AFC North: 2013 NFL Week 14 Power Rankings

A weekly examination of the Browns' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 28 | Last Week: 25 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

As the Cleveland Browns continue to properly slide toward the bottom of the ESPN.com Power Rankings, they can say they have one thing going for them.

The Browns lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The Browns are ranked 27th; Jacksonville is ranked 31st. Yes, they are ranked ahead of the Jaguars after losing to them. Woo-hoo.

The Browns continue to set weekly lows for their ranking. They have gone from 18 to 19 to 23 to 25 by virtue of a bye week and three very bad losses. That they’re not lower than they are must be some sort of holiday feel-good thing.

The question is how far the plummet takes the Browns. With games at New England, the Jets and Pittsburgh left and only a home game against Chicago -- and with two quarterbacks concussed and another out for the season -- the Browns may well have won for the last time this season.
A weekly examination of the Bengals' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 9 | Last Week: 8 |ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

For the third consecutive week, the Cincinnati Bengals were ranked eighth in ESPN.com's Power Rankings. Despite earning a key conference win on the road at San Diego, the Bengals remained in the same spot they settled into since their 41-20 win over the Cleveland Browns three weeks ago. After moving from 10th to eighth following that win, they remained at No. 8 after last week's bye, too.

Now that the playoff picture is beginning to come more and more into focus, don't expect the Bengals -- and other teams for that matter -- to be making any real drastic moves up or down in the Power Rankings. In fact, the Bengals stand their greatest chance of moving up a spot or two this coming week when they come off of hosting the 10th-ranked Indianapolis Colts. With a win over the AFC South leaders, the Bengals could shoot up to sixth or seventh.

This may be Cincinnati's greatest chance for movement because the other remaining teams on its schedule (the Vikings, Steelers and Ravens) are in the bottom half of the league's rankings.
A weekly examination of the Bengals' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 9 | Last Week: 8 |ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

For the third consecutive week, the Cincinnati Bengals were ranked eighth in ESPN.com's Power Rankings. Despite earning a key conference win on the road at San Diego, the Bengals remained in the same spot they settled into since their 41-20 win over the Cleveland Browns three weeks ago. After moving from 10th to eighth following that win, they remained at No. 8 after last week's bye, too.

Now that the playoff picture is beginning to come more and more into focus, don't expect the Bengals -- and other teams for that matter -- to be making any really drastic moves up or down in the Power Rankings. In fact, the Bengals stand their greatest chance of moving up a spot or two this coming week, after hosting the 10th-ranked Indianapolis Colts. With a win over the AFC South leaders, the Bengals could shoot up to sixth or seventh.

This may be Cincinnati's greatest chance for movement because the other remaining teams on its schedule (the Vikings, Steelers and Ravens) are in the bottom half of the league's rankings.
A weekly examination of the Steelers’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 16 | Last Week: 16 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped two spots after they fell just short in their bid to sweep the Ravens for the first time since 2008. The Steelers dominated the fourth quarter Thursday night and had a chance to tie the game with just over a minute left to play. Emmanuel Sanders, however, couldn’t hold onto a catchable ball on a two-point conversion attempt, and the Ravens held on for a 22-20 win. The loss left the Steelers at 5-7, and they need to win their final four games to avoid missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time under seventh-year coach Mike Tomlin.

Here's how the panel voted Pittsburgh:

Ashley Fox: 18

Mike Sando: 15

Kevin Seifert: 19

John Clayton: 20

Dan Graziano: 19

Jamison Hensley: 19

The Steelers host the 6-6 Dolphins on Sunday, and the 1 p.m. ET game looks a lot more difficult given the team’s injury situation. The Steelers are down to their third center this season, and they may have to start their third different left tackle if Kelvin Beachum is unable to play because of a knee injury. Starting running back Le’Veon Bell also is not a lock to suit up against the Dolphins as he is recovering from a concussion. The Dolphins will try to win in Pittsburgh for the first time since 1990.
A weekly examination of the Ravens' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 8 | Last Week: 18 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Baltimore Ravens are back in the AFC playoff race, and they're also back in the top half of ESPN's Power Rankings. Baltimore ranked 18th or lower over the previous four weeks. After beating the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens have climbed six spots since Week 12. The last time the Ravens were ranked as high as No. 14 was Week 8.

This is a generous ranking for the Ravens (6-6). Baltimore is the highest-ranked team that doesn't have a winning record. The Ravens are also one spot in front of the Chicago Bears (6-6), who beat Baltimore on Nov. 17. As one of six voters in the Power Rankings, I had the Ravens at No. 15, one spot behind the Bears.

As far as the AFC North goes, the Cincinnati Bengals remained No. 8 for a third straight week, the Cleveland Browns dropped another two spots to No. 27 and the Steelers slipped two places to No. 18.

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