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2022 NFL Power Rankings Week 4: Ravens are top 10, but pundits see flaws

How the NFL Power Rankings realm views the Ravens

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Buffalo Bills v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

After a 17-point lead dwindled away in the second half, the Baltimore Ravens suffered a 23-20 defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Bills. With their second three-score lead blown in two weeks, pundits are confused on how to rank the Ravens. They recognize the ability of quarterback Lamar Jackson and the offense and the takeaway ability of the defense. But, when things go south in the second half, it’s hard to judge the Ravens when they’re both at their best and worst in multiple games.

The Athletic: 4 (Previous: 5)

From: Bo Wulf

“John Harbaugh’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line in a 20-20 game with 4:15 left was bold and deserved inspection after it turned into a Lamar Jackson interception. Not only did it mean the Ravens failed to take the lead, but it also set the Bills up on the 20 instead of backed up against their own goal line. But following the right process means following the right process all the time, and Harbaugh explained his decision eloquently. That doesn’t mean there isn’t also a lot to question, like the play call itself, or how softly the defense responded by letting the Bills milk the clock down to a game-winning last-second field goal. Still, the Ravens have shown their upside. Maybe they can petition the league to make the playoffs only three-quarter games.” 7 (Previous: 7)

From: Dan Hanzus

“The Ravens are clearly a dangerous team, but man, do they know how to lose. Baltimore built a 20-3 first-half advantage over the powerhouse Bills, only to watch it all slip away in a last-second loss that left John Harbaugh answering questions about a fourth-down gamble that went terribly awry. “So, hindsight, you could take the points,” Harbaugh said of the decision to bypass a go-ahead field goal and instead go for it on fourth down with just over four minutes remaining. “But if you look at it analytically, you understand why we did it.” Understandable? Sure. But poor execution — Lamar Jackson floated a pass into the end zone that was intercepted by Bills safety Jordan Poyer — led to a defeat every bit as bitter as the fourth-quarter meltdown against the Dolphins in Week 2. Get this out of your system now, gang.”

ESPN: 9 (Previous 6)

From: Jamison Hensley

“Defensive efficiency: 52.3
League rank: 16th
The biggest issue on defense is ... finishing the game.

The Ravens have lost two games this season in which they have led by 17 points or more because they can’t stop teams late in games. In the second half, Baltimore has given up an NFL-worst 1,019 yards while allowing 67 points. The Ravens used to get offenses off the field when they had Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs forcing clutch turnovers. This season, Baltimore defenders are making it too easy with missed assignments and no consistent pass rush. In the fourth quarter, opposing quarterbacks have posted an NFL-best 88.6 QBR against the Ravens, throwing five touchdowns and getting sacked twice.”

NBC Sports: 9 (Previous: 8)

From: Mike Florio

“Why did John Harbaugh go for the touchdown on fourth down? He can’t trust his defense.”

MMQB: 5 (Previous: 7)

From: Connor Orr

“This is twice in four weeks that the Ravens have sprinted out to massive leads (28–7 vs. the Dolphins, 17–3 vs. the Bills) that they couldn’t close out. Their offense is still an absolute clock-draining menace (38 minutes of possession) but their inability to stop opponents on critical drives is starting to raise eyebrows.”

Sporting News: 10 (Previous: 8)

From: Vinnie Iyer

“The Ravens’ defense rose to the occasion as much as possible against Josh Allen, but they again made some little mistakes to blow a lead against the Bills, much like Week 2 vs. the Dolphins. Lamar Jackson is still carrying much of the team but it was good to see more of a healthy J.K. Dobbins.”

Yahoo Sports: 6 (Previous: 8)

From: Frank Schwab

“I get why John Harbaugh went for it instead of kicking a field goal in the fourth quarter on Sunday, but I think he should have taken the points. Then again, it’s hard to believe three points there was going to be enough to beat the Bills in regulation. It wasn’t an easy spot. The Ravens are still a very good team, one that will be even better with J.K. Dobbins reemerging to help Lamar Jackson in the run game. They just couldn’t hold off the Bills after taking a 20-3 lead, which isn’t ideal but not the end of the world either. Let’s see what happens Sunday night against the Bengals.”

CBS Sports: 11 (Previous: 8)

From: Pete Prisco

“Their defense is awful right now, which limits their chances to win. That is not a Ravens team we’ve come to expect.”

The Ringer: 6 (Previous: 5)

“Lamar Jackson is having to do this alone. The Ravens are completely dependent on his heroics every single week to win football games. This week, Jackson was failed by his coaches. After going 12-of-16 for 108 yards and a touchdown in the first half, Jackson completed just eight passes for 36 yards and threw two picks in the second half against Buffalo. The Bills adjusted; Greg Roman didn’t. The longtime NFL offensive coordinator just isn’t putting Jackson (or the Ravens’ other skill players) in a position to succeed or capitalize on easy offense.”