2012 NFL Power Rankings Week 12: Inconsistent Lions still rank in bottom half of league

Matthew Stockman

The Detroit Lions rank outside the top 18 in the vast majority of NFL power rankings heading into their pivotal Week 12 game with Houston.

Facing a must-win situation right now at 4-6 on the year, the Detroit Lions will enter their Thanksgiving Day game with the Houston Texans as a team in significant decline according to a number of top NFL analysts.

Listed as the No. 19 team in the NFL by Brian Billick of FoxSports.com in his weekly power rankings, the Lions dropped one spot from their No. 18 position the previous week. Billick notes the importance of the revived chemistry between Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, but also points out that it still "hasn't helped them in the win column with two straight losses."

The Lions were also dubbed the No. 19 team in the league by ESPN.com's weekly rankings, representing a drop of two spots. Despite being the second-highest rated team with a losing record at the moment, the Lions have tumbled down five spots alone over their two-game losing streak.

Hardly sold on Detroit's play through the first 11 weeks of the season, CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco knocked the Lions all the way down to No. 22 overall in his latest batch of rankings. Jumped by the trio of Tennessee, Washington and the New York Jets due to their loss over the weekend, the Lions could still play their way back into Prisco's favor with a season-defining win over the Texans, who remain the No. 1 overall team in the rankings.

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