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Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Power Rankings: No. 16 Detroit Lions

By Michael Rothstein

A weekly examination of the Lions’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 24 | Last Week: 18 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

Detroit did something it had never done -- beat Washington on the road -- and for that alone, the Lions deserved a small bump up in the rankings. Sure, the Redskins are struggling and might be among the worst teams in the NFL, now sitting at No. 27. But the win continued a strong start for the Lions, who have shown flashes of strength offensively and defensively this fall.

These rankings, though, were determined before Detroit lost receiver Nate Burleson, the team’s leader in catches, for an indefinite amount of time after breaking his arm. This is a blow to the Lions' receiving corps, which is mostly a young group other than Burleson and Calvin Johnson. It could easily change the dynamic of Detroit’s offense, which is a big reason the Lions are 2-1 heading into a big NFC North game against Chicago.