Previewing AFC North Power Rankings

A weather delay involving the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings will push back ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings to Wednesday. But here is an early look at how Week 16 results could impact the AFC North:

Baltimore Ravens (11-4)

Previous ranking: No. 4

Result: Beat the Browns, 20-10

Analysis: The Ravens played efficient football and let the Browns (four turnovers) beat themselves to clinch Baltimore's third consecutive playoff berth. I like the way the Ravens are playing right now. If not for a fourth-quarter slip against Pittsburgh, the Ravens would be on a six-game winning streak. Now the Ravens have to hope the Steelers slip next week against Cleveland for a chance to win the AFC North. The Falcons and Eagles won't play until Monday and Tuesday, respectively. So we're not sure if Baltimore has a chance to move up the rankings this week.

Projected range: No. 2-4

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4)

Previous rankings: No. 6

Result: Beat the Carolina Panthers, 27-3

Analysis: The Steelers did exactly what was expected. They pounded the worst team in the NFL and offered no hopes of an upset. Pittsburgh dominated the Panthers in all three phases to improve to 5-3 at Heinz Field. An extended week of preparation should get the team healthier for its regular-season finale against Cleveland. A win for Pittsburgh would clinch the AFC North and a first-round bye.

Projected range: No. 3-5

Cleveland Browns (5-10)

Previous ranking: No. 22

Result: Lost to Baltimore, 20-10

Analysis: I've voted Cleveland several spots lower than the consensus the past couple of weeks. Unlike last year, Cleveland is going backward late in the season and seems to be losing many things that made this team successful. Earlier this year you could at least count on this team to play smart, tough football. But in the past three weeks the Browns have played sloppy and are routinely pounded at the line of scrimmage. Cleveland committed four turnovers against Baltimore and allowed 161 rushing yards. Expect the Browns to drop several spots in this week's Power Rankings.

Projected range: No. 24-26

Cincinnati Bengals (4-11)

Previous ranking: No. 30

Result: Beat the Chargers, 34-20

Analysis: Credit the Bengals for playing hard down the stretch and not quitting. The result has been two straight wins after an upset of the San Diego Chargers. Cincinnati spoiled San Diego's playoff hopes and had a nice ending at home in what's been a tough season. Young players like receiver Jerome Simpson and rookie defensive end Carlos Dunlap are starting to make plays and proving they are hungry to be a part of the rebuilding phase in 2011. Cincinnati will play at Baltimore next week in the regular-season finale.

Projected range: No. 26-28