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NFL Power Rankings Roundup: Ravens remain outside of the top 10

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It was surprising to see the Ravens actually play the Steelers on Wednesday. Despite missing many key players, the Ravens only lost by five to the only undefeated team in the NFL. Still, they did not make up much ground in this week’s power rankings.

ESPN kept the Ravens at number 11, and they looked ahead to their Week 14 matchup against the Browns.

If the Ravens want to virtually guarantee a third straight trip to the playoffs, they’ll need to win in Cleveland. The biggest obstacle standing in Baltimore’s way of 11 wins is the Browns, the only team with a winning record left on the schedule after Wednesday’s game in Pittsburgh. The Browns are 8-3, and the other remaining four teams on the Ravens’ schedule are a combined 10-33-1 (.238). Baltimore has won five of its past six games in Cleveland, but this year’s Browns are quite different from those teams. — Jamison Hensley

CBS Sports dropped them down two spots to number 14.

They faced big odds in trying to beat the Steelers without Lamar Jackson and many others. Now the schedule gets a little softer. They can still make a run.

Yahoo was impressed with the Ravens’ performance against the Steelers with 17 players on the COVID-19/reserve list. They moved the Ravens up to number 11.

The Ravens fought hard. It’s pretty amazing they had a shot to beat an undefeated Steelers team with 17 players including reigning MVP Lamar Jackson on the reserve/COVID-19 list. It was impressive enough I moved them up a spot from Monday’s original publication. I still believe if the Ravens are past their coronavirus outbreak that they can be a factor in January.

Sports Illustrated published their power rankings before the Ravens played the Steelers. They ranked the Ravens 11th overall.

Baltimore has dropped two straight winnable games, and I thought we’d get a chance to see if they can bounce back before this week’s rankings, but the postponed game with the Steelers means we’re catching them mid-week. Honestly, I don’t expect to learn much about them this week anyway, given how many players will be out. The schedule is very favorable the last five weeks (Cowboys, at Browns, Jaguars, Giants, at Bengals) so we should still see last year’s top seed get back in the playoff bracket if they can get everyone back on the field.

The Ravens remained at number 12 in NFL.com’s rankings this week. They referred to their effort against the Steelers as “highly commendable”.

John Harbaugh must have thought the whole world was against him these past 10 days. His roster gets decimated by a COVID-19 outbreak, and when he finally gets his team on the field for a bizarre Wednesday matinee against the Steelers, it feels like every call goes against Baltimore in a 19-14 defeat. All told, the Ravens delivered a highly commendable effort without many of their most important players — if they converted that near touchdown before halftime, the game’s outcome could have flipped. Unfortunately, moral victories only take you so far this time of year, and the Ravens could still be without Lamar Jackson in a must-win game against the Cowboys on Tuesday. Last chance to save the season.

Now, let’s take a quick look at the rest of the AFC North. ESPN and CBS Sports both gave the Steelers the top spot this week. The Browns surpassed the Ravens in three rankings (CBS Sports, Yahoo, Sports Illustrated) and made the top-ten in two rankings (CBS Sports, Yahoo). Finally, the Bengals were ranked 30th by four outlets (ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo, NFL.com).