1. Baltimore Ravens
The AFC North team that looked the best this weekend was the Baltimore Ravens. They won their matchup against the Houston Texans, 25-9, in impressive fashion. They did so without having played what would be described as their best game.
Baltimore's defense looks imposing and especially scary for teams that struggle to protect their quarterback. They put on an impressive performance, hitting the rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud 10 times and bringing him down for five sacks.
Unfortunately for the Ravens, they have lost starting running back J.K. Dobbins to a season-ending injury. However, once he left the game, the running situation did not change much for the Ravens. When Gus Edwards entered the game, he averaged more yards per rush, 4.0, than Dobbins had up until that point, 2.8.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson is back and played well enough to get his team past the Texans. He threw for 169 yards and ran for 38. Rookie first-round wide receiver Zay Flowers looks like a bona fide star and everything the team expected of him when they signed him in the first round of the 2023 draft. The rookie caught nine passes for 78 yards and added two rushes for nine yards. Flowers looked explosive and dangerous each time he touched the ball.
It is going to be a long season but for now, the Baltimore Ravens top the AFC North power rankings, followed closely by the Cleveland Browns. We will have to wait and see if the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals can pull themselves from the bottom to the top as the Bengals did last year.