Power Rankings: How we stand up, and how our AFCN Rivals are Doing

ESPN has the AFC North as:


Us at #1

"With QB Ben Roethlisberger returning, Pittsburgh has a shot to be the NFL's only dominant team."


The Ravens at #2


"RB Ray Rice (133 yards, two touchdowns in Week 5) makes everyone else's job much easier."


Bengals at #22


"With penalties and turnovers, the Bengals are one of the NFL's sloppiest teams. "


and the Browns at #29


"Rookie QB Colt McCoy could get his first start in Pittsburgh. Not good."




The Steelers at #6


"They get a bye and then they get back Ben Roethlisberger. The question now is whether Roethlisberger shows any signs of rust."


Ravens at #1


"They head to New England with a three-game winning streak. They might be the most complete team right now. They finally got Ray Rice going against the Broncos."


Bengals at #19


"They are one of the biggest disappointments this season. Carson Palmer is struggling and the defense hasn't lived up to the hype. They have to get it going in that tough division."


and the Browns at #28


"At least they're competing. That's a good sign. But with that quarterback situation, it's hard to win games no matter how well they play in other spots."


Fox Sports


Steelers at #2


"The Steelers get Roethlisberger back this week from his four-game suspension. If the Browns come within 20 points of Pittsburgh I'd be surprised. This could be the NFL's most complete team from both sides of the ball."


Ravens at #1


"Once the Ravens get starting FS Ed Reed back from his hip injury, their defense will be pretty close to complete. The offense is capable of putting up much bigger numbers on a weekly basis, and once they do, this team will be even tougher to beat. "


Bengals at #23


"Color me surprised that the Bengals are 2-3 at this point. What I've been saying for weeks in this space continues to be true. Something is off with veteran QB Carson Palmer. He hasn't been performing at a high level for a long time. And the defense is underachieving a bit as well."


Browns at #29


"I keep saying the Browns are a competitive team, but sooner or later they have to start winning games. The quarterback position is a major concern, but so is the defense. Where would this team be without FB Peyton Hillis? He's the current version of former Miami Dolphins FB Larry Csonka."




Steelers at #4


"Pittsburgh couldn't keep Baltimore out of the end zone Sunday in the final minute, leading to their first loss of the season. Now, they get Ben Roethlisberger back, and if he's effective, there's no doubt he will make a dangerous team better."


Ravens at #3


"The Ravens are going to play a lot of close games this year, because they just don't have an offense capable of averaging 30-35 points per game. Instead, they make big plays when they're needed most, like Joe Flacco's winning touchdown pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh Sunday."


Bengals at #23


"Terrell Owens had a big game, but the Bengals still managed to lose to Cleveland, falling to 2-2. Cincinnati can't afford many more bad losses, as the Ravens and Steelers both look like Super Bowl contenders. The Bengals do have a win over Baltimore, but that won't get them to the playoffs."


Browns at #25


"The Browns can't stop many teams' passing attacks, as evidenced by Owens' huge day Sunday. What Cleveland has done so far is play hard for Eric Mangini and Mike Holmgren, despite not being overwhelmed with talent. It won't get them far in the AFC North, but they'll be rarely embarrassed."




Steelers at #3


"The Steelers won three games without Ben Roethlisberger(notes)—and the Pro Bowl QB is coming back."


Ravens at #1


"Joe Flacco(notes) leads the Ravens down the field in the final minute against the Pittsburgh defense to win a big divisional game on the road."


It seems that the Bengals and Browns rankings weren't updated since last week...Curious.


Well, there you have it. The major sports outlets have ranked us an average of #3 in their Absolutely Useless Talking Heads Claptrap of the Week posts.


Sound off on what you think of this.


*UPDATE*: Peter King        

Steelers #3

"Ben Roethlisberger reports back to work this morning at the Steeler complex, and we can forget all the "Do they miss Ben?'' stuff after the 210-yard performance against the Ravens Sunday."


Ravens #1


"Tough call, because there's no clear number one, but the Ravens have beaten two of the top six or eight teams in football on the road (Steelers, Jets), and Joe Flacco, after struggling much of the first three weeks, made a huge throw to Houshmandzadeh to win this one"


King only did a "Fine Fifteen", so naturally the Bengals and Browns aren't there.

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