Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker
ESPN.com’s Week 4 power rankings are in, and there is a lot of moving and shaking going on in the AFC North.
Remember, we streamlined the process to four voters this year: Bloggers Mike Sando and Paul Kuharsky and ESPN.com senior writers Jeff Chadiha and John Clayton. So try your best this week to stop sending complaints to the AFC North inbox.
Here is how the division teams fared:
Baltimore Ravens (3-0)
Power ranking: No. 1
Last week: No. 1
Walker’s take: Although last week’s top ranking was a surprise, keeping the Ravens at No. 1 this week was a no-brainer after Baltimore’s 34-3 thrashing of the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens are extremely dangerous because they can beat you in so many ways. Against the Browns, Baltimore had four interceptions and another big passing day from quarterback Joe Flacco. Here is a cool power rankings fact: Every week this season an AFC North team has held the No. 1 ranking. That’s a nice win for the division.
Cincinnati Bengals (2-1)
Power ranking: No. 11
Last week: No. 24
Walker’s take: Last week the Ravens jumped a whopping nine spots. This week the Bengals jumped an amazing 13 spots after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers. When it comes to the AFC North, the power rankings are more fickle than the stock market. This is probably further proof that Cincinnati has been underrated in these rankings all offseason. Not to pat myself on the back, but I’ve tried to tell people about the Bengals’ sleeper potential since April when no one was paying attention. I’m sure "Bengaldom" may have some issues with the Green Bay Packers rated one spot higher. So send your complaints to the aforementioned people above.
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)
Power ranking: No. 16
Last week: No. 6
Walker’s take: The Steelers are steadily dropping down the rankings after blowing back-to-back leads in the fourth quarter. Two weeks ago Pittsburgh was the top team in ESPN.com’s power rankings. Tuesday the Steelers came in at No. 16. Are there 15 teams better than the defending champions this year? I doubt it. But Pittsburgh will have to start winning these close games if it wants to climb back up the rankings. The Steelers have a big matchup Sunday against the San Diego Chargers (2-1).
Cleveland Browns (0-3)
Power ranking: No. 29
Last week: No. 29
Walker’s take: I’m somewhat surprised the Browns didn’t drop this week after a third consecutive blowout. Cleveland is currently rated ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and St. Louis Rams, which are all struggling teams in their own right. But a strong case can be made that Cleveland has played worse football the past three weeks than all of these teams. Expect the Browns to be near the bottom of the power rankings for a while. There are just too many problems internally on and off the field that need to be cleaned up.