NFL Week 7 Power Rankings: Ravens defense makes them legit Super Bowl contenders, big test vs. Saints looms

All offseason the talk was about how great the defenses of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams could be this season.

When talking about them, some even mentioned the word generational to prop them up.

But six weeks into the NFL season, not one of them is the top-ranked defense in the league. That spot is held by the Baltimore Ravens, fresh off their 11-sack performance in their 21-0 shutout of the Tennessee Titans Sunday.

The Ravens are first in total defense, first in scoring defense, first in yards per play and second in third-down defense. That unit has led the Ravens to a 4-2 start and has them up to No. 5 in my Power Rankings this week.

The Ravens offense hasn't been bad either, ranking ninth in total yards and 12th in scoring.

So are the Ravens legitimate Super Bowl contenders? You bet.

But this week that defense faces a tough test and a big offensive challenge in the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees. If they can slow down the Saints offense, some will start comparing this defense to the great Ravens defense of 2000 that set the league scoring record and led the team to a Super Bowl victory. 

Let's slow that roll a bit, but so far this is the best defense in the NFL, a nice mix of young and old with veterans like Terrell Suggs and Eric Weddle leading a talented group around them.

They can clearly stake a claim as the NFL's best defense right now. Who saw that coming? 

Biggest Movers
5 Ravens
10 Titans
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Rams They have some defensive issues, but they are clearly the best team in the league. Todd Gurley has been sensational. --6-0-0
2 Saints They have made big strides on defense the past two games. Coming off the bye, they have a tough road game at Baltimore against a good Ravens team. 24-1-0
3 Patriots They showed they could play with anybody in the league by beating the Chiefs. Getting the running game going is big for the offense. 44-2-0
4 Chiefs The defense is historically bad right now. That has to change - or else. Even Patrick Mahomes won't be able to overcome that. 25-1-0
5 Ravens That defense appears legit. Now we will find out how good they are against Drew Brees this week. 54-2-0
6 Chargers Don't look now, but the Chargers are coming fast. They have the look of a team that is getting right. 55-2-0
7 Steelers The defense has made strides the past two weeks, which is why they have won two straight. Heading to the bye, they have to feel good about themselves now. 53-2-1
8 Vikings With two consecutive victories, they have righted things. That loss to the Bills a few weeks ago looks weirder by the week. 53-2-1
9 Redskins They rebounded nicely on a short week to beat the Panthers. Now comes a big division game with the Cowboys. 53-2-0
10 Bengals They had a firm grip on the division but let it slip away with a late touchdown to the Steelers in their loss Sunday. Now they have to play a brutal night road game against the Chiefs. 54-2-0
11 Dolphins That was a big-time victory over the Bears. But it begs this question: Do they have a quarterback controversy? 44-2-0
12 Bears That was a bad look in losing on the road to Miami. The command of the division is gone. 93-2-0
13 Eagles The team we saw against the Giants was the team we expected to see this season. They seem to be ready to roll now. 33-3-0
14 Packers It wasn't pretty against the 49ers - especially on defense - but they found a way and head to their bye with a winning record. Aaron Rodgers has been sensational the past two weeks. 53-2-1
15 Panthers What happened against the Redskins? They didn't seem like a potential playoff team that day. 93-2-0
16 Cowboys They were impressive in blowing out the Jaguars. Now comes a major road test at Washington against the Redskins. 53-3-0
17 Jaguars This team has looked awful the past two weeks. Even so, they are tied for the division lead with a big division game this week against the Texans. 83-3-0
18 Titans They were terrible against the Ravens. How can an offense let a team get 11 sacks like they did? 103-4-0
19 Seahawks They impressed in blowing out the Raiders to get to .500. Are they ready to make a wild-card push? 33-3-0
20 Texans They have won three straight games, but are they really that good? The offensive line remains a big problem. 33-3-0
21 Lions They come off their bye with a road game against Miami. They better hope they found a run defense on the bye. 32-3-0
22 Jets The Jets have won two consecutive games to get to 3-3. Todd Bowles has done a nice job. 43-3-0
23 Falcons They have a real chance for a two-game winning streak with the Giants coming to town. The offense has to carry them the rest of the way. 52-4-0
24 Browns The defense came back to Earth a little bit against the Chargers. They have a winnable road game at Tampa against the Bucs this week. 42-3-1
25 Buccaneers With their defense, there is no way to compete for a playoff spot. Jameis Winston did look good in his first start. 22-3-0
26 Colts The defense has tailed off in recent weeks, and the offense has too many injuries to keep up. It's going to be a long season. 21-5-0
27 Bills With Josh Allen hurt, it looks like it could be Derek Anderson time. They keep fighting every week. 22-4-0
28 Broncos This team can't stop the run. That's a big problem in the NFL. 13-4-0
29 49ers That was an impressive showing against the Packers. Give this young team a lot of credit for competing. 31-5-0
30 Raiders How bad is this offense now under Jon Gruden? Has Derek Carr regressed? You bet. 11-5-0
31 Giants Is it time to sit Eli Manning? Not yet. But it might be coming. 11-5-0
32 Cardinals They have to like what they are getting from Josh Rosen. It's just this roster needs help. 11-6-0
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

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