The majority of national pundits view the Baltimore Ravens as one of the top five teams in the league and some are even higher on them after they blew out the Detroit Lions 38-6 in their loudest statement and best performance of the season thus far. Now, it’s time to see where the team lands among the NFL landscape of power rankings heading into Week 8.
The Athletic: 3 (Last week: 12)
One question: Can we give Lamar Jackson his due?
The Ravens quarterback won his 50th career game in his 68th career start Sunday. Only Ken Stabler, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Roger Staubach got to 50 wins in fewer starts. And Jackson did it in style, becoming the fourth player in league history to have at least 350 passing yards, three touchdown passes, one rushing touchdown and a passer rating above 150 in a game. After seven games in new coordinator Todd Monken’s offense, Jackson is third in the league in passer rating (101.9) and fifth in yards per game (281.9), according to TruMedia.
ESPN: 5 (Last week: 9)
Young riser: S Geno Stone
Has there been any bigger riser in the league this year than 24-year-old Stone? He has gone from a seventh-round pick in 2020 who was waived twice in his rookie season to the NFL’s leader in interceptions. Stone is the biggest surprise on one of the league’s top defenses because he wasn’t even a projected starter. He stepped in for the injured Marcus Williams and has picked off four passes in seven games. “I think he’s a good example of someone that takes care of the details on a day-to-day basis, comes to work every day, does his best, doesn’t complain, doesn’t get all caught up in things [like], ‘Why is this not happening for me’ or ‘That’s not happening for me,’” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “Then, when his opportunity comes, he’s prepared, and he makes the most of it.”
Sporting News: 3 (Last week: 7)
The Ravens unleashed the full power of their new passing game with Lamar Jackson and it was beautiful watch, as they passed to score and ran to win. The Ravens’ defense also rose to a roaring challenge.
Bleacher Report: 3 (Last week: 8)
The Baltimore Ravens were 4-2 entering Week 7. But the team lacked a signature win—a statement victory that established the Ravens as a true power in the AFC.
They got that win Sunday.
Simply put, the Ravens demolished a red-hot Detroit Lions team, dominating every aspect of the game. Quarterback Lamar Jackson threw for 357 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for a fourth. Tight end Mark Andrews caught a pair of touchdown passes. And Baltimore completely shut down the Lions offensively, allowing just five third-down conversions in 16 tries.
Sportsnaut: 1 (Last week: 6)
The Baltimore Ravens are the best team in the NFL when they don’t shoot themselves in the foot repeatedly. Watching Lamar Jackson, you see a quarterback who is executing arguably at an even higher level than in his MVP season. Meanwhile, the Ravens have the best defense in the league since acquiring Roquan Smith before the 2022 NFL trade deadline. If the Ravens can stay healthy and avoid so many self-inflicted wounds, which are both Orlando Brown-sized IFs – the Ravens can hoist the Lombardi Trophy in February.
Pro Football Network: 3 (Last week: 8)
The Ravens’ defense is arguably only bested by Cleveland’s. However, doing what they did against the Lions’ potent offense was further proof that Mike Macdonald could be looking at head coaching opportunities as soon as this upcoming offseason.
The Ravens’ offensive line also had a strong day against the Lions’ impressive pass rush. They protected Lamar Jackson well, and even when Detroit won a matchup, Jackson was able to create something out of nothing.
CBS Sports: 3 (Last week: 9)
With all the focus on Lamar Jackson, it’s easy to overlook the defense. But that side of the ball has been really good as well.
Sharp Football Analysis: 3 (Last week: 11)
After offensive performances I described as “sleepwalking” early in the season, the offense finally clicked in a big way against the Lions. The Ravens scored 28 points in the first half, and Lamar Jackson accounted for four total touchdowns in a 38-6 win, the kind of win that announces Baltimore as a serious contender in the AFC. Given how well the defense has played despite injuries early in the season, Baltimore can beat anyone if the offense plays like they did against the Lions.
The Ringer: 4 (Last week: 7)
The Ravens rocked the Lions on Sunday, scoring touchdowns on their first four drives to take a 28-0 lead before finishing Detroit off, 38-6. Lamar Jackson is playing like an MVP candidate now that he has a healthy offensive line led by left tackle Ronnie Stanley, plus the best Ravens receiving group in years. Jackson is demonstrating the best pocket presence of his career, and on Sunday he had his best EPA per dropback (0.73) and yards per attempt (13.2) in a game since his 2019 MVP season. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s group smothered Detroit’s, and he may end up a head coach by next season. The Ravens defense has allowed the fewest points in the NFL (97) despite not having had their bye week yet.
NFL.com: 4 (Last week: 9)
The Lions said they wanted to force Lamar Jackson to throw the ball, and the quarterback responded with his best game since early last season. Nine Ravens caught passes Sunday; six had 30 or more receiving yards. The run game was neatly divided among Gus Edwards, Justice Hill and Jackson. The Ravens’ one turnover came when they were already up 28-zip. They punted twice, holding a lead of 30-plus points on both. It was a banner day on defense, too, as Baltimore smothered Detroit’s dangerous offense early. It was the kind of statement victory that makes you think the Ravens have as good a shot to make the Super Bowl as any AFC team right now. A 10-2 record at the bye wouldn’t be shocking, but Baltimore must prove its offense has taken the proverbial next step.
Sports Illustrated: 4 (Last week: 9)
Here’s my column from Sunday on Lamar Jackson. Albert Breer and I dissected it on the latest MMQB podcast as well. I think the Ravens are operating with max efficiency on both sides of the ball. Mike Macdonald is having a hell of a season as a defensive coordinator and Jackson is more efficient and dangerous than ever as a passer. I have to imagine that putting these micro-evolutions under the Ravens’ umbrella of preparedness and edge-finding makes them a far more serious contender than we may have assumed at the outset of the season.
Fox Sports: 4 (Last week: 9)
We’ve been waiting for the Ravens to put up a complete performance all season, but the word “complete” doesn’t do justice to what we saw Sunday. The Ravens had 357 yards and a 28-0 lead at halftime, as the passing game sprang to life for the first time this season. We knew the defense was dominant, but if the offense is capable of even playing close to that level, the Ravens are easily among the league’s elite teams.
USA Today: 4 (Last week: 10)
Good news – QB Lamar Jackson is now 16-1 all-time against NFC teams. Better news – Baltimore has four more interconference games left during the regular season. And apparently the smart money is on Baltimore if Jackson ever reaches the Super Bowl.
Yahoo Sports: 4 (Last week: 8)
Now that the Titans have traded safety Kevin Byard for little return, the Ravens need to be on the phone nonstop with Tennessee about Derrick Henry until a deal gets done. Imagine what an elite running back could do for an offense that seems to be taking off.
Walterfootball.com: 3 (Last week: 6)
The Ravens had a hideous offensive performance against the Titans in the red zone last week, but they made amends for that by scoring touchdowns on every significant drive versus the Lions. Baltimore’s defense was terrific versus Detroit.
Touchdown Wire: 6 (Last week: 11)
In terms of DVOA, that was the best game the Baltimore Ravens have ever played, and they did it against a team who was a top five team entering the week. Expecting them to look like that every week would be naïve, but it was good to see them put together a flawless football game. They are as dangerous as anyone right now, and they take a huge jump.