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Tuesday, September 3, 2013
NFL Power Rankings: Ravens at No. 8

By Jamison Hensley

ESPN unveiled its NFL Power Rankings for Week 1, and I'm once again one of the six voters. The No. 1 team is the Seattle Seahawks, and the No. 32 team is the New York Jets. Here's where the Baltimore Ravens start the season:

BALTIMORE RAVENS

ESPN Power Ranking: No. 8

My ranking: No. 5

2012 record: 10-6

ESPN Stats & Information: Baltimore lost six Super Bowl starters and Paul Kruger on defense, but quietly reloaded. A defensive draft, plus Elvis Dumervil and Daryl Smith, will keep the Ravens' D formidable.

My comment: The defending Super Bowl champions come in a little lower than I project them. I have the Ravens at No. 5, which is higher than any other voter (cue the "homer" chant). At No. 8 on the Power Rankings, the Ravens are the No. 4 team in the AFC, trailing the Denver Broncos (No. 4 overall), New England Patriots (No. 6) and Houston Texans (No. 7).

AFC North rankings: Ravens (No. 8), Cincinnati Bengals (No. 9), Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 16) and Cleveland Browns (No. 28).