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NFL Power Rankings: Bengals Ahead Of Ravens?

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Talk about a lack of respect! The Super Bowl Champions are not only not the top ranked team going into the 2013 season, they're not even ranked first in their own division!

Rob Carr

Yeah, I know 2013 NFL Power Rankings are totally worthless at this point of the year and probably will still be worthless until the Super Bowl in February 2014. However, even though one might understand why the Baltimore Ravens might not be at the top of the rankings, you'd think they should be at least favored to repeat in the AFC North, wouldn't you?

Not according to the NFL.com Power Rankings, where the Ravens continue to get no love from the so-called expert analysts. Baltimore is ranked ninth, one spot behind their AFC rivals. The Pittsburgh Steelers you say? Nope, try the Cincinnati Bengals.

Top ranking goes to the San Francisco 49ers, which could have a decent argument despite losing to the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII. Right behind them are their NFC West arch-rival Seattle Seahawks. After them come the Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots to round out the top five.

The Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans then come before the Bengals and Ravens, with the New York Giants at #10. Somewhat satisfying are the Steelers way back at #19.

However, to rank Broncos and Patriots, two teams the Ravens beat in the 2013 playoffs after being nine-plus point underdogs, much less the Bengals, is a little much to stomach. At least ESPN.com's Power Rankings has the Ravens at #8, just ahead of the Bengals.

The Ravens were as high as 5th last season in some rankings, such as Yahoo! Sports' 2012 Final Preseason NFL Team Power Rankings.