Originally written on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 11/18/14

The Baltimore Ravens took an improbable route to the Super Bowl in January before defeating the San Francisco 49ers to claim the Lombardi Trophy, but that accomplishment hasn't pushed them any closer to being the AFC's darling team in 2013. The Broncos and the Patriots remain as the top teams in the conference, and that's the way they'll likely stay for the foreseeable future. Since winning the Super Bowl, the Ravens have lost a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. The addition of Elvis Dumervil stops the bleeding, but it's not enough to make up for the losses of such stars as Anquan Boldin, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. The Patriots haven't helped themselves out this offseason either. The loss of Wes Welker was appalling to many, including quarterback Tom Brady, but despite the loss, the Patriots will still be the shoo in favorite in a weak division. The same can be said for the Broncos. While they lost Dumervil to an AFC rival, the addition of Wes Welker gives Peyton Manning another toy to play with. The Broncos' loss to the Ravens in last season's playoffs was a fluke that would have been avoided with a well-timed jump in the secondary. Make no mistake about it, the Broncos were and still are a better team than the Ravens. The AFC seems to be divided into two tiers at the top. The too front runners are still the Patriots and Broncos, and the Ravens and Texans are chasing. While the Ravens may hold bragging rights going into the 2013 season, there's far too much competition, even in their own division, to say that they have a great shot of repeating, much less getting back to the big game itself. [follow]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet

Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

Niners OT Anthony Davis takes shot at offensive coordinator

Report: Josh Smith expected to sign with Rockets

WATCH: Quincy Acy ejected for throwing punch at John Wall

Billy Beane did not want to trade Josh Donaldson

Peyton Manning plans to be back with Broncos next year

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

WATCH: Bahamas Bowl ends on insane Hail Mary play

Mike Yeo slams Wild for not having 'winner's attitude'

Michigan St. QB, Ohio State TE have awkward Twitter exchange

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Ibaka, Aldridge ejected for scuffle

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Nick Young on Kobe-less win: He needs to pass

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.