AFC North Power Rankings after Week 14: Bengals claw out of cellar, Ravens fly high

It's much warmer outside of the basement.

Bengals Sam Hubbard (94) enters the field for the Bengals vs. Colts game at Paycor Stadium on Sunday
Bengals Sam Hubbard (94) enters the field for the Bengals vs. Colts game at Paycor Stadium on Sunday / Phil Didion/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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1) Baltimore Ravens 

Heading into Week 14, the Baltimore Ravens defense surrendered up 15.5 points per game, the fewest in the NFL. They were also leading the league in sacks, with 47. Furthermore, their 4.2 yards per play given up tops the NFL. Their expected points contributed by their defense also top the NFL.

Yet, their offense’s late-game heroics that initially saved the game for the Ravens against the Los Angeles Rams.

Then, it was Baltimore's defense and special teams that proved their worth in overtime.

The Ravens remain at the top of the standings and power rankings in the AFC North. It is difficult to imagine a scenario where another team will surpass them for the divisional title. It is becoming just as hard to envision another conference team earning the top playoff seed.

Baltimore’s point differential remains the best in the AFC conference and the third-best in the NFL. Their defense has allowed the second-fewest points and total yards. Lamar Jackson is third in odds to win the NFL MVP award.

However, this is the NFL, and things can change quickly.

Next up for the Ravens are the Jacksonville Jaguars. If any divisional team hopes to catch the Ravens, they will need help from the Jags, 49ers, and Dolphins over the next three weeks.

Now, the AFC North still has three teams in the playoff picture. However, the power rankings suggest another divisional team, the Cincinnati Bengals, could soon join the proceedings.

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