2023 NFL power rankings, Week 17: Ball-hawking Ravens flex their muscles on Christmas night

There's a new top dog in the NFL Power Rankings.

Dec 25, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Baltimore Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton (14) intercepts a
Dec 25, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Baltimore Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton (14) intercepts a / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
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2023 NFL Power Rankings. 11-4 | Previous Rank: 3rd| Week 16: Defeated Cowboys, 22-20. . . . . 59. . . 3

The Dolphins could take a big step towards their first AFC East title since 2008 if they could knock off the talented Cowboys. It was a game that saw Mike McDaniel’s team gain 375 total yards against one of the best defenses in the NFL, but settled for five Jason Sanders field goals. The fifth came as time expired in an exciting two-point win.

Miami can clinch its first AFC East title since 2008 this Sunday with a victory at Baltimore, or a Bills’ loss to the Patriots. A win over the Ravens would open the door for bigger and better things for the current division leaders.

. . . 2. . 11-4 | Previous Rank: 1st | Week 16: Lost to Ravens, 33-19. 2023 NFL Power Rankings. . 42.

It was a meeting of teams with the best record in the league. It wound up not being the Niners’ night as they hosted the Baltimore Ravens. Kyle Shanahan’s club owned an early 5-0 lead, but the Ravens’ opportunistic defense seemed to get its hands on every Brock Purdy pass. He threw for 255 yards but finished with four interceptions.

The 49ers finished with 429 yards of total offense, but a late Sam Darnold pick meant that Shanahan’s team lost the turnover battle, 5-0. The NFC West champions are 0-4 this season when they don’t score at least 20 points.

. 1. 12-3 | Previous Rank: 2nd | Week 16: Defeated 49ers, 33-19. . 26. 2023 NFL Power Rankings. . . .

It was quite the anticipated contest on Christmas evening as the Ravens were in San Francisco in a battle of 11-3 division leaders. Baltimore’s ball-hawking defense managed to corral three Brock Purdy passes in the first half, two by rookie safety Kyle Hamilton. Hence, John Harbaugh’s team turned a 5-0 deficit into a 16-12 halftime lead.

Lamar Jackson struck twice for TD passes early in the third quarter and Baltimore opened up a 30-12 lead on the way to the win. The Ravens can win the AFC North and clinch the AFC’s top seed by beating Miami on Sunday.

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