A weekly examination of the Ravens' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 8 | Last Week: 12 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
Let me know if you've heard this before: The Baltimore Ravens (8-7) are ranked No. 14. It should sound familiar because this is the third time in four weeks that the Ravens have been in this spot. The Ravens watched the San Diego Chargers and Chicago Bears leapfrog them in the rankings. Baltimore is in the middle of the pack in terms of the five 8-7 teams. The Chargers (No. 12) and Bears (No. 13) are in front of the Ravens, and the Dallas Cowboys (No. 15) and Miami Dolphins (No. 16) are behind them.
It's surprising the Ravens didn't drop farther considering they lost by 34 points to the New England Patriots. But they're still in contention for the last AFC wild-card spot, and this ranking aligns with that. The Ravens are No. 7 among AFC teams in the Power Rankings. This is the Ravens' fifth straight week in the top half of the rankings after they spent four consecutive weeks in the bottom half. As one of the Power Rankings voters, I had the Ravens at No. 14.
As far as the AFC North goes, the Cincinnati Bengals moved up two spots to No. 7 after winning the division title, the Pittsburgh Steelers inched up one spot to No. 18 and the Cleveland Browns slipped another spot to No. 28.