The majority of national pundits view the Baltimore Ravens as a Top-3 team and some even have them as No. 2 in the league after beating the Los Angeles Rams in overtime this past Sunday. Now, it’s time to see where the team lands among the NFL landscape of power rankings heading into Week 15.
NFL.com: 2 (Last week: 2)
Lamar Jackson’s MVP campaign isn’t hurting after his heroic effort against the Rams, which included a thrilling TD drive (with the scoring pass going to rookie WR Zay Flowers) and successful two-point conversion (also thrown to Flowers) to give the Ravens a late lead, before Tylan Wallace’s pinch-hit punt-return TD ultimately sealed the deal in overtime. With the win and Miami’s loss on Monday night, Baltimore owns the AFC’s No. 1 overall seed while also leading the AFC North by two games, though Sunday wasn’t easy. In fact, that was arguably the most this Ravens defense has been stressed all season — as evidenced by the 37-31 final — but there were enough big plays on that side not to stress too much about a unit that has played far more good football than bad. And Jackson helps widen the margin for error when he plays like he did in Week 14, stinging the Rams time and time again with his legs and arm. One way or another, we badly need a Joe Flacco-Lamar Jackson showdown in the playoffs. If the NFL scriptwriters are any kind of benevolent folk, they’ll ensure this happens.
Sports Illustrated: 2 (Last week: 3)
This was yet another instance of the Ravens being forced to pull every gadget out of the Swiss army knife. Through that process, I feel like we’re left with the conclusion that, outside of the Eagles and 49ers, this is the deepest team in the NFL. It’s not just that the reserve punt returner (Tylan Wallace) won the game in overtime, but the backup tight end (Isaiah Likely) was also a beast. This game gave us a bit of everything: vintage Lamar and current Lamar. And another monster game from a guy who I think is going to rake in the playoffs: Justin Madubuike.
Sharp Football Analysis: 2 (Last week: 2)
The Ravens got all they wanted from a good Rams team which beat the Browns in Week 13. Promisingly given their late-game struggles earlier this season, Baltimore was able to drive for a touchdown late and, despite giving up a field goal to force overtime, win on a walk-off punt return touchdown. The road does not get easier with the Jaguars, 49ers, and Dolphins the next three weeks. The Ravens will have to earn the No. 1 seed if they want that bye.
The Athletic: 3 (Last week: 2)
Fantasy spotlight: Odell Beckham Jr.
After a slow start, Beckham has had at least 9.6 fantasy points per game in four of his last five games. He had a season-high 15.7 on Sunday after posting 97 yards and catching four passes that resulted in either a first down or a touchdown. His ascendance has helped the Ravens overcome the loss of tight end Mark Andrews and stay in position for the top seed in the AFC.
ESPN: 3 (Last week: 4)
Biggest improvement: Ball security
In the first five games, the Ravens turned the ball over eight times (two interceptions and six lost fumbles), which was tied for the eighth-most turnovers in the league. In the past eight games, in which Baltimore has gone 7-1, the Ravens have committed seven turnovers (four interceptions and three lost fumbles), which is tied for the fifth fewest in the league. The Ravens have proved that they are a difficult team to beat when they don’t give the ball away.
The Ringer: 3 (Last week: 2)
This feels like the Ravens’ year. Todd Monken and Lamar Jackson are a match made in heaven, and the offensive skill group is jelling better and better every week. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s group ranks second behind only the 49ers in points allowed per game. Baltimore’s three losses this season have come by a combined 12 points, and their plus-143 point differential ranks third in the NFL. While the Bills and Chiefs both experience down years, the Ravens should remain the favorites to win the AFC as long as they handle their business over the next four weeks.
Sportsnaut: 2 (Last week: 3)
Could this be a turning point for the Baltimore Ravens? We’ve seen far too many instances of this team collapsing in the fourth quarter, allowing self-inflicted wounds to steal defeat from the jaws of victory. Tylan Wallace might’ve reversed the curse. Baltimore has everything in place to be the best team in the AFC, it just needs to get out of its own way.
Sporting News: 3 (Last week: 3)
The Ravens revved up their passing game well after the bye to emerge in a shootout with the Rams on Sunday, highlighted by a sweet Lamar Jackson rally with a lot of Zay Flowers. Baltimore is becoming more dangerous as the AFC team to beat with other contenders fading.
Yahoo Sports: 3 (Last week: 3)
What a week for the Ravens. They won in overtime against the Rams, which is a quality win, especially considering the rainy conditions. Then they watched the Chiefs and Dolphins lose at home. The Jaguars lost too. That opens the door wide open for the Ravens to get the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Fox Sports: 3 (Last week: 2)
It was nice to see the Ravens’ offense flex its muscles. That game-tying drive at the end of regulation was Lamar Jackson’s finest moment of the season, and his receivers are starting to really shine. Not a dominant day for the defense, but that’s why it’s so important to have an MVP quarterback who can help you overcome that.
USA Today: 3 (Last week: 2)
They’re in a dogfight for the second No. 1 playoff seed in franchise history (2019) … and that will include facing first-place teams (Jacksonville, San Francisco, Miami) each of the next three weeks before the regular-season finale with archrival Pittsburgh.
CBS Sports: 3 (Last week: 5)
Finding a way to win games when you don’t play well is a sign of a good team. The Ravens did that against the Rams. The defense needs to tighten up, though.
Bleacher Report: 3 (Last week: 3)
Granted, not many expected the Baltimore Ravens to need a punt return touchdown in overtime to get past the Los Angeles Rams at home Sunday. But in the NFL, there are no “gimme” wins, and sometimes the difference between Super Bowl runs and so-so seasons is finding a way to win games just like this.
With the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars on two-game skids, pulling this game out is suddenly highly important to the Ravens. Baltimore and Miami are the only three-loss teams remaining in the AFC, and with a Week 17 showdown between the two teams at M&T Bank Stadium looming on the schedule, the No. 1 seed in the AFC remains very much in play. Of course, a trip to San Francisco face the 10-3 49ers the week before won’t be a walk in the park, either.
Touchdown Wire: 4 (Last week: 5)
The Ravens offense was in full force, and Lamar Jackson and Zay Flowers led the charge late before Tylan Wallace did his best DeSean Jackson impression and won the game on a punt return. A fantastic ending to a fantastic game.
Pro Football Network: 4 (Last week: 6)
The Ravens sure know how to make things interesting. Lamar Jackson’s frenetic pace seems to wash over the entire team. Jackson was electric against the Rams in a bad-weather Baltimore game. The two-point conversion to Zay Flowers was one of the most impressive single plays we’ve seen all season. But every dropback feels like a heart attack. Baltimore always finds a way to keep things interesting, and the same was true against the Rams on Sunday.
Walterfootball.com: 4 (Last week: 3)
Lamar Jackson made some big plays without Mark Andrews, which has to be encouraging. With the Chiefs losing, the Ravens really only have to worry about Miami for home-field advantage.