The Baltimore Ravens had an important matchup last Sunday. The Houston Texans were in playoff position and looked like a good test for the Ravens. Well, the Ravens easily passed that test winning 41-7. With victories over the Texans, Patriots, and Seahawks, the Ravens have now proved they are capable of beating anyone. As a result, they are an unanimous top 2 team in this week's power rankings.
ESPN moved the Ravens up 1 spot to number 2 overall and cited Nick Boyle as the team's most underrated player.
Boyle often takes a backseat to the Ravens’ pass-catching tight ends -- Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst -- with fans. But Boyle is the NFL’s top blocking tight end and a major reason Baltimore has rushed for 2,038 yards -- the most by any team in its first 10 games of a season since the 1977 Bears. “We all know how valuable he is,” Andrews said. “He’s basically what makes this offense tick.” -- Jamison Hensley
CBS Sports has the Ravens remaining at number 1 after giving them the top spot last week.
They have clearly established themselves as a Super Bowl contender. Lamar Jackson is the main story, but that defense is improving by the week.
Yahoo placed them at number 2 and mentioned that it could be difficult for the Ravens to take the number 1 seed in the AFC.
The Ravens’ next three games are at the Rams, vs. 49ers and at the Bills. No easy ones there. New England also has three tough ones coming up. The Patriots’ next three games are vs. Cowboys, at Texans and vs. Chiefs before they finish with three easily winnable games. The Ravens obviously have the tiebreaker. It would seem that over the next three weeks, the Ravens need to somehow get things evened up to have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the AFC. It’s wild that they might need to go 14-2 to make that happen, but that’s the reality.
NFL.com also put them at number 2. Interestingly, they were the only outlet to rank the 49ers 1st.
The Ravens in their top gear can be a breathtaking watch. Although if you’re a team with the misfortune of having Baltimore on your schedule these last few weeks, the watch is closer to a horror movie in which you’re the doomed teenager trapped inside the shuttered amusement park. Just ask the Texans, a perfectly good -- and intermittently very good -- team that had absolutely no chance on Sunday. Lamar Jackson did his ”I’m obviously the MVP, guys” thing, while Baltimore’s defense -- an Achilles’ heel earlier this season -- battered Deshaun Watson into submission. The Ravens finished with seven sacks and came within one Carlos Hyde garbage-time burst of a shutout. The Ravens continue to chase the Pats for the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but it’s Baltimore with the title of Team You Don’t Want To Play. Again, just ask the Texans ... whenever they come out of their catatonic shock.
As for the rest of the AFC North, the Steelers fell out of the top 15 across the board after losing to the Browns on Thursday night. Despite the victory, the Browns failed to gain much ground due to the loss of Myles Garrett. They failed to crack the top 20 in any ranking this week. The Bengals remain winless and at the bottom across the board.
The Ravens will seek their 7th straight win Monday night against the Rams.