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NFL Week 8 power rankings: Detroit Lions shoot up MMQB’s list

MMQB’s Conor Orr sees bigger picture of what Lions are trying to accomplish.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions are 0-7 on the season but they’re still working to make things interesting on game days. In last Sunday's game, the Lions did their best Run DMC impression against the Los Angeles Rams, only to end up falling short yet again.

The Lions' record is certainly disappointing, but coach Dan Campbell’s welcomed aggressiveness and their players’ level of effort leave many with the impression that this team is headed in the right direction.

Despite the directional optimism, most national analysts still ranked the Lions as they would any winless team—at the bottom of their power rankings.

But Monday Morning Quarterback’s Conor Orr views the Lions through a different lens. One that looks beyond the record and focuses more on what the Lions are trying to accomplish as an organization. Orr doesn't follow the standard script in his rankings this week but instead recognizes the Lions for what they are doing beyond wins and losses.

MMQB: 18 (Previous: 29)

“How can you put a winless team No. 18 in the power rankings? Define power for me. If I’m a player, I’m calling my agent and telling him or her to get me on a plane to Michigan so I can bite some kneecaps. Onside kicks, wildly honest press conferences, an egalitarian brotherhood. That’s power. Dan Campbell for the win.” — MMQB’s Conor Orr

Credit to Orr for being willing to look past the zero in the win column, and seeing what others often miss about this organization. Now, let’s take a look at where the Lions sit in the rest of the national rankings.

NFL.com, Rank: 30 (Previous: 31)

“The Lions aren’t talented, but they are gutsy and they play their hearts out every week for Dan Campbell. Jared Goff’s late interception doomed Detroit to another painful loss on Sunday in Los Angeles, but hanging tough for four quarters against a Super Bowl contender like the Rams counts as progress in Detroit. Campbell’s performance was admirable as well — the coach called for an early onside kick and two fake punts, with all three trick plays ending with a successful outcome. To have all that go right and still lose is frustrating, but the Lions don’t feel like a hopeless 0-7. The losses continue to mount, but the fight remains strong.” — Dan Hanzus

ESPN: 32 (Previous: 32)

“Prediction we missed: The Lions’ record

“Ok, I’ll admit. I was wrong. Although I knew the Lions’ schedule was tough to start the year, and they were in the midst of a rebuild, I predicted them to have at least one victory by now. I took the over in my predictions for Detroit to win more than five games this season, but this team remains winless at 0-7. They’ve laid a complete egg in a few games, but they also could easily have at least two victories by now, barring losses on not one, but two last-second, 50-plus-yard field goals.” — Eric Woodyard

USA Today: 30 (Previous: 32)

“Another missed opportunity in Week 7, but Sunday brings a feasible opportunity – a home date against the Eagles – to finally shatter prospect of an 0-17 campaign.” — Nate Davis

Yahoo Sports: 30 (Previous: 32)

“Receiver Kalif Raymond is a fun story. He was undrafted out of Holy Cross. From 2016 to this season he had 19 catches for 369 yards for four teams. On Sunday he had six catches for 115 yards and looked very good. He’s 27, finally getting a shot on a Lions team that is severely short on talent and also dealing with injuries, and he’s making the most of it.” — Frank Schwab

CBS Sports: 31 (Previous: 32)

“They almost pulled off a shocker against the Rams on the road. They play hard and tough, which is a good sign for the future.” — Pete Prisco

Sporting News: 32 (Previous: 32)

“The Lions leapt into Los Angeles and didn’t look like lambs vs. the Rams, but they simply didn’t have enough talent to finish yet another upset chance. Eventually, Dan Campbell will get a win, but at this rate, it might not be until in 2022 (should he last that long).” — Vinnie Iyer

Washington Post: 32 (Previous: 32)

“QB Jared Goff made a less-than-triumphant return to Los Angeles, but the Lions did manage to have a fourth-quarter lead over the Rams before succumbing. Goff is struggling, and he’s probably not the answer at QB for the Lions. But there’s no reason not to keep playing him. Find out for sure.” — Mark Maske ($ubscription required)