National panel of experts weigh in on the Detroit Lions (4-5).
DETROIT LIONS (Rank: 18) - Full Results
Chris Berman (ESPN, 19) - Just when you trust them oops.
Clifton Brown (Sporting News, 20) - Their winless record (0-3) in NFC North makes playoff hopes bleak.
Cris Collinsworth (NBC Sports, 21)
Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 19) - Vikings have now beaten Lions twice, which tells me they're the worst team in the NFC North.
Bob Glauber (Newsday, 18) - One step forward last year, one step back this year. There's always a team to fit that description. Looks like it's the 2012 Lions. Defense doesn't show up against Vikings, and another divisional loss to the Packers on Sunday puts their playoff hopes in further peril.
Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 18) - The Lions play two home games in a span of five days - the Packers on Sunday and Texans on Thanksgiving.
Clark Judge (CBSSports.com, 17) - Forget the auto industry. It's the Lions who might need the bailout now.
Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com, 17) - Whether it's injuries, or bad luck the Lions are simply not taking the big step forward to get in the playoff race. Their 2011 playmakers aren't making the big plays.
John Lynch (Fox Sports, 18) - A talented football team that is struggling to win consistently. They have underachieved and need to turn it on now to play in the second season. They are capable, but face a tough schedule moving forward.
Alex Marvez (Foxsports.com, 16) - Losing to a Vikings team that was on the ropes after two straight losses and missing wide receiver Percy Harvin was a major step backward for the Lions.
Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune, 18) - After a loss to the Vikings, the Lions are looking at playing their next four games against teams with a combined winning percentage of .740.
About: The Associated Press began the AP Pro32 on July 31. A national panel of 12 voters was created from the 50 sports writers and broadcasters who choose the NFL's individual awards at the end of the season. All of the voters have an extensive background in covering the NFL, and some of them— John Lynch, Rich Gannon, Cris Collinsworth – played in the league. Each week beginning on Sept. 4, the AP Pro32 will be updated and will include comments on every team from each of the voters. In addition, each team's ranking will be mentioned in AP stories throughout the preseason and the regular season, along with a link to http://pro32.ap.org/poll The Green Bay Packers were selected as the NFL's top team by the panel for the July 31 preseason power rankings, followed by the New England Patriots and Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Green Bay and New York each received five first-place votes, and New England received two.