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It should be no surprise that ranking the NFL's four remaining teams is even harder than choosing where to order pizza for an upcoming Super Bowl party. The 49ers, Ravens, Lions and Chiefs each possess rosters that have been good enough to get them to the brink of the big game. 

Last week, I ranked the eight remaining teams ahead of the divisional round. The results were mixed. My top-two teams -- the 49ers and Ravens -- rewarded my faith in them with wins. The Texans also "rewarded' my decision to rank them last after they failed to score a point in the second half of last week's 34-10 loss in Baltimore. 

Unfortunately, my lack of faith in the Chiefs came back to haunt me. Kansas City managed to beat Buffalo, which I had ranked one spot ahead of it. The Lions, whom I ranked seventh, also proved me wrong after beating a Buccaneers team I tabbed as the sixth-best team remaining. 

So, what did last week teach me? Not to doubt Mahomes and the Chiefs, whose championship mettle may be able to make up for their lack of talent relative to the rest of the remaining field. Last week also compelled me to give the Lions more credit despite their penchant for allowing lots of passing yards. I also am starting to warm up to the fact that the Ravens may have the NFL's best roster despite a few flaws. 

With last week's games behind us, here are my new rankings of the top-four teams still left. Let's see how well this one ages when the dust settles late Sunday night. 

1. Baltimore Ravens

Alright, I've accepted the fact that a team without a 1,000-yard rusher or receiver may be the league's best-remaining team. But what the Ravens may lack in individual statistics, they have more than made up for in depth. 

Baltimore's depth at the skill positions has been the secret sauce this season under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Five Ravens caught at least three touchdown passes during the regular season, led by perennial Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews. Rookie Zay Flowers finished first and second on the team in receiving yards and touchdown catches during the regular season, respectively. 

Solid would be the best word to describe the Ravens' offensive line. The unit has been good in pass protection and has been even better in run support. The latter was on display last week when the Ravens rolled to 229 yards on 42 carries. 

Obviously, the glue of the Ravens offense is quarterback Lamar Jackson, the likely league MVP. Jackson's versatility this season has meant more than just his ability to make plays with his arm and his legs. More so, it's been Jackson's ability to adapt his game to whatever the Ravens need him to do in order to win. Sometimes, that means deep passes like the ones he completed during Baltimore's Week 2 win in Cincinnati. Other times, like Saturday, Jackson was asked to complete short passes in an effort to offset Houston's pass rush. 

Lamar Jackson
BAL • QB • #8
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Defensively, there is not much that needs to be said about the group in Baltimore. The unit is stellar and has been all year, especially the front seven, led by linebackers Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen and defensive tackle Justin Madubuike. The secondary has also been a strength, led by emerging safety Kyle Hamilton

You can't talk about the Ravens without mentioning Justin Tucker, arguably the greatest kicker in league annals. His presence is just one reason why the Ravens top this list.

2. San Francisco 49ers 

Unlike Baltimore, the 49ers had to fight tooth and nail to beat a Packers team that was riding high after upsetting the Cowboys a week earlier. The 24-21 nail-biting win could suggest that the 49ers are certainly beatable, because, well, they are, especially if Deebo Samuel is physically compromised.

That might be true, but the come-from-behind win was also an example of the 49ers' resilience. Sometimes, talented teams get by for far too long on talent alone, and when they are finally pushed, they don't know how to respond. Two teams that come to mind are 1983 Washington and the 1997 Packers, defending champions who were dethroned by hungrier teams. 

I also took two other notable things away from the 49ers' most recent win. They won despite not receiving big stat lines from either Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk. That speaks to the depth the 49ers have on an offense that features the NFL's best running back in Christian McCaffrey and one of the game's best tight ends in George Kittle. San Francisco also possesses a strong offensive line that continues to be anchored by future Hall of Fame tackle Trent Williams

The other notable takeaway was the 49ers' ability on defense to force Jordan Love into throwing two picks when he tossed just one interception during his previous nine games. The 49ers were able to do so by throwing different looks at Love while taking away anything downfield. At the center of this destruction was 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw, who secured both giveaways.

The 49ers' roster is loaded, but ultimately, their Super Bowl hopes may very well rest on quarterback Brock Purdy, who struggled with his accuracy last week. Purdy will have to play better this week if the 49ers are going to get past the Lions. 

3. Detroit Lions

Lions fans may not be happy with this, but they're at least ahead of the Chiefs. Detroit's bronze medal finish has more to do with the strength of Baltimore's and San Francisco's rosters and less to do with any deficiencies on the Lions' roster. 

That being said, it's hard to ignore Detroit's issues in the secondary. The Lions allowed Matthew Stafford to throw for 367 yards and two scores on Super Wild Card Weekend and let Baker Mayfield rack up 349 yards and three touchdowns (with two interceptions) in the divisional round. 

The Lions allowed a lot of yards, but they still won both games, so they are clearly good enough to win despite the arial attacks against them. There's also reason to believe Detroit's secondary will be even better going forward with C.J. Gardner-Johnson (who had the first pick of Mayfield) finally healthy and with the continued emergence of third-year cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu, who led the Lions last week with 1.5 sacks. 

Really, the Lions are probably content to allow teams to throw the ball as long as they continue to shut down the opposing team's running game while putting pressure on the quarterback. Detroit, which has not allowed a team to run for more than 100 yards since Week 14, finished second in the NFL in average rushing yards per game allowed and third in average yards-per-carry allowed during the regular season. 

If the Lions' defense can continue that trend Sunday, that will likely limit McCaffrey's impact while putting more pressure on Purdy to make plays through the air. That's where Aidan Hutchinson (who has eight sacks in Detroit's last four games) can make his impact felt. 

Offensively, the Lions are the complete opposite of the Ravens. The 49ers are the only offense that can rival the firepower Detroit has. At the forefront of that success is Jared Goff, who has done a masterful job of orchestrating the Lions' offense while keeping everyone involved. 

Goff has the five things every successful QB needs: a dependable No. 1 receiver (Amon-Ra St. Brown), a dependable running game (led by David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs), a safety valve at tight end (rookie Pro Bowler Sam LaPorta) a solid supporting cast (led by veteran wideout Josh Reynolds) and an offensive line that keeps him upright. Goff has taken full advantage of those tools and in turn has made his teammates better by how he has played.

4. Kansas City Chiefs 

Yes, it's weird having the defending Super Bowl champions taking up the rear. But using last week's game as an example, the Chiefs' position on this list has little bearing on what I think they can do moving forward. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if the Chiefs make it back to the Super Bowl, and win. 

For a while, I've been comparing the 2023 Chiefs to the 2018 Patriots team that, in Tom Brady's words, "sucked." That team had its flaws, but it still managed to find a way to win the final title of the Brady/Bill Belichick era. 

How did the Patriots do it? They played sound defense (allowing just three points in the Super Bowl), and received elite QB play from Brady, who largely leaned on his proven playmakers come crunch time. New England may not have been great anymore, but it was good enough to upset Mahomes and Co. in one of the greatest AFC Championships ever played

The '23 Chiefs, largely, are following that same blueprint. After a rough regular season, the Chiefs have gotten to this point by leaning on the things they do best.

Patrick Mahomes
KC • QB • #15
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It starts with Mahomes, who continues to show why he is the NFL's best player. Along with his unique ability, Mahomes has become arguably the NFL's best field general. That was on display in Buffalo, where he picked up his first road playoff win.  

Mahomes has continued to lean on his historic partnership with Travis Kelce; the duo broke Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski's playoff record for touchdown connections Sunday night in Buffalo. That duo alone makes the Chiefs dangerous. 

Mahomes has also continued to build on his rapport with rookie Rashee Rice, who was a key contributor in Kansas City's playoff win over Miami with 8 grabs for 130 yards and a score. 

Rashee Rice
KC • WR • #4
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Receiver is an interesting position regarding Sunday's AFC title game. The position at times has been a big question mark for both teams. Baltimore has widely addressed the issue after being held back by drops earlier in the season. The Chiefs, however, still have lingering questions here, which is one big reason why their roster is ranked this low. 

That being said, Rice is just as good as any wideout on the Ravens. He just needs to play like it. It would also help if the team's veteran wideouts, like Marquez Valdes-Scantling, stepped up. 

If they don't, Mahomes still has a major weapon at his disposal in Isiah Pacheco, who in just two short years has become one of the Chiefs' most valuable players. Don't be surprised if Pacheco has a big game Sunday against a Ravens defense that has struggled at times against good running teams.

Outside of Mahomes, the Chiefs defense is another reason to not count Kansas City out. The unit, which finished No. 2 behind Baltimore for the fewest points allowed this season, has talented players at each level. And like the 2018 Patriots, they have a knack for taking away an offense's best weapons. That was the case in Buffalo, as Josh Allen was left trying to make plays late in the game without the aid of Stefon Diggs and James Cook

It'll be harder to duplicate that type of success against Jackson and Co., but certainly not impossible, especially if Chris Jones, George Karlaftis and the rest of Kansas City's pass rushers can apply consistent pressure on Jackson. 

Speaking of pressure, let's circle back to the Chiefs' offense for a second. If the Chiefs lose on Sunday, it'll likely be because their offensive line (which is currently dealing with an injury to starting guard Joe Thuney) was unable to properly protect Mahomes. That was the case when the Chiefs failed to defend their title in 2020, and it may be the main thing preventing them from winning it all again in 2023.