Coming off their bye week, the Baltimore Ravens saw no major movement in this week’s power rankings.
Boykin has failed to step up into the No. 2 wide receiver role for the Ravens, totaling 11 catches for 122 yards (ranking 104th among NFL wideouts). Boykin has struggled to develop any chemistry with Lamar Jackson and his increasing miscommunication with the quarterback has become a hot topic in Baltimore. With defenses loading up the box to stop the run game, Boykin can make teams pay with some big plays on the outside. The Ravens need a third option because teams are focusing their coverages to stop wide receiver Marquise Brown and tight end Mark Andrews. — Jamison Hensley
They come off their bye with a big one against the Steelers. It will be the unveiling of the new-look defense with Yannick Ngakoue.
The Ravens also moved up one spot in Sports Illustrated’s rankings. They are now fourth overall.
Somehow, Baltimore has been quietly methodical this season. With all the focus on Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Lamar Jackson has been able to humbly mount another impressive campaign.
Yahoo placed them at number two for the fifth consecutive week.
NFL.com kept them at number four and applauded their acquisition of Yannick Ngakoue.
How could you not love the win-now move by Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta, who pulled the trigger on a trade last week to import Pro Bowl defensive end Yannick Ngakoue from the Vikings for a pair of draft picks? Ngakoue gives John Harbaugh a bookend pass rusher to line up opposite Matthew Judon, bringing more ferocity to a defense that entered the Week 7 bye tops in football in points allowed per game (17.3) and tied for second in sacks (22). Ngakoue’s ability to win one-on-one battles and cause havoc adds another dimension to a Baltimore D that typically relies on blitzing to get to the passer. The next five weeks will bring matchups against Ben Roethlisberger (Week 8 and 12), Philip Rivers, Cam Newton and Ryan Tannehill. Baltimore’s defense should be ready for the challenge.
The Steelers unsurprisingly rose this week following their victory over the Titans; they are now the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL. Three outlets (ESPN, CBS Sports, and Sports Illustrated) gave them the top spot this week. Yahoo, Sports Illustrated, and CBS Sports each ranked the Browns 12th overall in their respective rankings, while the Bengals received an average ranking of 26.4.