Saturday, September 10, 2022

Detroit Lions Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Detroit Lions in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 26

Who's on the hot seat: QB Jared Goff

There's a big opportunity for Goff in Detroit, and the front office has faith that he can produce, which is why it didn't draft a quarterback with either of its two first-round picks in the 2022 draft. However, Goff has to show up to secure a long-term future with the Lions. He is currently in the last year of his fully guaranteed money, and Detroit has stronger targets around him, including wide receivers DJ Chark and Amon-Ra St. Brown, as well as a strong offensive line. -- Rank: 25

How could you not root for "Rodrigo"? It's not uncommon in the history of Hard Knocks to see a camp underdog find his way onto the final 53-man roster as a deep reserve. It is uncommon to watch that kind of NFL Films underdog win a starting job outright. That appears to be a real possibility for Malcolm Rodriguez, the Oklahoma State linebacker whose gone from sixth-round afterthought to regular practice reps with Detroit's first-team defense. If Dan Campbell were to invent a Grit Machine, it would be Rodriguez -- nicknamed "Rodrigo" by his coach -- who would emerge from the fog of the laboratory; a high-motor, all-effort tackling machine who lives for the fight. The Lions will need big contributions in unexpected places to contend for a playoff spot -- Rodrigo could be one of those guys.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 27

Dan Campbell has this team heading in the right direction. They will beat some good teams this year, but watch out in 2023.

The Athletic -- Rank: 27

The good news: Both lines of scrimmage look to be in good shape, which might take a team with the fifth-easiest schedule far enough to be a surprise contender.

The bad news: Jared Goff seems like a nice, well-adjusted dude, but he's still the quarterback.

Nugget to remember: There is little year-to-year correlation in red zone defense. For instance, three of the bottom-five red zone defenses in 2020 went on to have top-10 red zone defenses in 2021. The Lions, meanwhile, finished 31st in red zone defense each of the last two seasons. A spike in the other direction would help a lot.

The Ringer -- Rank: 26

Dan Campbell has something all losing teams search for desperately in their rebuilding efforts: buy-in. Veteran Running back Jamaal Williams crying with passion in training camp is an extension of the same want-to and competitive mindset that had the team go 10-7 against the spread in 2021. The raw talent on the roster, however, is still limiting and will ultimately prevent the team from unleashing the hell they want to until long-term solutions are found at quarterback.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 24

The Lions gave us a good "Hard Knocks" show. What is clear already is Aidan Hutchinson, the second overall pick of the draft, has a chance to be really good. This should be a fun season in Detroit.

PFT -- Rank: 28

Can they climb the ladder? Absolutely. Will they? We'll see.

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