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NFL Week 4 power rankings: Detroit Lions earn recognition for their effort

Exploring at how the national media views the Lions.

NFL: SEP 26 Ravens at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Detroit Lions are 0-3 on the season after a heartbreaking Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. But their effort to stay in games is beginning to slowly win over some of the national analysts, and a few even moved the Lions up in their rankings despite the loss.

Let’s take a look at where the Lions sit in the national eye.

NFL.com, Rank: 27 (Previous: 31)

“‘These fans can smell win No. 1 on the year!’ CBS play-by-play man Greg Gumbel was just stating the obvious, but it all felt like a cruel jinx after Justin Tucker kicked a 66-yard field goal to hand the Lions one of the most ridiculous losses in franchise history (this is really saying something). The absurd finish spoiled an otherwise excellent fourth quarter by the Lions, who sandwiched a Lamar Jackson interception with two scoring drives that put them ahead with 64 seconds to play. But on the Ravens’ final possession, Jackson moved Baltimore just inside Detroit territory, while officials appeared to miss a crucial delay of game call before Tucker made history. Impossible.” — Dan Hanzus

ESPN: 30 (Previous: 30)

“Team QBR: 40.0,
QBR rank: 25th.

Statistically, quarterback Jared Goff has been decent. Through three games, he has completed 86 of 123 passes for a 69.9% completion rate, the highest by a Lions quarterback through the first three games of a season. He also has produced a passer rating of 92.0 or greater in each of the first three games of the season, joining Matthew Stafford (2013, 2011) as the only Lions players to do so. The biggest question mark is dealing with pressure. Goff entered the Week 3 loss to Baltimore completing 9 of 17 passes with no touchdowns and two interceptions when pressured this season. He still has to get fully comfortable in the offense, all while dealing with some key injuries, notably to wide receiver Tyrell Williams.” — Eric Woodyard

USA Today: 26 (Previous: 29)

“It took an NFL-record 66-yard field goal from Baltimore’s Justin Tucker to beat them at the gun Sunday ... eight years after Tucker beat them with a 61-yarder in a similar situation ... and 51 years after New Orleans’ Tom Dempsey set a then-record with a game-winning 63-yarder as time expired.” — Nate Davis

Yahoo Sports: 28 (Previous: 29)

“The Lions can complain about the delay-of-game penalty that officials missed before Justin Tucker’s field goal, or the bad luck on that kick that bounced in. But why rush only three on fourth-and-19, allowing Lamar Jackson all day to find Sammy Watkins downfield to set up the field goal? Why do coaches think that’s a good idea?” — Frank Schwab

MMQB: 28 (Previous: 28)

“I honestly feel bad for Lions fans. Even when something cool is happening in front of them—think Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford or, now, the world’s most excitable coach in Dan Campbell—they just seemed destined to struggle. This year appears no exception.” — MMQB Staff rotating rankings

CBS Sports: 30 (Previous: 30)

“Losing the way they did to the Ravens on a 66-yard field goal has to sting. But they play hard, which is a good sign for coach Dan Campbell as he builds to something.” — Pete Prisco

Sporting News: 29 (Previous: 28)

“The Lions are showing some pride and heart with Dan Campbell. They fought hard against the 49ers and Ravens at home with nothing to show for it. The positives are the offensive line and running game to offset a feisty but overmatched defense.” — Vinnie Iyer

Washington Post: 29 (Previous: 30)

“After being on the wrong side of the delay-of-game penalty that wasn’t and then the 66-yard field goal by the Ravens’ Justin Tucker, the Lions are making their bid to replace the Chargers as the team that reliably finds confusing ways to lose.” — Mark Maske ($ubscription required)