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CBSSports.com Senior NFL Columnist

Power Rankings: Flawed teams make for truly great games


Updated Oct. 25

We're almost to the halfway point of the NFL season and, aside from the Green Bay Packers, it's hard to truly get a gauge on the good teams.

The others all have flaws.

Without the truly dominant teams, though, we get something else.

Great games. Great drama. Aside from this past weekend, where we had little of both, we've had seven weeks of a lot of it.

Consider this: There have been 21 comebacks by teams that trailed by at least 10 points and came back to win. That is the second most through seven weeks in any season in NFL history. The record is 23 from 1987.

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The move to the passing game means almost no leads are safe, although I can't imagine the Saints sweating it out too much up 62-7 in the fourth quarter on Sunday night against the Colts.

As we move to the end of October, some of the early season darlings might be coming back to reality, the Lions being the best example.

Detroit got off to a 5-0 start and had people talking Super Bowl. Really. Now after two home losses that showed off a lot of their flaws, the Lions might be scrambling just to make the playoffs.

The Lions have trouble running the ball. They have trouble protecting their quarterback. They have trouble stopping the run. And they aren't great on the back end of their defense.

I said before the season I thought the Lions were a year away. Now it's starting to look like that might be the case.

I'm not ready to bury them yet, but they falling down my CBSSports.com Power Rankings. Two weeks ago, they were in the No. 2 spot. Now they're down to No. 9 and sinking fast.

At 5-2, the Lions would still be in the playoffs if they started today, but two home losses won't help their cause the rest of the way. They have to get it going again.

The Lions' rally from down 27-3 against the Cowboys a month ago seems years ago. Maybe that first half was the true Lions team and only the meltdown of the Cowboys prevented us from seeing it.

It will be interesting to see if the so-called power teams from the preseason, teams like the Eagles and Cowboys and Falcons, can get it going in the next month or so to set themselves up for a playoff push in December.

Some of those teams were written off early, while we propped up the upstarts like the Lions.

That's why they don't give away Silver trophies in October.

It is the month for masquerading as something you are not, after all.


Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.

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