Power Rankings: No. 17 Detroit Lions

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

Preseason: 24 | Last Week: 12 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

Like the famous Tom Petty song, the Lions are now free ... free fallin’. Detroit has lost four of five games, each loss looking worse than the previous one. They lost leads in the fourth quarter in all of them, and along the way lost control of the NFC North and a potential playoff berth in the process.

The Lions fell five spots in the latest Power Rankings to 17th, and perhaps this is all that needs to be said about this franchise at this point. Since the Power Rankings started in 2002, this is still the second-highest ranking for Detroit at this point in the season, only bettered by 2011, when the Lions made the playoffs. This season’s struggles might be the most painful, though, because of the promise and potential Detroit showed at the beginning of the season. Now, unless the Lions get some major help, that season will end in two weeks.