Previewing AFC North Power Rankings

November, 1, 2010
11/01/10
4:00
PM ET
With half the division on a bye and the other half going winless, there will be significant changes in this week's ESPN.com Power Rankings.

Here is how games in Week 8 could impact the voting:

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2)

Last Week: No. 1

Result: Lost to Saints, 20-10

Analysis: The Steelers will be knocked off their perch as the top team in ESPN.com's Power Rankings. I expect the New England Patriots (6-1) to hold the No. 1 spot this week. New England will certainly get my vote. There is no shame in Pitsburgh losing to the New Orleans Saints on the road. So don't look for the Steelers to fall too far down the rankings. Pittsburgh should remain in the top five.

Projected range: No. 2-4

Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

Last Week: No. 4

Result: Bye

Analysis: With the Steelers and New York Jets losing, and the Ravens owning the head-to-head advantage over both, Baltimore is expected to move up this week. The Ravens could go as high as No. 2. Baltimore isn't playing its best football, but the team is winning and hopes it patched some things up during the bye, particularly on defense. With two weeks to prepare, Baltimore plays the Miami Dolphins (4-3) next weekend.

Projected range: No. 2-4

Cincinnati Bengals (2-5)

Last Week: No. 22

Result: Lost to Miami, 22-15

Analysis: I tried to warn the Power Rankings panel last week that the Bengals were playing ugly football. I rated Cincinnati the lowest of our four voters and was the only person to have the Browns higher. Expect the rest of the group to follow suit this week after the Miami Dolphins handed the Bengals their fourth straight loss. Cincinnati's best hope now is to be more competitive and play the role of spoiler for other playoff contenders. Based on their play, the Bengals certainly aren't contenders this year.

Projected range: No. 26-28

Cleveland Browns (2-5)

Last Week: No. 28

Result: Bye

Analysis: I felt the Browns didn't get enough credit for recently beating the reigning Super Bowl champions on the road. Now that win looks even better. Cleveland could improve a couple spots with the bye. The Browns have a golden opportunity to move up even more if they pull off another big upset against the Patriots on Sunday.

Projected range: No. 26-28

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

Insider