Nov 24, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) runs the ball against Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Mark Barron (23) during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Power Rankings countdown: 22. Detroit Lions

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2014 NFL Power Rankings Countdown

22.  Detroit Lions (NFC North)

2013 Record:  7-9

Head coach:  Jim Caldwell - Caldwell has had some success as a head coach in his previous stint with the Indianapolis Colts.  However, a 2-14 season in 2011 resulted in him being fired.  He resurrected his head coaching chances as offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens and helped them win a Super Bowl.  Now he will have even more talent on offense with the Lions.

Best offensive player:  Calvin Johnson, wide receiver - Arguably the best receiver in football, Johnson has the most lethal combination of size and speed in the NFL.  But the Lions have been lacking other receiving talent to go around him, however that may be changing in 2014.

Best defensive player:  Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle - Suh is one of the most controversial figures in the NFL, but is also one of the top defensive tackles.  He has the ability to play well no only against the run, but is a very good pass rusher as well.  His best football might be ahead of him.

Rising Star:  Ezekiel Ansah, defensive end - Ansah had a very good rookie season in 2013, as he led the Lions in sacks with 8.  With Suh and Nick Fairley on the defensive line along with him, Ansah will have plenty of opportunities to increase his sack total this season.

Best new addition:  Golden Tate, wide receiver - Golden Tate led the Seattle Seahawks in receptions and receiving yards last season, and was essentially their number one receiver with Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice out injured.  Now he comes to the Lions where he’s the clear number two behind Calvin Johnson, and his presence should help to upgrade the receiving unit.

Biggest offseason loss: Louis Delmas, safety - Delmas was a fixture in the Lions secondary for five seasons.  He was a quality safety for the Lions and although he’s not irreplaceable, his absence leaves a question mark in at safety.

Biggest strength:  The Lions biggest strength is their talent on offense.  Starting with Calvin Johnson and Tate at wide Receiver, and with Caldwell working with him, quarterback Matthew Stafford should have a much better season in 2014.  Reggie Bush is a solid runner and a good receiver out of the backfield.  And at tight end the Lions have a very good tandem in Brandon Pettigrew and rookie Eric Ebron.          NFL Power Rankings

Biggest weakness:  The Lions biggest weakness is at cornerback.  The Lions went through free agency and the draft without adding a whole lot at cornerback, and they cut one starter Chris H0uston in the offseason.  If the starters Rashean Mathis and second year man Darius Slay struggle or get injured, then the Lions may have problems at cornerback.    2014 NFL Power Rankings Countdown

32. Houston Texans

31. Cleveland Browns

30.  Minnesota Vikings

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

28. Oakland Raiders

27.  Washington Redskins

26.  Atlanta Falcons

25.  Buffalo Bills

24.  Tennessee Titans

23.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

22.  Detroit Lions

21.  Miami Dolphins

20.  St. Louis Rams


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  • Chris Wyman

    The Lions are not going to be a good team under Caldwell. He was run out of town in Indy for his incompetence. He’s the only HC I’ve ever heard of that called a timeout twice in one season for the other team where he also lost both games as well. NO….. this was a bad hire and the Lions have gone out and done it again. When the season is done fans will have to realise that not only is the city of Detroit (claimed bankruptcy) a landfill but this team is one as well; the perfect mirror image of each other – if I might add. When OC Scott Linehan left Minnesota, Daunte Culpepper who had been an MVP candidate throwing to Randy Moss took an enormous step back which lead to his eventual release from his team. Folks, this IS your fathers Detroit Lions and I can’t see them winning their first 3 games let alone make the playoffs or a Super Bowl as Calvin Johnson recently felt the need to say. The Lions are never going to win a SB with two rookie coordinators and an incompetent HC not going to happen EVER. And we’re also gonna have to except the fact that Suh knows this as well and he’ll be leaving as soon as his contract is up. The glory day of 2011 is over. Jim Schwartz is gone and they replaced him with an incompetent idiot.

    • Maurice Barksdale

      The Lions may have been better off keeping Jim Schwartz. And I’m not a huge fan of Caldwell either, but it may be possible that Caldwell has learned something from his failure in Indy and his time with Baltimore. The Lions have the talent to win, and Caldwell did well as more of a steward for the Colts when that team was good. He may be able to take Schwartz’s talent and win with it like he took Dungy’s.

      • Chris Wyman

        The Lions had the talent to win because they had coaches that made them look better than they actually are. You’ll see soon enough after they lose their first 4 games. You’ll be just as pissed off as I am over this;
        you’ll see!

        • Maurice Barksdale

          The Lions have always had trouble winning with great talent. Even when they had Barry Sanders. It’s something they need to find a way to break through. Especially now when they have the talent to do it.

          • Chris Wyman

            Maurice you’re a good guy dude. It’s rare when you meet someone who will listen to other peoples opinions. That’s a good quality to have. Thanks :)

          • Maurice Barksdale

            It’s not hard listening when the opinions are well thought out like yours are Chris. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and give Riggo’s Rag a chance. So thank you Chris.