AFC North Power Rankings: Ravens still have something to prove

Ravens, Lamar Jackson Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Lamar Jackson Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ravens, AFC North
Ravens, AFC North Syndication: The Enquirer /

1. Cincinnati Bengals, 7-4, second in AFC North

Of all the chaos this season has brought, the Bengals being as good as they are is most surprising. A very good case can be made they are one of the best performing teams, from top to bottom, in the NFL.

While they may lack some of the star power other contenders boast, Zac Taylor is getting the best from almost every player.

Joe Burrow is maturing into a very good QB. He still has his mistakes, but he is showing a great ability to operate smoothly and calmly within the offense and create big plays. He looks like a veteran already.

In Tee Higgins, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tyler Boyd he has one of the most promising receiver rooms in the league, and they’re consistently generating big plays — they have one of the most explosive passing games with 10, 40+ yard receptions (tied second).

Add in Joe Mixon, one of the most underrated backs in football, and this offense has all the pieces to win in different ways — as they have shown so far this season.

In four games against AFC North opponents, the Bengals have scored 122 points and allowed 78. That’s an average margin of 30.5-19.5.

These final six weeks are a huge litmus test for this Bengals squad. Every opponent is .500 or above currently, they still face the Ravens again and will host the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17.

Oweh starting to impose his will as a pass rusher. dark. Next

On their current trajectory, I’d be surprised if the Bengals ended this stretch with fewer than four wins, and wins against the Ravens and Chiefs would almost certainly clinch them a high playoff seed.