CBS Sports: Lions’ Caldwell No. 21 among NFL coaches

The Detroit News

Jim Caldwell has led the Lions to the playoffs in two of his three seasons in Detroit, but it’s not enough to crack the top half of coaches in the NFL, according to Pete Prisco of CBS Sports.

Caldwell ranks No. 21 — matching the Lions’ position in next week’s NFL draft — in Prisco’s ranking of NFL head coaches. Prisco essentially ranks the top 27 coaches in the NFL, lumping the five first-year coaches together at No. 28.

Caldwell is 27-21 in three seasons with the Lions, sandwiching a 7-9 season between two playoff-worthy seasons, including 9-7 last season. The Lions have lost both playoffs games during Caldwell’s tenure.

Caldwell is 53-43 in his career, which includes three seasons in Indianapolis, which also including an AFC title.

“Going into 2016, many expected Caldwell to struggle and maybe get fired with first-year GM Bob Quinn bringing in his own guy,” Prisco writes. “But Caldwell got the Lions to the playoffs, where they lost a wild-card game to the Seahawks. If not for a late-season collapse, they would have won the division.”

Not surprisingly, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick leads Prisco’s rankings.

“The rest — no matter how you stack them —are way, way, way behind,” Prisco writes.