Just about everybody involved with the Detroit Lions is talking about the no-call on the facemask penalty at the end of the team's last game, against the Minnesota Vikings. It's worth bringing up when talking about where the Lions stand right now, especially when it comes to the weekly power rankings. Almost all of them have mentioned the no-call thus far, and that's likely why they're not moving up a lot.
CBS Sports does bump them up a couple spots though, despite mentioning the no-call, in their Week 15 NFL power rankings:
11. What happens if a face-mask penalty is called on the final play against the Vikings? It wasn't, and if the playoffs started today, they would be in the party.
That's two spots up from last week, and it's likely they moved up because Pete Prisco felt he had them too low for last week, or another team had to fall, because he seems unimpressed with such a close win over the Vikings, who have been eliminated from playoff contention this season.
Currently sitting with the final seed in the NFC and a definite dog in the wild card fight, the Detroit Lions are in a better position now than they have been in some time. Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings almost went differently, though, and had it, they would be in a much, much different position. That facemask penalty at the end of the game is something that's actually missed rather frequently near the end of football games, but it's something that could have put Minnesota in line to win the game if it were called. Detroit should have had that game under wraps much sooner than that.
Fox Sports keeps the Lions where they were last week in their Week 15 NFL power rankings:
11. The outcome of Sunday's game against the Vikings could have been very different if the referee actually saw the face mask penalty on the game-ending sack/fumble. The Lions defense played opportunistic football in the back half, and actually forced Vikings QB Christian Ponder out of the game early. But the Lions will need to re-establish their defensive identity if they want to continue the push to the playoffs. Albeit without the personal foul penalties . . .
Those penalties most definitely hurt the Lions, and they should treat the facemask no-call penalty at the end of last week's game as one that still went against them. There's just so many penalties that it's bound to hurt them in the playoffs if they don't correct it.
The Detroit Lions are coming off a good win that firmly kept them in the 2012 NFL playoff picture, though they aren't competing for the NFC North any longer. They're lined up to get one of the wild card spots though, and that's just fine by them. They're not moving much in the weekly power rankings though, and that's likely because the Christian Ponder-led Minnesota Vikings kept things close on Sunday. Still, Detroit got the win, and that's all that matters to them.
ESPN moves them up one spot in their Week 15 NFL power rankings:
11. Things might not be pretty with the defense, but the Lions do have a great chance at the last wild card. (Clayton)
That's right - the defense is not pretty, especially without Ndamukong Suh in there. Still, they got the job done on Sunday and are currently the final seed in the NFC playoffs. We'll see if they're able to hold onto it in the coming weeks.