A weekly examination of the Ravens' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 8 | Last Week: 18 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The Baltimore Ravens are back in the AFC playoff race, and they're also back in the top half of ESPN's Power Rankings. Baltimore ranked 18th or lower over the previous four weeks. After beating the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens have climbed six spots since Week 12. The last time the Ravens were ranked as high as No. 14 was Week 8.
This is a generous ranking for the Ravens (6-6). Baltimore is the highest-ranked team that doesn't have a winning record. The Ravens are also one spot in front of the Chicago Bears (6-6), who beat Baltimore on Nov. 17. As one of six voters in the Power Rankings, I had the Ravens at No. 15, one spot behind the Bears.
As far as the AFC North goes, the Cincinnati Bengals remained No. 8 for a third straight week, the Cleveland Browns dropped another two spots to No. 27 and the Steelers slipped two places to No. 18.