- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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A weekly examination of the Lions' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 24 | Last Week: 20 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The Lions fired Jim Schwartz on Monday, most of the players are already headed to offseason destinations and the only thing that really matters for Detroit now is who it will hire as a new coach.
That comes, of course, because of what happened to Detroit over the final two months of the season, when the Lions fell from leading the NFC North to out of the playoffs. The slide was captured well in the Power Rankings, as the Lions were as high as No. 9 in Week 11.
Then Detroit started to drop. And drop. And drop some more, until the team finished the season right around where it was predicted to finish. The Lions had a preseason ranking of 24. They have a final regular-season ranking of 21. The saddest part for the Lions is this ties their second-highest finish in the Power Rankings with the 2004 season. The only year that was better: the 2011 season, when Detroit made the playoffs.