Power Rankings: No. 9 Detroit Lions

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

Preseason: 24 | Last Week: 10 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Detroit Lions are in the top 10 for the third straight week, having bumped up a slot to No. 9 and having proved their standing as the team to beat in the NFC North. Detroit has three road wins now and, should the Lions win at Pittsburgh, will be no worse than .500 this year on the road. It’s also the first time this season Detroit is labeled as the top team in the NFC North in the Power Rankings.

The Lions are the fifth-rated team in the NFC, behind Seattle, New Orleans, Carolina and San Francisco. More important, though, if you were to compare this team to Detroit’s last playoff team, the Lions are ranked one slot higher at this point of this season than they were in 2011, when they were No. 10.