The majority of national pundits continue to view the Baltimore Ravens as either the top team or among the top three in the league after they blew out the Seattle Seahawks 37-3 for their fourth win in a row. Now, it’s time to see where the team lands among the NFL landscape of power rankings heading into Week 10.
The Athletic: 1 (Last week: 2)
Report card: A-plus
The Ravens outgained a good Seattle team 515-151. Baltimore has won four games in a row by an average of 20 points (including a 32-point win over the Lions) and is first in the league in offensive EPA (32.21) and third in defensive EPA (44.73) in that period. It has allowed nine touchdowns (first in the league) and scored 27 (third in the league) this season, and its point differential (plus-115) is the best in the league and 35 points higher than second place.
USA Today: 1 (Last week: 2)
Baltimore? Tops in the league? Consider – no team is allowing fewer points per game (13.8); the +115 point differential is 35 clear of the next-closest club; and the Ravens have blown out two NFC divisional leaders (Detroit, Seattle) by a collective 75-9 in their past two home games, outgaining the Seahawks by nearly 400 yards. And when WR Odell Beckham Jr. scoring his first TD since Super Bowl 56 and rookie RB Keaton Mitchell rushing for 138 yards with his first NFL touches are mere gravy? Look out – meaning Cleveland and Cincinnati, teams headed to Charm City the next two weeks.
Yahoo Sports: 1 (Last week: 3)
In the past three weeks, the Ravens have two 30-point wins over first-place teams from the NFC. They have a couple of disappointing losses to the Colts and Steelers, though both were close and every team has its bad games. After the Ravens destroyed the Seahawks, with the defense shutting down Seattle and the run game putting up nearly 300 yards, the Ravens take the top spot in the NFL. They have the most impressive résumé, top to bottom. This team can win a Super Bowl.
NFL.com: 2 (Last week: 2)
Much of the buzz around this team surrounds Lamar Jackson, and there’s little mystery as to why. But the defense deserves heaps of praise, too. Baltimore now leads the NFL in points allowed (13.8 points per game), ranks second in yards per game allowed (262.6) and is third in sack percentage (9.4%). Any time you can rack up four sacks and hold a quality opponent to six first downs and three points, you’ve dominated. The Ravens gave up 24 points to Arizona in Week 8 (with all but seven of those points coming in the final seven minutes) but have allowed only 45 points combined in the other five games since Week 3. Now they have back-to-back home games against the Browns and Bengals. Ladies and gentlemen, the AFC North race is officially on. Baltimore looks really tough to beat now.
The Ringer: 2 (Last week: 3)
The Jackson-led Ravens offense enters Week 10 ranked fourth in offensive points per game, with new offensive coordinator Todd Monken unlocking the best of Jackson as a dropback passer. Yet, it’s not Jackson or Monken that’s deserving of the lion’s share of praise for the Ravens’ 7-2 start. Instead it’s defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, who has these Ravens drawing comparisons to the franchise’s vaunted 2000 defense. Baltimore is currently a full two points better than any other defense in the NFL in offensive points allowed per game, and only the Browns rank ahead of them in defensive EPA per snap. Truly thriving on both sides of the ball, the Ravens’ prospects are as good as any team at the top of the AFC right now.
Sporting News: 2 (Last week: 3)
The Ravens are doing their best to prove they’re the new team beat in the AFC with dominant defense and running game, not even needing too much from Lamar Jackson to roll opponents. John Harbaugh has done a great job meshing the team’s new versatile identity with the old-school successful foundation.
ESPN: 3 (Last week: 4)
Non-QB MVP: MLB Roquan Smith
He’s the quarterback and leading tackler on a defense that has allowed the fewest points in the NFL this season at 13.8 — an average of two points less per game than any other team. Smith is all over the field, recording 87 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 5 passes defensed. What can’t be measured is his impact as a vocal and emotional leader. Just like Ray Lewis years ago, Smith talks to the team in the final pregame huddle on the field. He’s the unquestioned tone-setter for the team. “His energy is infectious,” Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton said. “You don’t want to be the guy that isn’t matching his energy when you’re out there. We go as he goes.”
Sportsnaut: 1 (Last week: 1)
The Baltimore Ravens are the best team in the NFL and the gap only got wider in Week 9. Put Lamar Jackson in a shootout with the best offenses in the league, he’ll go punch-for-punch with them. Of course, that’s rarely necessary. The Ravens have the best NFL defense in 2023 and when you combine that with an MVP quarterback, phenomenal coaching and elite special teams, you’ve got the best NFL team in 2023.
Fox Sports: 2 (Last week: 4)
Even with some mind-bending losses, you could make the argument the Ravens have the best resume in the NFL to date. Two games against NFC division leaders in three weeks, and the Ravens won both by a combined score of 75-9. Dominant as their erasing of Seattle was on Sunday, it could’ve been more emphatic with slightly better red-zone execution.
CBS Sports: 2 (Last week: 2)
They don’t have a lot of stars on defense, but they have a lot of guys making plays. They might not be the 2000 Ravens defense, but it’s not far off at this point.
Pro Football Network: 2 (Last week: 1)
If anybody was questioning whether or not the Ravens are the best team in the AFC, they likely won’t any longer. Baltimore’s defense may only be bested by the Browns, and their offense is miles better than their division rival’s.
They thoroughly dismantled an NFC opponent who is fresh off making a trade deadline move to go all-in on competing for an NFC West title in 2023. Their defense embarrassed Seattle’s offense. Geno Smith completed fewer than half of his passes, and the Seahawks managed a long run of just six yards.
Sharp Football Analysis: 2 (Last week: 2)
It was not as dominating a performance as hoped coming off a big win, but the Ravens took care of business in Arizona to move to 6-2 and keep their name in the hat for the best team in the AFC. With the Bengals surging, Baltimore will need to keep winning to stake their claim to this division. They have a tough test this week against the Seahawks.
Bleacher Report: 3 (Last week: 4)
We need to start talking more about the Baltimore Ravens as the best team in the AFC.
For the second time in three weeks, the Ravens destroyed a first-place team. In Week 7, it was the Detroit Lions, who were down 28-0 before they ever had a first down. Sunday it was the Seattle Seahawks, who were dominated from start to finish in a 37-3 rout.
The star for the Ravens on Sunday was the ground game. Keyed by rookie Keaton Mitchell’s 15.3 yards per carry, the Ravens gouged the Seahawks for a staggering 298 yards on the ground. Baltimore averaged 7.3 yards per carry.
Walterfootball.com: 2 (Last week: 2)
The Ravens have destroyed both the Lions and Seahawks in two of the past three weeks, and now they have a dynamic speed threat coming out of their backfield in Keaton Mitchell. It’s fair to argue that the Ravens are the best team in the NFL.
Touchdown Wire: 3 (Last week: 5)
The Ravens have beaten the Lions and Seahawks by a combined score of 75-9. Their defense is so dangerous right now, and we all know how good Lamar Jackson is. This is a very dangerous team.
Sports Illustrated: 4 (Last week: 4)
I think the next best thing to having an elite stable of young, dynamic edge players is to have a rotation of the craftiest ones. Baltimore, with both Jadeveon Clowney and now Kyle Van Noy in the fold, alongside some of their more dynamic players up front, can be a maddening combination and a strip sack haven. I can imagine a playoff game turning dramatically because of one of these 30-plus-year-olds. All the good teams have them.