The majority of national pundits view the Baltimore Ravens as a top-five and even a top three team in the league after they completed the regular season sweep of the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11. Now, it’s time to see where the team lands among the NFL landscape of power rankings heading into Week 12.
NFL.com: 2 (Last week: 3)
The Mark Andrews injury is a cruel twist of fate for a team that, in spite of Week 10’s meltdown loss to Cleveland, still has looked like a Super Bowl-caliber group more often than not this season. The Pro Bowl tight end had been their rock, a steady source of production. That’s gone, but Baltimore’s hopes aren’t. TE Isaiah Likely has been a bit of a ghost this year in the pass game (nine catches in 11 games), but he looked like an emerging weapon last season, so I am not discounting him. Plus, after Odell Beckham Jr. ‘s breakout game and touchdowns from Nelson Agholor and Rashod Bateman (not to mention, a Zay Flowers TD that was called back), Lamar Jackson really does have an array of pass catchers to lean on.
Fox Sports: 3 (Last week: 3)
Baltimore wound up with a big, big division win, but losing Mark Andrews is a steep price to pay. Hopefully, Odell Beckham Jr.’s shoulder injury isn’t severe, because the Ravens need all hands on deck to replace Andrews’ production in the passing game — particularly in the red zone.
The Athletic: 4 (Last week: 6)
Are they good? Yes
The Ravens are tied for first in the league in point differential (plus-127). They are second in points allowed per drive (1.29) and seventh in points scored per drive (2.34). Losing Mark Andrews, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the win over Cincinnati, hurts, but Baltimore’s receiving corps looks better than it has in years. Rookie Zay Flowers is dynamic. Odell Beckham Jr. has 10 catches in the last three weeks. And Nelson Agholor has three touchdowns this season after the beauty below.
The Ringer: 4 (Last week: 3)
Who is playing better ball right now than the Ravens? Plenty of teams have had hotter stretches, but on both sides of the ball, the Ravens have been nothing but a legit contender for two months now.
Of course, it isn’t about how good you are when the playoffs roll around. It’s about how healthy you are. The Ravens have been dealing with short-term injuries all season, but the loss of star tight end Mark Andrews due to a cracked fibula and injured ankle is enormous. He is Lamar Jackson’s most reliable target and accordingly leaves behind enormous shoes for someone to fill. Isaiah Likely? Zay Flowers? Odell Beckham Jr.? That needs to be figured out in the next seven weeks of football.
ESPN: 5 (Last week: 5)
Preseason hot seat: WR Rashod Bateman
Current temperature of hot seat: Hot
Bateman continues to flash at times, but he still hasn’t made a convincing argument for Baltimore to pick up his fifth-year option. He ranks third among Ravens wide receivers with 20 catches and fourth with 215 receiving yards. Bateman is still having problems getting into the end zone — he has four touchdown catches in three seasons, and there are seven wide receivers in Bateman’s 2021 draft class who have more. It hasn’t helped that quarterback Lamar Jackson has overthrown him a couple of times this season when he got behind the secondary. However, Bateman’s opportunities could increase because of tight end Mark Andrews’ likely season-ending ankle injury.
Sharp Football Analysis: 3 (Last week: 6)
The story of the game was Joe Burrow’s season-ending injury, but the Ravens lost Mark Andrews to what could also be a season-ending blow earlier in the game. Lamar Jackson also came up limping several times, and Odell Beckham left the game early after going for 116 yards. With Andrews out, the Ravens will need the trio of receivers that got all the attention this offseason to step up. On the bright side, the division suddenly looks a lot more secure given the injuries to Burrow and Deshaun Watson as well as the Steelers’ inability to score points.
Touchdown Wire: 3 (Last week: 5)
With the injuries in the AFC North at the quarterback position (and the Steelers’ quarterback situation being what it is), it looks like Baltimore’s division to lose.
USA Today: 4 (Last week: 5)
Baltimore’s top-ranked running game is in fine shape, Lamar Jackson now the first quarterback in league history to rush for at least 500 yards in each of his first six seasons. RB Gus Edwards has 10 TDs already after totaling nine over the previous three years. But a 20th-ranked passing game better hope TE Isaiah Likely can capably fill in for injured All-Pro Mark Andrews.
Bleacher Report: 4 (Last week: 4)
The good news for the Baltimore Ravens is that after a heartbreaking Week 10 loss to the Cleveland Browns, they got back on the right track Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The bad news is that it was a costly victory—because in the win star tight end Mark Andrews suffered an ankle injury and cracked fibula.
Against a Bengals team that suffered its own devastating injury, Andrews’ absence didn’t matter. But if the Ravens are going to make a deep playoff run, they will have to overhaul the passing game on the fly if Andrews does not return.
Sportsnaut: 4 (Last week: 4)
The Mark Andrews injury won’t cost the Baltimore Ravens immediately. With upcoming games against the Chargers, Rams and Jaguars, Baltimore has a path to double-digit wins and that should be enough in a division that lost two of its starting quarterbacks within the last week. Unfortunately for Baltimore, a team that has already proven it gets in its way in critical situations, Andrews’ absence will be felt in January.
Yahoo Sports: 5 (Last week: 5)
The Browns aren’t going away quietly and the Bengals might not either. And Baltimore wasn’t rooting for injuries. But seeing the Browns and Bengals lose their starting quarterbacks for the rest of the season last week was massive news for the Ravens. It would be a huge disappointment if Baltimore didn’t win the division, even without Mark Andrews.
Sporting News: 5 (Last week: 2)
The Ravens took complete control of the AFC North by dominating to finish their sweep of the Bengals on Thursday, with Lamar Jackson, Odell Beckham Jr. and the offense adjusting well to the loss of Mark Andrews. Now it’s down to them and the Steelers again separating from their injury-riddled rivals in the league’s toughest division.
Walterfootball.com: 3 (Last week: 3)
The Ravens had a Pyrrhic victory despite sweeping the Bengals. They lost Mark Andrews on the opening drive to what seems like a season-ending injury. I don’t need to tell you that this is an enormous loss, but the Ravens can still win without him. They’ll be far less dominant, however.
Sports Illustrated: 7 (Last week: 5)
The Ravens come off a bye week following a disappointing loss to the Browns, but still own one of the better Super Bowl-caliber rosters in the NFL. Their upcoming schedule, starting with a (potentially) sneakily frustrating game against the Los Angeles Chargers, doesn’t let up through the entirety of December. The Dolphins, 49ers, Jaguars and Steelers are looming.
Pro Football Network: 7 (Last week: 7)
The Ravens are incredibly talented, but they’re really hard to trust. Lamar Jackson is an incredible talent, and their passing attack has elevated to another level this season. However, they consistently shoot themselves in the foot offensively with silly turnovers, and the injury bug is always looming large around this organization.
CBS Sports: 8 (Last week: 8)
The offense impressed against the Bengals last Thursday, but the defense wasn’t great before Joe Burrow went out. They will be challenged by Justin Herbert this week.