AFC North Power Rankings Analysis

November, 23, 2010
11/23/10
2:23
PM ET
The AFC North split four games in Week 11.

Here is how the results impacted ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings.

Baltimore Ravens (7-3)

Cumulative vote: No. 3

Walker's vote: No. 3

Analysis: The Ravens moved up one spot in ESPN.com's Power Rankings. Baltimore beat the Carolina Panthers, 37-13, in a game that was a bit closer than the final score indicated. Still, the defense for Baltimore looked great, recording two pick-sixes, and that's when this team is at its best. This is fair placement for the Ravens, considering they lost to the two teams rated above them this season: the Atlanta Falcons (8-2) and New England Patriots (8-2).

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3)

Cumulative vote: No. 5

Walker's vote: No. 4

Analysis: The Steelers stayed at No. 5 for the second week in a row. They were edged by the New York Jets (No. 4) with a big help from AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky's No. 1 vote. ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton voted New York No. 2, which I don't quite understand. I dropped the Jets three spots this week to No. 8, because I'm not impressed with them barely beating bad teams. You can see my explanation here.

Cleveland Browns (3-7)

Cumulative vote: No. 23

Walker's vote: No. 24

Analysis: The Browns were making a slow climb to respectability but dropped two spots this week to No. 24. After playing competitive against the NFL's elite, the bar was raised for Cleveland. But amid new expectations it couldn't beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, despite repeated attempts by Jacksonville (six turnovers) to give away the game. The Browns have a couple quality wins but they're only 3-7. Cleveland finished 5-11 last year and needs to get on a winning streak immediately to significantly improve on that record.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-8)

Cumulative vote: No. 30

Walker's vote: No. 31

Analysis: The Bengals reached the 30s for the first time this season. I voted the Bengals No. 31, but I strongly considered ranking them last because no team is playing uglier football right now. Not even the two teams ranked behind Cincinnati -- Carolina and Detroit -- would give up 35 unanswered points to the lowly Buffalo Bills (2-8), who were ranked No. 28 this week. If the Bengals don't show up Thursday against the Jets, it could get ugly.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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