners.
29 (22) Redskins
6-10-0 If the Redskins finish this low, they'll be sending the No. 4 overall pick in next year's draft to the Broncos.
30 (27) Titans 5-11-0 With a healthy Steve McNair, the Titans can be competitive. But with all the losses this offseason, Tennessee is going to take some lumps this year.
31 (31) Browns 4-12-0 The Browns needed Kellen Winslow to be an impact player for them this year and right now that doesn't look very likely.
32 (32) 49ers 2-14-0 Personally, we would have liked to have seen Mike Nolan in a coat and tie on the sideline.


Last edited by conversion02 on May 17th, 2005, 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.



May 17th, 2005, 12:11 pm
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Wow!!

Vikings ranked # 4!!

That feels high. I expect them to be good - but not # 4.

Lions at # 17 sounds low also.

There's several others I wouldn't agree with - but those two really jump out at me.


May 17th, 2005, 12:32 pm
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LionFan57 wrote:
Wow!!

Vikings ranked # 4!!

That feels high. I expect them to be good - but not # 4.

Lions at # 17 sounds low also.

There's several others I wouldn't agree with - but those two really jump out at me.


I agree that Vikings @ #4 does seem high, but to be honest, the Lions @ #17 is also a bit high. We still haven't proved anything on the field, sure we had a good offseason, but still no proof.

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May 17th, 2005, 12:54 pm
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TheRealWags wrote:
I agree that Vikings @ #4 does seem high, but to be honest, the Lions @ #17 is also a bit high. We still haven't proved anything on the field, sure we had a good offseason, but still no proof.



I agree we've proved nothing. But don't the power rankings take off season acquisitions and subtractions into account? I thought it was more like an 'on paper' kind of viewpoint.

If that's the case # 17 feels low. I'm not saying the Lions are top 5 - they're not - but...??? They've got to be top 12. Don't they?

# 17 puts them in the bottom half of the league. I just don't see that.

And if I use the theory that you have to 'prove something' then how did Green Bay slip to # 18? They haven't proved they've slipped that far.


May 17th, 2005, 1:35 pm
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I agree w/ Detroit anywhere from position 17 thru 20. But the Vikings at # 4!! They have them ranked ahead of the Steelers, Ravens, and Falcons! No way they are better than # 8, and thats giving them a lot of credit.

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May 17th, 2005, 1:35 pm
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I think theyve hit closer than most Ive seen

I think the Lions could go up a couple notches.. obviously :lol:

the vikings at 4 must mean on paper they are impressive (didnt they learn anything from the Redskins?_)

at least they have us 2nd in the NFC North over Green Bay and Chicago.. so theyve done some homework in our division

shouldnt the Ontario smith thing hurt the Vikes more than help?


May 17th, 2005, 1:36 pm
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LionFan57 wrote:
And if I use the theory that you have to 'prove something' then how did Green Bay slip to # 18? They haven't proved they've slipped that far.


Green bay lost 2 Pro Bowl guards and replaced them with nothing, no too mention all the off field problems they're having.

The Lions were 6-10 last year and even though we had a good offseason, I don't think that would put them any higher than 15. JMHO

Of course it doesn't matter because we will be the Super Bowl 40 Champs :wink:

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May 17th, 2005, 1:50 pm
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TheRealWags wrote:
...Of course it doesn't matter because we will be the Super Bowl 40 Champs :wink:



I like the way you think.

I just see them (the Lions) at about the # 12 spot. I say that because in addition to a good off season we get CR an BB back this year. I think that gets overlooked a lot - especially in the national media.


May 17th, 2005, 1:55 pm
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CRog and Boss are widely overlooked by the national media, hell, even by divisional foes. I think injured players, especially injury-ridden players (Boss' knees) are extremely overlooked and thought that he'll be lucky to contribute 50% of what he was when he was healthy.

Of course, you know if the Lions signed Ty Law, the media would be all over Millen's junk saying they've had a supremely stellar FA and they'll be a top 10 team this year. CRog and Boss will both have a bigger impact on this team than Law would IMO.

Anyway, back to the power rankings, Minny at 4 is crazy. They've got how many new starters on D? Their offense is nothing to shake a stick at IMO - I would still rather have GB's offense.

Carolina could very well be a top notch NFC team this year. They have some very good DBs, a great LB corps, and a good DL. They could use some better WRs. Is Stephen Davis okay? Didn't they get Mark Wahle at OG? Freddie Jones isn't my idea of an ideal TE. They could use an upgrade there.

GB lost 1 PB OG. Rivera was never in a PB, although he should have been. Not that it matters because they're both PB quality players, which is what I think you were implying.

I guess people just don't like to get their hopes up for the Lions having a 10+ season...they just don't want to look like a homer, like me. 10-6, losing in the NFC Championship game.


May 17th, 2005, 2:13 pm
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I'm fine with Detroit at #17 - that puts them at the middle of the pack or around 8-8. That is a two game improvement for a team that has racked up 2, 3, 5 and 6 games respectively the last 4 years. Sounds pretty reasonable.

As for the Vikes, #4 does sound extremely high. BUT, when I thought about who should be ranked ahead of them 3 teams came to mind - Pats, Colts and Eagles. I'm not saying that the Vikes are the 4th best team in the league but after those 3 it is pretty close for the next group of teams.

Maybe it would be better to put the teams in ranges (like letter grades):

A - Pats, Colts, Eagles
B - Vikes, Ravens, Falcons, etc.
C - Lions, Packers, etc.

You get the point. I just think there is a big gap between group A and group B, but under the power ranking structure somebody has to be #4 even though there isn't much of a difference between them and the #12 team.

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May 17th, 2005, 2:57 pm
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Hey Pablo,


Where do you grade the steelers? :shock:


BTW, grades are a good idea.

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May 17th, 2005, 3:05 pm
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I'd rank the Steelers at the top of group B - or #4 in a power ranking format. I think they overachieved a bit last year but Big Ben has a year under his belt and Miller provides him with a solid option in the passing game (although they did lose Plax).

Given the fact that they beat the Pats and Eagles in the regular season last year I'd almost argue that they should be in the "A" group - Pats, Colts, Eagles and Steelers.

I would have put them ahead of the Vikes personally. I like there ground attack and defense. I do see the Steelers falling back to earth a bit this season though. Conversion02 makes a good point about all the new starters - on paper it looks good but that doesn't automatically translate to the field.

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May 17th, 2005, 3:50 pm
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humm, the 4 teams surrounding the lions were a combined 10 games over .500 (37-27) - not bad for a team that finished 4 games under .500. sounds generous to me. then again, they had the cowboys (another 6-10 team) - 5 spots higher than the lions.


May 17th, 2005, 4:05 pm
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So let me get this straight...

The Vikings trade one of the best players in the game.

Pick up a stop gap DT , an often burned CB , has a draft that includeds 2 boom or bust players, and adds a safety that only makes Joey Harrington look bad.


And they rank #4?

I don't see where they made the improvements past 8-8 yet.

The vikings defense is not going to close the gap in points scored, and points allowed. Randy Moss made that gap larger than the defense they built can account for.


8-8 would be lucky.

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May 18th, 2005, 6:37 am
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Great thread. Very interesting takes, guys.

I also had to object when I saw the Vikes ranked #4. Actually, when I opened the thread (backtracking to trace my automatic mental path), I went right to the Lions to read the write-up, and then I panned about 8 spots above for the Vikes. Didn't see 'em. This pleased me, so I panned 8 spots below. When they weren't there, my options were top 5 or bottom 5.................I went to the bottom.

Basically, I agree with Bubbles and Conversion that this writer is not properly taking into account the plethora of additions and the improbability that these players will mesh into a cohesive unit. The Redskins were brought up as a great example of this phenomenon. Of course, the theory cuts both ways; the Lions made some key acquisitions on defense (Bryant, Marion, and Lehman) last year, too, and I think their defense failed to measure up to its on-paper potential.

The Vikes' offense is bound to feel the effects of losing Moss, as it did during the middle of last season when he was out with the injury (don't argue with me on this--I had Pepp and all 18 of their RBs on my fantasy squad, so I hawked their stats!). Personally, I think MIN's RB situation is scary...for them. Smith is likely to be cut and Mewelde Moore is probably not big enough to be anything but a 3rd down back. That leaves Michael Bennett. Boom or bust.

I don't have a problem with the Lions position in the middle of the preseason pack. String together a couple wins to start next season, and we're in the top ten (like last year). I think it is a reasonable position for them. The 'Boys are too high, but this writer is just stroking America's team because they need it. Dallas's QB situation is worse than ours...truly.

Finally, I am glad to see GB ranked beneath us. I think it is reasonable to expect that the Lions will beat out GB (they, of decimated O-line ilk).

*If you are still reading at this point, I want to holler at Pablo for his grading proposition: you are right on, Pablo! I don't know how anyone could not separate IND, PHI, [PIT] and NE from everybody else. The drop off is unquestionably pronounced. There are miles and miles between this group and the next: [comprised, IMO, of SD, DEN, BAL, JAX, and BUF (MIN and ATL get separate mention because I think they thrived against poor competition last year only to be exposed in the playoffs)].

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May 18th, 2005, 8:45 am
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