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NFL Week 7 power rankings: Lions drop in most rankings despite bye week

Checking in on where the Detroit Lions stand in the national rankings.

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions Kirthmon F. Dozier-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions (1-4) are coming off the bye week, but that wasn’t going to prevent them from moving up or sliding down in the Week 7 national power rankings. For the most part, absence did not make analysts' hearts grow fonder of the Lions, as they dropped one or two spots in most rankings, despite not playing. It wasn’t all negative, as Monday Morning Quarterback and Touchdown Wire each moved them up a few spots.

Let’s take a look at this week’s NFL power rankings.

MMQB: 24 (Previous: 27)

From Conor Orr:

“While the Lions return post-bye with the Cowboys, this is still an offense that can score with any team in the league. If, by some miracle, they were able to alter their defensive strategy and prevent a handful of drives from ending in touchdowns, we might be in for something.”

USA Today: 27 (Previous: 26)

From Nate Davis:

“They haven’t won in Dallas since 2011, but might catch a break by drawing a rusty Prescott.” 28 (Previous: 26)

From Dan Hanzus:

“The Lions hit their bye week looking for answers on defense. Aidan Hutchinson, selected No. 2 overall in April’s draft, is searching with the rest of his teammates right now. Hutchinson had three sacks and two tackles for loss in a Week 2 win over the Commanders. He’s had zero sacks and just three QB hits combined in Detroit’s other four games — all losses. A pop under the hood shows more struggles: According to PFF, Hutchinson’s pass-rush win rate is 8.9 percent, which ranks 107th out of 156 qualified players. Does this mean “Hutch” is a bust? Of course not — but the rookie is just one of many Detroit defenders who need to raise their game.”

Yahoo Sports: 28 (Previous: 27)

From Frank Schwab:

“The Lions come off the bye and play at the Cowboys. A 1-6 or 1-7 start isn’t out of the question (after going to Dallas they host the Dolphins and Packers). That would be soul crushing after an offseason full of optimism.”

The Athletic: 28 (Previous: 27)

From Bo Wulf:

“If the Lions can simply be a league-average defense the rest of the season, they’ll have a chance to roar back into the playoff race. But the scars of having the league’s worst defense through six weeks — not to mention last year’s 3-13-1 record and the long history of Lions futility — will be hard to overcome.”

The Ringer: 28 (Previous: 27)

From Austin Gayle:

“As fun as it is to make the same played-out kneecap jokes everyone has been making since Dan Campbell was hired and cheer on the underdog Lions every week, the team (and hopefully the kneecap jokes, but probably not) came crashing down in flames in a 29-0 loss against Bill Belichick and former Lions head coach Matt Patricia in Week 5. Jared Goff and the offense, which finished Week 4 ranked fifth in offensive EPA per drive (0.74), easily had its worst showing of the season, and the defense still ranks 32nd in EPA per play through six weeks. Cheering for losses and a better chance at one of the top quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL draft is smarter than betting the Lions at +660 to turn things around and make the playoffs this season.”

Touchdown Wire: 29 (Previous: 30)

From Mark Lane:

“The Lions are coming off their bye, which means only that some opponent won’t have to beat them and then talk after the game about how feisty they are, and how close they were to winning. It’s a common theme in the Dan Campbell era, but eventually, this team will have to turn moral victories into actual ones. Campbell is now 4-17-1 as the Lions’ head coach, and while there’s potential here, when does that finally pay off? Probably not against a highly-agitated Dallas Cowboys team, burning after what the Eagles did to them on Sunday night.”

ESPN: 31 (Previous: 30)

From Eric Woodyard:

The Lions are still very much in the rebuilding stage despite early thoughts that they improved. A 1-4 start is a reminder that this squad still has some key pieces — notably on defense — to fill before becoming a legitimate contender. Some experts projected the Lions to have a much better record at this point, but the defense has already allowed 170 points through the first five games, which are the most in franchise history.”

Sporting News: 31 (Previous: 30)

From Vinnie Iyer:

“The Lions went into their bye after a shutout loss to the Patriots that suddenly left them questioning a lot about their offense. That should get back to being better with a cleaner bill of health, but the defense will continue to sink them.”

CBS Sports: 31 (Previous: 30)

From Pete Prisco:

“They come off their bye with a tough game at Dallas against the Cowboys. They better hope they used the bye to find a defense.”

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