Power Rankings: Ravens are the complete package

Power Rankings: Ravens are the complete package

In Week 3, the Baltimore Ravens gave up 503 yards and 33 points to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The following week, at home, they allowed 530 yards and 40 points to the Cleveland Browns. Unlike the Chiefs, the Browns are not good on offense. They are averaging 322.1 yards and 16.9 points if you take out that Ravens game.

During that stretch it looked like the Ravens weren’t much different than the Chiefs. They had an MVP-level quarterback in Lamar Jackson and an offense that has been an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses. But the defense looked lackluster.

That’s not the case anymore. Ask Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans.

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according to Pro Football Focus. When Peters was on DeAndre Hopkins, Hopkins was targeted four times and allowed only 24 yards on two catches via PFF. He also broke up a key fourth-down pass to Hopkins. Peters is volatile but at his best he’s one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. That’s the player the Ravens got in the trade.’ data-reactid=”23″>Baltimore’s Oct. 15 trade with the Rams for cornerback Marcus Peters has made a huge difference. Since the trade, Peters is the third-highest graded cornerback in the NFL among those who have played at least 150 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. When Peters was on DeAndre Hopkins, Hopkins was targeted four times and allowed only 24 yards on two catches via PFF. He also broke up a key fourth-down pass to Hopkins. Peters is volatile but at his best he’s one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. That’s the player the Ravens got in the trade.

The Ravens have a great set of corners in Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith and Peters. New safety Earl Thomas should end up in the Hall of Fame someday. Nose tackle Brandon Williams, who missed the Browns game and drew the ire of Thomas, is one of the best run defenders in the NFL. Others like linebackers Patrick Onwuasor and Matt Judon have played well. Whatever happened in those games against the Chiefs and Browns, the Ravens have a top-end defense. They proved that against Watson and the Texans.

If the defense continues to play at a high level and Jackson doesn’t wear down, the Ravens have the balance to win a Super Bowl. Though the Patriots will still have a big say in that.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans is sacked by Ravens outside linebacker Matt Judon. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)

Here are the Power Rankings after Week 11 of the NFL season:

31. Washington Redskins (1-9, LW: 31)‘ data-reactid=”40″>31. Washington Redskins (1-9, LW: 31)

according to NBC Sports Washington. “He’s in there willing to learn, he wants to learn, he wants to be great. He’s playing through a lot of things that normal quarterbacks, rookie quarterbacks don’t play through. His head coach got fired after a couple of weeks, and things like that. For him, he’s just trying to find his way. We just have to do a better job of helping him find his way as well.”” data-reactid=”41″>Offensive tackle Morgan Moses explained the viral video of rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins asking his offensive linemen what he could do to help them, while the linemen were seemingly disinterested. Moses thought Haskins was genuinely asking, because the Jets were running exotic defensive looks at the rookie. “To give credit to the kid, he’s a hell of a football player,” Moses said, according to NBC Sports Washington. “He’s in there willing to learn, he wants to learn, he wants to be great. He’s playing through a lot of things that normal quarterbacks, rookie quarterbacks don’t play through. His head coach got fired after a couple of weeks, and things like that. For him, he’s just trying to find his way. We just have to do a better job of helping him find his way as well.”

Pro Football Focus’ grades for interior defensive linemen. He has been exceptional against the run, ranking fifth among all interior linemen with at least 230 snaps. The 17th pick of the draft looks like a nice hit for the Giants.’ data-reactid=”47″>Rookie defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence has been a highlight. He ranks 12th in Pro Football Focus’ grades for interior defensive linemen. He has been exceptional against the run, ranking fifth among all interior linemen with at least 230 snaps. The 17th pick of the draft looks like a nice hit for the Giants.

28. New York Jets (3-7, LW: 29)‘ data-reactid=”50″>28. New York Jets (3-7, LW: 29)

It was just the Redskins, but Sam Darnold threw for 293 yards and four touchdowns. He looked as good as he has all season. He’ll still needs to play well against better competition, but he can lay a nice foundation for 2020 with a strong finish.

26. Arizona Cardinals (3-7-1, LW: 25)‘ data-reactid=”54″>26. Arizona Cardinals (3-7-1, LW: 25)

The Cardinals acquitted themselves well in San Francisco against a good team. This was a truly bad team last season. Arizona isn’t going to have a great record, but it’s clear there is progress with coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray. There are still a lot of things the Cardinals need to fix, but this was never going to be a one-year turnaround.

told Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Nothing has changed. It’s just working better, honestly. Guys are communicating more. We are getting more urgent and getting to the ball quicker. ‘ data-reactid=”58″>“We are running the same defenses,” Falcons cornerback Isaiah Oliver told Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Nothing has changed. It’s just working better, honestly. Guys are communicating more. We are getting more urgent and getting to the ball quicker. 

“But in terms of the scheme? Everything is the same.” 

The Falcons’ defensive transformation is one of the more inexplicable in-season things you’ll find.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7, LW: 22)‘ data-reactid=”63″>23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7, LW: 22)

22. Cleveland Browns (4-6, LW: 24)‘ data-reactid=”65″>22. Cleveland Browns (4-6, LW: 24)

21. Chicago Bears (4-6, LW: 19)‘ data-reactid=”67″>21. Chicago Bears (4-6, LW: 19)

20. Los Angeles Chargers (4-7, LW: 21)‘ data-reactid=”69″>20. Los Angeles Chargers (4-7, LW: 21)

That final interception from Philip Rivers was brutal. He had four interceptions on Monday night. We all know he’s nearing the end, and maybe more quickly than we expected.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5, LW: 14)‘ data-reactid=”77″>18. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5, LW: 14)

17. Tennessee Titans (5-5, LW: 20)‘ data-reactid=”79″>17. Tennessee Titans (5-5, LW: 20)

We spent a lot of time in the offseason wondering if Marcus Mariota would get an extension. Now we should wonder if Ryan Tannehill will get that extension. On the plus side, he has a high draft pedigree, did have his moments with the Dolphins and has played pretty well since replacing Mariota. But Tannehill, in a contract year, will be 32 next season and has never been a high-end starter. What’s the market for that?

until Cam Newton is healthy to make a decision on his future. That’s prudent. But it doesn’t seem like much of a choice now that Kyle Allen has come back to earth. Yes, the Panthers would save $19 million in cap space. But you don’t give up former MVP quarterbacks who just turned 30 over $19 million in cap space.’ data-reactid=”82″>Owner David Tepper said Monday that the team would wait until Cam Newton is healthy to make a decision on his future. That’s prudent. But it doesn’t seem like much of a choice now that Kyle Allen has come back to earth. Yes, the Panthers would save $19 million in cap space. But you don’t give up former MVP quarterbacks who just turned 30 over $19 million in cap space.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5, LW: 12)‘ data-reactid=”89″>14. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5, LW: 12)

It wasn’t ideal to lose a game in the standings to the Cowboys, but let’s take a step back. Losing to the Patriots, even at home, was expected. The Eagles still have the easier schedule than Dallas. If the Eagles win the games they should, they should be in position to win the NFC East with a home win over Dallas in Week 16. Next week’s home game against Seattle is crucial though.

has to say something about Jared Goff that the Rams had no interest in dropping him back to throw.’ data-reactid=”92″>Good coaches understand what they need to do to win a game and call it accordingly. In that sense, it makes sense the Rams barely threw the ball on Sunday night. They knew the Bears couldn’t score. But it still has to say something about Jared Goff that the Rams had no interest in dropping him back to throw.

11. Houston Texans (6-4, LW: 8)‘ data-reactid=”95″>11. Houston Texans (6-4, LW: 8)

Everything is probably fine if the Texans beat the Colts on Thursday. They’ll then be the favorite in the AFC South with five games left. But what happened to the offense in Baltimore? No matter if the Ravens are on a roll, it was still shocking to see an offense with Deshaun Watson get nothing going. Maybe they were looking ahead. We’ll probably find out Thursday.

9. Dallas Cowboys (6-4, LW: 10)‘ data-reactid=”99″>9. Dallas Cowboys (6-4, LW: 10)

At some point, it’s disingenuous to say every player having a good season is an MVP candidate. Would some of these fringe candidates have any real argument against Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson? No. But maybe Dak Prescott does. He leads the NFL in passing yards and has a 104.1 rating. His nine interceptions might end the conversation, considering Wilson has a 23-2 TD-INT ratio, but it doesn’t seem crazy to have Prescott somewhere on the MVP list. Prescott has been very good.

7. Minnesota Vikings (8-3, LW: 7)‘ data-reactid=”103″>7. Minnesota Vikings (8-3, LW: 7)

Getting back to the conversation about who deserves to be an MVP candidate, Kirk Cousins has gotten himself on the list. He’s fifth in the NFL in passing yards despite a run-heavy offense. He has a 21-3 TD-INT ratio and his 114.8 passer rating is right behind Russell Wilson’s 114.9. Cousins was also huge in bringing the Vikings back from a 20-0 halftime deficit. Over the past five season, including playoffs, teams trailing by 20 or more at halftime were 0-99. If you took out all of the preconceived notions and judged only this season, Cousins is an MVP candidate. And if he carries the Vikings past the Packers in the NFC North? Then it becomes a very real conversation.

5. Seattle Seahawks (8-2, LW: 5)‘ data-reactid=”107″>5. Seattle Seahawks (8-2, LW: 5)

The bye came at a good time, especially with Tyler Lockett’s injury. Like the Packers, the Seahawks had to be upset that the Cardinals couldn’t pull off what would have been a huge upset. Seattle’s next four games are at Philadelphia, vs. Vikings, at Rams, at Panthers. The Seahawks would presumably be thrilled to go 3-1 in those games. If they go 2-2, would that be enough in the NFC West race?

Yahoo Sports’ Shalise Manza Young can double as Thomas’ MVP resume.’ data-reactid=”110″>OK, one more observation in the MVP conversation: Doesn’t Michael Thomas deserve some respect? A receiver has never won and that’s a shame, and Thomas likely won’t be the first. But he is on pace for a staggering 150 receptions. The Saints were undefeated in games that Drew Brees missed. Alvin Kamara missed time when Brees was out too. What has been the constant? The guy known as “Can’t Guard Mike” on Twitter being absolutely unstoppable. This appreciation by Yahoo Sports’ Shalise Manza Young can double as Thomas’ MVP resume.

2. Baltimore Ravens (8-2, LW: 3)‘ data-reactid=”117″>2. Baltimore Ravens (8-2, LW: 3)

The Ravens’ next three games are at the Rams, vs. 49ers and at the Bills. No easy ones there. New England also has three tough ones coming up. The Patriots’ next three games are vs. Cowboys, at Texans and vs. Chiefs before they finish with three easily winnable games. The Ravens obviously have the tiebreaker. It would seem that over the next three weeks, the Ravens need to somehow get things evened up to have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the AFC. It’s wild that they might need to go 14-2 to make that happen, but that’s the reality.

some concerns about the offense, the Patriots have been the better team over the entirety of the season. But it’s close.’ data-reactid=”120″>The Ravens were very good on Sunday but let’s not take what the Patriots did for granted. The Eagles might be disappointing but they’re far from a bad team. Winning by a touchdown at a talented team, holding them to 10 points, shouldn’t be the expectation no matter how good the Patriots have been. The Ravens took a huge step forward and this feels like a 1A/1B situation now, but the Patriots still get the slight edge. Even with some concerns about the offense, the Patriots have been the better team over the entirety of the season. But it’s close.

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