The Baltimore Ravens bounced back from a three-game losing streak and the absence of several key players with a commanding 34-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday night. However, it did not really affect their placement in the power rankings this week.
ESPN moved the Ravens down one spot to number 12. They listed Yannick Ngakoue as the “person with most at stake”.
Ngakoue needs to start making impact plays again to warrant either a long-term extension or another franchise tag. Since being acquired in a trade from the Vikings, Ngakoue has disappeared, totaling five tackles and one sack in five games. He hasn’t proved to be an every-down player, averaging 34 snaps per game. Ngakoue has been projected to be one of the top free agents in the NFL this offseason, but Baltimore will be faced with a difficult decision if he remains a nonfactor. — Jamison Hensley
CBS Sports kept them at 14th overall.
They looked dominant in beating the Cowboys, but the Cowboys aren’t very good. Now they have a huge game at Cleveland against the Browns.
Yahoo was not swayed by their performance against the Cowboys and moved them down one spot to number 12.
It’s hard to tell if the Ravens turned a corner or just went against an inept defense. But rushing for nearly 300 yards was a callback to the 2019 dominance they had. They’ll have to repeat that against a better defense than Dallas, but it was a good sign.
Sports Illustrated placed them at number 14.
Despite a strong offseason on paper, the Ravens failed to evolve beyond their record-breaking offense from a year ago. They are not stagnant but they are also no longer on the cutting edge. They are upper middle tier at this moment.
NFL.com gave the Ravens their highest ranking this week by ranking them 9th overall.
Uh-oh. Are the Ravens back? Lamar Jackson torched an opponent with his arm and legs, and Baltimore rushed for 294 yards in a performance that evoked memories of the team’s dominant 14-2 run of 2019. Yes, the pathetic Cowboys defense has been making other teams look good all season, but this felt like an important game for a Ravens squad that needed a shot of optimism in what had been a six-week stretch of frustration. A huge prime-time showdown with Cleveland looms — and you get the feeling the Browns will be forced to tangle with a hyper-confident Ravens team that’s ready for takeoff.
As for the rest of the AFC North, the Steelers did not receive a number one spot in any ranking this week after losing to the Washington Football Team; they were still an unanimous top-three selection. The Browns were ranked 6th overall by three outlets (CBS Sports, Yahoo, Sports Illustrated). Finally, the Bengals were ranked 30th overall by all five outlets this week.