* In USA Today's midseason report card, Lindsay H. Jones gives the Ravens a "C" for their performance in the first seven games.
The defending Super Bowl champions look like they are still trying to find this season's identity. They will need strong second half to even have a chance at the playoffs.
* ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley writes about the Ravens' need to throw deep more often.
Throwing deep should be a strength of the Ravens. Baltimore has the receivers -- Jones and Deonte Thompson -- who can get behind defenses. Injuries kept Jones and Thompson out for a large chunk of the season, but both are healthy now.
* CBSSports.com's Will Brinson looks back at some preseason predictions that haven't panned out, including the thought that the playoff teams -- like the Ravens -- would be predictable.
This Year's Playoffs Might Be Predictable -- Haha. Remember everyone trying to find playoff teams that wouldn't get back next year? Halfway through the season that looks pretty easy. The Vikings are 1-6, the Falcons/Redskins/Texans are 2-5 and the defending champion Ravens are 3-4. Any of those teams (OK, not Minnesota) could still make it to the playoffs but the postseason picture already looks vastly different than it did just a few months ago.
* Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com takes another look at his predictions for the NFL standings. He believes the Ravens will finish 8-8 after originally predicting a 10-6 record.
Hard not to put the world champions at the top of the division back in August, but at 3-4 right now and 1-3 on the road, it sure looks like they miss Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta more than I anticipated. It could come down to the Ravens and Chargers for the last playoff spot. Right now I see them as an 8-8 team.
* CBSSports.com's John Breech hands out his midseason awards for each team, including Terrell Suggs as the Ravens' Most Valuable Player.
The Ravens aren't playing well this season because the offense isn't producing. Both Joe Flacco and Rice have underwhelmed through the season's first eight weeks. Baltimore's rush offense is ranked 28th so far this year after finishing 2012 ranked 11th. Despite the first half struggles, the Ravens are only one game out of the No. 6 playoff spot in the AFC. However, earning that spot won't be easy, Baltimore still has to play the Bengals (twice), the Patriots, the Bears and the Lions.
NFL power rankings roundup
* CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco moves the Ravens to No. 15, up one spot from last week.
Did they find a running game during the bye? It's Ray Rice time in the second half of the season.
* ProFootballTalk keeps the Ravens at No. 14 this week.
Even a sweep of the Bengals may not be enough to win the division.
* Elliot Harrison of NFL.com bumps the Ravens up to No. 15, two spots higher than last week.
You could say the 3-4 Ravens' season is slipping away, but remember this group's ability to rally -- and remember that Baltimore has not yet met division-leading Cincinnati. The only question is, can the Ravens do it without the longtime veterans who led the locker room in 2012?
* On ESPN.com, the Ravens fall one spot to No. 15 this week.
Baltimore has to take care of business against divisional rivals.
* Hensley discusses the Ravens' ranking on ESPN.com.
The Baltimore Ravens slipped another spot even though they were on a bye. This is the Ravens' worst showing in the Power Rankings this year. It's also the lowest the Ravens have ever been ranked since they were No. 16 in Week 14 of 2009.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun