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NFL Power Rankings Roundup: Ravens gain more ground

NFL: New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens extended their winning streak to four games on Sunday with a 27-13 victory over the New York Giants, and they continued their climb up the power rankings.

ESPN placed them at number six. They listed getting a number one wide receiver as the team’s “New Year’s resolution”.

A proven No. 1 wide receiver for Lamar Jackson is the missing piece of the Ravens’ high-scoring offense. Last offseason, the Cardinals traded for DeAndre Hopkins for quarterback Kyler Murray and the Bills acquired Stefon Diggs for QB Josh Allen. Baltimore has to get just as aggressive if it wants Jackson to take the next step as a passer. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown has been too inconsistent to be relied upon to be a No. 1 receiver, ranking 42nd in the NFL with 728 yards receiving. — Jamison Hensley

CBS Sports called the Ravens “dangerous” if they make the playoffs. They moved them up one spot this week to eighth overall.

They need one more victory to be in the playoffs. They will be dangerous come playoff time as they continue to improve.

Yahoo also put them at number eight.

The Ravens caught the break they needed when the Steelers came back to beat the Colts. Now all the Ravens have to do is beat the Bengals and they’re in the playoffs. And the way they’re playing lately, nobody will want to face them.

The Ravens jumped five spots in Sports Illustrated’s rankings this week; they are now ranked fifth overall.

Their midseason slump was the result of bad luck in the red zone and a rash of injuries; the answers were always there for the Ravens offense, even if it doesn’t return to 2019 levels. Considering the defense is, if healthy, top five, this is the wild-card team no one wants to play in January.

They remained at number five in NFL.com’s rankings.

The Ravens stayed scorching hot in a 27-13 win over the Giants that, combined with losses by the Browns and Colts, put Baltimore in control of its playoff destiny entering Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Bengals. The Ravens have been a different team during the four-game winning streak that revitalized their season: In that stretch, Baltimore became the fourth team in the Super Bowl era to score 140-plus points and gain 900-plus rushing yards in a four-game span. They’ve beaten their opponents in that period by an average of 15.5 points. They look pretty much exactly like the 14-2 berserker team that rampaged its way to the AFC’s No. 1 seed a year ago. This is not good news for the rest of the AFC.

Now, let’s take a quick look at the rest of the AFC North. The Steelers were ranked in a similar range across the five power rankings; their placings were fifth, sixth, sixth, seventh, and sixth. The Browns fell after their surprising loss to the Jets. CBS Sports, Yahoo, and Sports Illustrated all dropped them out of their respective top-tens. Finally, the Bengals were ranked either 28th or 29th in every ranking this week.