The Detroit Lions have slowly and steadily been on the rise in this year's national power rankings. Last week, after four consecutive wins of at least 14 points, the Lions ranked between No. 2 and No. 7 in all the rankings we track.
Then in Week 8, Detroit ran into a buzzsaw in Baltimore, losing to the Ravens 38-6. As expected, the Lions dropped in all but one ranking—weekly readers may be surprised to see which publication didn’t alter the Lions’ ranking. And while the Lions are no longer positioned in the top five in any ranking, they also still remain in the top 10 across the board.
And that, as Sports Illustrated MMQB’s Connor Orr put it, is “still very good.”
Let’s take a look at how the Lions' loss to the Ravens altered the national writers’ NFL power rankings in Week 8.
Yahoo Sports: 6 (Last week: 2)
“The Lions aren’t bad. We just need to recalibrate after Sunday’s blowout loss. Great teams usually aren’t trailing anyone 35-0, like Detroit was at the Ravens on Sunday. Only two Super Bowl champs (1994 49ers, 2000 Buccaneers) suffered a loss of 32 or more points. That’s OK. We just need to slow down the talk about the Lions being perhaps the best team in the NFC. They’re going to win the NFC North, be a tough out in the playoffs and if everything breaks right make a good run. That’s a great season for a Lions team that hasn’t won a division title in 30 years.”
USA Today: 6 (Last week: 2)
“That resounding thud you heard was the end of a 15-game streak of scoring at least 20 points and a 17-game run of at least double-digit points.”
The Athletic: 6 (Last week: 3)
“One question: How will they bounce back?
“After being the league’s feel-good story through the first third of the season, Detroit got pummeled Sunday. Baltimore had 503 yards and averaged 9.1 yards per play, the most by any team not named the Dolphins in a game this season. Jared Goff had a quarterback rating of 68.4. The Lions were third in the league in yards (383.7) and fourth in points (28) through six weeks but fell behind 35-0 Sunday. Coach Dan Campbell said he thinks the game will ‘re-center’ his team, but they don’t have a lot of institutional confidence to fall back on.”
NFL.com: 7 (Last week: 4)
“No two ways about it, this one was ugly — to the point that Detroit’s credentials must be questioned. The Lions allowed four TDs in their first four defensive series. On offense, they went three-and-out three straight times to open the game, then turned it over on downs. Everything after that was more or less immaterial. As tough to swallow as the Week 2 Seattle loss was, especially defensively, it was a close, hard-fought game, and Detroit came back to rip off four straight wins. How will the Lions respond to this defeat? The good news is that the Raiders are up next, followed by a Week 9 bye. There’s time to bury this one. The season feels too special for anyone to get off the bandwagon now. We’re not necessarily buying stock after Sunday, but we’re certainly not dumping it, either.”
Sporting News: 7 (Last week: 5)
“The Lions’ defense crashed in Baltimore as they couldn’t handle the dual threat of Lamar Jackson and their coverage breakdowns caught up to them, big-time. Their offense was put in an impossible one-dimensional position with Jared Goff. They need to prove the next step as a good young team by shaking it off, fast.”
MMQB: 7 (Last week: 7)
“As I wrote on Sunday, I am not taking a real big-picture view of this Lions loss. Sometimes in the NFL, you’re going to get clubbed because you’re still figuring stuff out. I think this is where I want to explain why I previously had the team No. 7, which sent some of Lions Twitter into a tailspin. The Power Rankings are living, breathing thing. The Buccaneers did a good job of taking away some of their core running concepts, and, like a lot of run-dominant teams, I was curious to see how they would reinvent themselves. I wanted to see the Lions’ counterpunch. I have no doubt it’s there, but what is the harm in putting them as the SEVENTH BEST (read: still very good) until we figure out what that looks like?”
Pro Football Network: 8 (Last week: 3)
“After looking like one of the most consistent teams in the NFL to begin the season, the Lions ran into the Ravens’ buzzsaw. Both teams, at their best, are among the best in the league. However, the Lions clearly did not show up against Baltimore, who got up early and never let off the gas.”
CBS Sports: 8 (Last week: 3)
“That was a tough game at Baltimore, but it was the way they played that’s a bad look. They got dominated in every facet of the game.”
Touchdown Wire: 8 (Last week: 5)
“Huh. Well alrighty then.
“That was a burn the tape game for the Lions. They were dominant throughout the first month and a half- it was only a matter of time before they came down to Earth and got smacked in the mouth. Every team, no matter how good, has one of those games. They play the Raiders on Monday night- I fully expect them to win.”
The Ringer: 8 (Last week: 6)
From The Ringer staff, excerpt from Danny Heifetz:
“‘They kicked our ass,’ Lions head coach Dan Campbell said after losing a lopsided 38-6 game to Baltimore in which Detroit didn’t even get on the scoreboard until it was 35-0. Jared Goff looked like the version that Sean McVay grew tired of on Sunday (one Ravens player said that when Goff is ‘startled’ early he never recovers). Detroit’s defensive line was flat-out pushed around by the Ravens at times, and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn’s unit has struggled to contain mobile quarterbacks.”
ESPN: 9 (Last week: 5)
“Young riser: TE Sam LaPorta
“The 22-year-old rookie has been a steady target for Lions quarterback Jared Goff so far this season. The second-round pick is the first tight end in NFL history to log at least three receptions and 35 receiving yards in each of the first seven games of his career. LaPorta said the learning curve for him and his rookie teammates was “much quicker” than for other rookies around the league because the Lions needed them to contribute immediately. ‘Which we liked,’ LaPorta told ESPN. ‘We want to play at the highest level. We want to contribute to the success of this team. We didn’t want to feel like we were so-called rookies. We wanted to contribute in a positive way.’”87