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2023 NFL Week 3 power rankings: National perspective urges Lions fans to breathe

Checking in on where the Detroit Lions stand in the national rankings after Week 2 of the NFL season.

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions parlayed a Week 1 win over the Chiefs into a top 10 spot in all of the national power rankings we track on a weekly basis, But after a disappointing overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2, there has been a slight shift in the rankings.

And believe it or not, it’s not all doom and gloom. Despite that feeling of pain and frustration Lions fans are experiencing, sometimes the national narrative can provide some interesting perspective.

On the whole, while the Lions did drop in most rankings, the fall was minimal, and in some cases, Detroit actually moved up in the rankings—because they’re not the only team to have a rough Week 2. And at the end of the day, while it may feel like the sky is falling, the Lions remain a top 10 team in eight of the 11 rankings.

Let’s take a deeper look at how the Lions' loss to the Seahawks altered the national writers’ NFL power rankings in Week 3.

Sporting News: 8 (Last week: 4)

From Vinnie Iyer:

“The Lions may be got overhyped themselves for their home opener after shocking the Chiefs in Week 1. Jared Goff turned another smooth, efficient first half into a big mistake-stamped second half. Detroit is still leaning how to win a lot and needs to clean up more under Dan Campbell.” 8 (Last week: 6)

From Eric Edholm:

“After all the feel-good stories in Week 1, the Lions were served a dish of Week 2 “humble pie,” as Dan Campbell said, and I won’t lull you to sleep with the narrative that the loss to the Seahawks will be good for them. I’m a believer that losses should be avoided at all costs, although I understand the sentiment. If the Lions watch the game tape and feel the same way I do — that the loss to Seattle hit too close to home, vis-a-vis the Lions that started last season 1-6 — then maybe it will serve its purpose. But as prepared as the Lions looked for the Chiefs in Week 1, they looked just that unprepared in key moments against Seattle. The fight was there, but crisp execution wasn’t. And now it appears they’ll have to regroup without C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who is out indefinitely with a potentially torn pectoral, per NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo.”

ESPN: 8 (Last week: 7)

From ESPN staff, excerpt from Eric Woodyard:

Player: QB Jared Goff
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2024 season

“Goff is playing out the four-year, $134 million contract extension he signed with the Rams in 2019. He is scheduled to make $26.975 million in 2024. But Goff could position himself for a long-term extension if the Lions have a big year. Once considered a bridge quarterback, the soon-to-be 29-year-old is playing some of the best football of his career. Goff has multiple touchdown passes in six straight home games going back to Week 9 of last season, which is the longest active streak in the NFL, and he threw 383 consecutive passes before throwing an interception on Sunday, which is the third-longest streak in league history.”

Yahoo Sports: 8 (Last week: 7)

From Frank Schwab:

“Sunday’s loss wasn’t a great one for the Lions, but it happens. What’s more troubling is the injury report. David Montgomery could miss multiple weeks with a thigh injury. Amon-Ra St. Brown suffered what appeared to be a toe injury, and that can linger. Left tackle Taylor Decker missed Sunday’s game with an ankle injury. Those are some problematic injuries.”

USA Today: 9 (Last week: 5)

From Nate Davis:

“Hopefully Sunday’s loss to Seattle won’t be as penal as the 2022 defeat that cost Detroit a playoff berth. Obviously didn’t hurt that the rest of the NFC North also lost in Week 2.”

Touchdown Wire: 9 (Last week: 10)

From Jarrett Bailey:

“This is where things get tricky. Yes, the Lions lost, so how could they possibly move up in the power rankings? Well, the offense looked fantastic and showed that they can compete in shootouts with capable teams. Meanwhile, teams like the Bengals have looked abysmal in two losses thus far, and the Jets don’t have a competent quarterback. It’s already been a strange year.”

The Ringer: 9 (Last week: 10)

From The Ringer staff:

“Who’s ready for the first division title in 30 years? These guys.”

MMQB: 10 (Last week: 6)

From Connor Orr:

“This was something of a valuable experience for Dan Quinn’s (Sic) Lions after scoring one of the most emotional victories in modern franchise history a week ago. Having Seattle come in and upset them in the home opener is a bit of a reminder that an arrival is not permanent in the NFL and is highly conditional. The team is now sustaining some attrition, with David Montgomery out for at least a few weeks. The offense now loses part of its appeal as a series of complementary backs. Rookie Jahmyr Gibbs has to take on a larger share of the workload, and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson may have to show his cards on that front sooner than he would have liked.”

Pro Football Network: 11 (Last week: 7)

From Dalton Miller:

“The Lions had a prime opportunity to start the season 2-0 and prove to us all that they have legitimately taken the next step in their franchise evolution … but they failed. Against a Seattle team that completely imploded a week ago in the second half, the Lions’ defense was unable to get their FlexTape delivered in time to fix their leaks. With BOTH of their starting offensive tackles out, the Seattle Seahawks offense averaged almost six yards per play, and the Lions only managed to sack Geno Smith once. Yet, maybe this game didn’t prove that Detroit is ready but that the product we saw from Seattle a week ago was a fluke.”

The Athletic: 13 (Last week: 7)

From Josh Kendall:

“We would like to take a moment to appreciate Jared Goff. He’s third in the league in yards per play (7.4) and had a passer rating of 121.8 against Seattle this week. In the first half, he was 11-for-12 for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Until Sunday, Goff had gone 383 pass attempts without an interception, which is the third-longest streak in NFL history, according to ESPN Stats & Info. It might be time to say the guy’s pretty good.”

CBS Sports: 18 (Last week: 10)

From Pete Prisco:

“Losing at home to the Seahawks is not a good look for this team. The defense has to be better.”

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