2022 NFL Week 2 power rankings: Detroit Lions grit, competitiveness recognized

The Detroit Lions fought hard in Week 1 but eventually lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35. Was the Lions’ effort to claw their way back into this game enough to keep them shining in a positive light amongst the national media, or are some analysts already jumping ship?

Spoilers: It’s a bit of both, in this week’s power rankings.

USA Today: 18 (Previous: 23)

From Nate Davis:

“The arrow has been trending up since last season, through ‘Hard Knocks’ and into the opener, when they gave one of the NFC’s best teams all it could handle. Eventually, Detroit has to turn its promise into wins, but don’t be surprised if Dan Campbell’s crew hangs around the playoff picture into January.”

MMQB: 23 (Previous: 23)

From Connor Orr ($subscription required):

“On the MMQB podcast, we labeled the Lions the NFC’s budget Titans. This will be a fun year in Detroit. If you were a Lions fan two years ago, how badly would you have wanted to be the budget Titans? Dan Campbell’s team is going to hang with opponents and run the hell out of the ball. Jared Goff is better than we think.”

NFL.com: 26 (Previous: 25)

From Dan Hanzus:

“The Lions opened the season by hanging until the final minute with a loaded Eagles team that had the look of a potential NFC superpower. That counts as progress for Dan Campbell’s team, which showed resolve in a 38-35 loss at a rough Ford Field. There will be a time when merely hanging with a tough opponent won’t be good enough, but for now the Lions appear on the right track. Keep an eye on D’Andre Swift, who ran for 144 yards and looks fully primed to deliver the biggest running back season by a Lions player since Barry Sanders was in town. The defense is an obvious work in progress, but the Detroit attack looks ready to go.”

The Athletic: 26 (Previous: 27)

From Bo Wulf:

“D’Andre Swift looked explosive (175 yards from scrimmage on 18 touches), and the Lions had the third-best offensive performance of the week by EPA per play. Dan Campbell will appreciate their fortitude in clawing back from two 17-point deficits to force a fourth-down conversion by hurts with the game on the line. Just as encourage, the Ford Field crowd was as loud as it’s been in a long time and adversely affected the Eagles early on.

“But a loss is a loss, and it might not have been one with a more accurate quarterback. Meanwhile, the defense’s gambit of blitzing hurts and playing man coverage at one of the highest rates in the league backfired. Wentz and the Commanders come to town next.”

Touchdown Wire: 26 (Previous: 27)

From Mark Lane:

“Even though the Lions took the L, they made the Philadelphia Eagles earn their 1-0 start. Even though they were down 17 points to start the fourth quarter, Detroit never gave in. The Lions still need some talent, but are starting to shake their attitude for losing.”

ESPN: 27 (Previous: 26)

From Eric Woodyard:

“Rookie who stood out: LB Malcolm Rodriguez

“Many people didn’t know what to expect when the Lions drafted Rodriguez as a sixth-rounder this summer, but the rookie earned a starting role in his NFL debut at linebacker, racking up six total tackles — including a tackle for loss. The Oklahoma State product is becoming a fan favorite after being prominently featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” Although no. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson gets a ton of hype, and rightly so, the 23-year-old — nicknamed “Rodrigo” — is proving to be another top option on defense.”

Sporting News: 27 (Previous: 23)

From Vinnie Iyer:

“Here we go again with the Lions not quitting and showing full ‘Hard Knocks’ mode for Dan Campbell. They have too much offensive firepower and blocking around Jared Goff to not be relentlessly competitive in comeback mode. Unfortunately, the defense still can’t stop much of anything to help.”

Yahoo Sports: 27 (Previous: 24)

From Frank Schwab:

“The Lions were in the game at the end but they can’t be giving up 38 points at home. The Eagles might be pretty good this season and there’s no problem in losing to them, but the defensive issues need to get fixed right away.”

The Ringer: 29 (Previous: 26)

From Austin Gayle:

“Lions bettors rejoiced in a familiar beautiful backdoor cover late in the fourth quarter, but the bottom line is that while the Lions might have made it interesting late, the Eagles were in constant control of this game. Running back D’Andre Swift (144 rushing yards, 9.6 yards per carry) led to an offense that exceeded preseason expectations, but the defense had simply no answers for the duo of Jalen Hurts and AJ Brown. Detroit allowed 455 yards of total offense, the third-most of any team in Week 1.”

CBS Sports: 30 (Previous: 27)

From Pete Prisco:

“The way their defense played against the Eagles isn’t a good sign going forward. They did hang around, but when is that not enough anymore?”

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