NFL Power Rankings Week 14, 2016

alex-smith-kansas-cityLast weekend, the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs squared off in a classic case of offense vs. defense. The Chiefs’ defense wasn’t as dominant as it usually is, but they still prevailed 29-28.

See where Kansas City sits in our Week 14 NFL power rankings, and check out last week’s rankings here.

1. Dallas Cowboys (11-1); beat Minnesota 17-15, same spot – Dallas struggled in this one, fumbling four times and losing two of them against a tough Vikings defense. But they also prevented Minnesota’s offense from doing much harm.

2. New England Patriots (10-2); beat LA 26-10, same spot – New England’s defense shut down the Rams, sacking Jared Goff four times and picking him off twice.

3. Oakland Raiders (10-2); beat Buffalo 38-24, same spot – With every win and big performance, Derek Carr continues inching up the MVP discussion.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3); beat Atlanta 29-28, same spot – The Chiefs keep pace with the Raiders in the AFC West with this hard-fought win.

earl-thomas-injury5. Seattle Seahawks (8-2-1); beat Carolina 40-7, same spot – This was a totally dominate victory for the Seahawks, but also a costly one since Earl Thomas broke his leg.

6. Denver Broncos (8-4); beat Jacksonville 20-10, up 2 spots – This win won’t go down as a season highlight for Denver, but it’s enough to keep them alive in the AFC West and Wild Card races.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5); beat NY Giants 24-14, up 2 spots – Ladarius Green came alive in this game, catching 6 balls for 110 yards and a touchdown.

8. Atlanta Falcons (7-5); lost to Kansas City Chiefs 29-28, down 2 spots – The bad news for Atlanta is that they’re now tied with the Bucs for the division lead. The good news is that they close out the regular season against four straight sub .500 teams.

9. New York Giants (8-4); lost to Pittsburgh 24-14, down 2 spots – New York will have to raise their level of play over the last few weeks since they face Dallas, Detroit, Philly, and Washington.

10. Detroit Lions (8-4); beat New Orleans 28-13, same spot – Detroit’s defense really stepped up in this contest, shutting down a Saints offense that had been rolling up until this point.

aaron-rodgers-bet-211. Green Bay Packers (6-6); beat Houston 21-13, up 3 spots – Aaron Rodgers made the prediction that Green Bay would run the table when they were 4-6. They’re 2-0 since then.

12. Baltimore Ravens (7-5); beat Miami 38-6, up 3 spots – Baltimore jumped out in this game early and never looked back on their way to blowing out one of the league’s hottest teams.

13. Washington Redskins (6-5-1); lost to Arizona 31-23, down 2 spots – Coach Jay Gruden was angry after this game, ripping his players for their lack of urgency.

14. Miami Dolphins (7-5); lost to Baltimore 38-6, down 2 spots – Winners of 6 out of their last 8 games, Miami saw their momentum come to a screeching halt in this game. When they fall behind early, they don’t have the passing game to catch up.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5); beat San Diego 28-21, up 3 spots – This is Tampa Bay’s fourth-straight win, and they now share the AFC South lead with Atlanta.

16. Minnesota Vikings (6-6); lost to Detroit 17-15, down 3 spots – All bets are off on the Vikings making a comeback since they’ve now lost 6 of their last 7 contests.

tyrod-taylor-bills17. Buffalo Bills (6-6); lost to Oakland 38-24, down 1 spot – With Tyrod Taylor set to pick up $27 million next season, there are many questions surrounding if he’ll be back next season.

18. Indianapolis Colts (6-6); beat NY Jets 41-10, up 3 spots – Indianapolis blew out of the gate thanks to Andrew Luck’s four first-half TD passes. It could’ve been five if tight end Jack Doyle hadn’t fumbled in the end zone while stretching for the pylon.

19. Tennessee Titans (6-6); bye week, up 1 spot – Tennessee has two tough games coming up against Denver and the Chiefs, before closing out with Jacksonville and Houston.

20. Houston Texans (6-6); lost to Green Bay 21-13, down 1 spot – Brock Osweiler had a decent game with 202 yards and two TD passes. But this time, Houston wasn’t able to muster a run game.

21. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7); lost to Cincinnati 32-14, down 4 spots – Following this blowout loss to a struggling team, Philly officially looks done in the playoff hunt.

22. Arizona Cardinals (5-6-1); beat Washington 31-23, up 2 spots – Carson Palmer had his best game of the season, throwing for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns.

23. Cincinnati Bengals (4-7-1); beat Philadelphia 32-14, up 2 spots
 – Cincinnati’s defense took advantage of Carson Wentz’s struggles by picking him off 3 times.

24. San Diego Chargers (5-7); lost to Tampa Bay 28-21, down 2 spots – Now four games out of the AFC West lead, San Diego is all but eliminated from the division race.

25. New Orleans Saints (5-7); lost to Detroit 28-13, down 2 spots – While New Orleans is a couple games back in the AFC South, they still have a chance with two remaining contests against Tampa Bay and one against Atlanta.

26. Carolina Panthers (4-8); lost to Seattle 40-7, same spot – The final score of this game pretty much explains the disappointment that is the 2016 Panthers.

jordan-howard-bears27. Chicago Bears (3-9); beat San Francisco 26-6, up 2 spots – Chicago proved to be masters of their own domain, dominating in this snow-filled contest. Jordan Howard led the way with 3 touchdown runs.

28. LA Rams (4-8); lost to New England 26-10, same spot – With not much else to discuss regarding another bad Rams team, the focus is on whether or not coach Jeff Fisher will be fired.

29. New York Jets (3-9); lost to Indianapolis 41-10, down 2 spots – The Jets suffered from an emotional letdown after losing a close contest to division-rival New England. That…and they’re just a bad football team.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10); lost to Denver 20-10, same spot – It’s finally looking like Gus Bradley’s time in Jacksonville is running out after yet another miserable season.

31. San Francisco (1-11); lost to Chicago 26-6, same spot – Any talk of Colin Kaepernick turning the corner and regaining his old form died in this contest, as he went 1-of-5 before getting benched.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-12); bye week, same spot – Cleveland will take their last few shots at getting a win this season with RG III under center again.

NFL Power Rankings Week 10, 2016

derek-carrAre the Oakland Raiders just overachievers? Certainly not, now that the Raiders gained firm control over the AFC West with a 30-20 victory over the Denver Broncos.

See where Oakland moves up to in our Week 10 power rankings and where Denver falls. Also, take a look at last week’s power rankings here.

1. New England Patriots (7-1); bye, same spot – The Patriots come out of the bye and into a re-match of the 2014 Super Bowl. Just like then, we like New England over Seattle this week.

2. Dallas Cowboys (7-1); beat Cleveland 35-10, up 1 spot – It would’ve taken a Browns upset to create the possibility of Tony Romo starting over Dak Prescott. That obviously didn’t happen, and we see Prescott leading this team the rest of the season.

3. Seattle Seahawks (5-2-1); beat Buffalo 31-25, up 1 spot – Jimmy Graham is experiencing a resurgence this season, as he showed by tallying two touchdowns and 103 receiving yards against Buffalo.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2); beat Jacksonville 19-14, up 1 spot – Kansas City did just enough down the stretch to preserve this win. But it didn’t help their cause that 5 offensive starters were out.

latavius-murray-raiders5. Oakland Raiders (7-2); beat Denver 30-20, up 4 spots – Defying all preseason expectations, Oakland is now leading the AFC West. Latavius Murray was the hero of this game, running for 114 yards and three touchdowns.

6. Denver Broncos (6-3); lost to Oakland, down 4 spots – Denver lost the turnover battle against the Raiders, and their normally stout defense was run over by Murray.

7. Atlanta Falcons (6-3); beat Tampa Bay 43-28, up 1 spot – Matt Ryan’s outstanding season continued in this one as he threw for 344 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead Atlanta to victory.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4); lost to Baltimore 21-14, down 2 spots – Ben Roethlisberger surprised everybody by returning for this game. But his knee injury possibly held him back as he looked frustrated until the fourth quarter, when he directed a 75-yard scoring drive.

9. Minnesota Vikings (5-3); lost to Detroit 22-16, down 2 spots – Three weeks ago, Minnesota was a Super Bowl contender. Now, they’ve lost three straight games and are in a fight for the NFC North.

10. Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1); bye week, up 1 spot – With immense talent on both sides of the ball, Arizona comes out of the bye hoping to have worked out the kinks.

11. Green Bay Packers (4-5); lost to Indianapolis 31-26, down 1 spot – Looking at Aaron Rodgers’ stats – 297 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception – you’d think that Green Bay would’ve won. But they allowed two rushing scores to Frank Gore and gave up an opening kick-off TD to Jordan Todman.

eli-manning12. New York Giants (5-3); beat Philadelphia 28-23, up 5 spots – Eli Manning got off to a hot start, throwing for four early touchdowns. The Giants defense did the rest to hang onto this win.

13. Detroit Lions (5-4); beat Minnesota 22-16, up 5 spots – Matt Prater kicked a clutch 58-yard field goal, and Golden Tate scored an acrobatic TD to help the Lions win.

14. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1); bye week, down 1 spot – The Bengals visit the New York Giants this week, trying to keep their playoff hopes alive.

15. Washington Redskins (4-3-1); bye week, down 1 spot
 – Washington hosts the Vikings, with both clubs fighting to keep pace in their division.

16. Philadelphia Eagles (4-4); lost to NY Giants, down 4 spots – Carson Wentz looked like a rookie from a small school as he was often confused by the Giants’ coverage schemes.

17. Houston Texans (5-3); bye week, down 1 spot – Houston’s lead in the AFC South is down to one game with the Colts’ win.

18. Baltimore Ravens (4-4); beat Pittsburgh 21-14, up 1 spot – Baltimore’s only offensive touchdown came on a 95-yard pass from Joe Flacco to Mike Wallace. But this was enough for the win.

jay-ajayi-dolphins19. Miami Dolphins (4-4); beat NY Jets 27-23, up 1 spot – Kenyan Drake had a 96-yard TD return, and Jay Ajayi turned in another strong performance with 111 yards and a rushing score.

20. Indianapolis Colts (4-5); beat Green Bay 31-26, up 1 spot – At age 33, Frank Gore is having yet another strong season, rushing for 592 yards and 4 touchdowns so far this year.

21. Buffalo Bills (4-5); lost to Seattle 31-26, down 6 spots – Buffalo has now lost three straight games and has fallen into third place in the AFC North.

22. San Diego Chargers (4-5); beat Tennessee 43-35, up 6 spots – Melvin Gordon continues his tear, rushing for 196 yards in this contest. He now leads the NFL with 11 touchdowns.

23. New Orleans Saints (4-4); beat San Francisco 41-23, up 2 spots – Mark Ingram redeemed himself for fumbling issues by running for 158 yards and scoring two touchdowns.

marcus-mariota24. Tennessee Titans (4-5); lost to San Diego 43-35, down 1 spot – Marcus Mariota put up numbers with 313 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. But he also produced 3 crucial turnovers.

25. Carolina Panthers (3-5); beat LA 13-10, up 2 spots – It wasn’t pretty, but Carolina grabbed their second-straight win.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6); lost to Atlanta 43-28, down 4 spots – For the second straight week, Tampa Bay’s secondary was ripped, giving up a big game to Matt Ryan this time.

27. LA Rams (3-5); lost to Carolina 13-10, down 3 spots – The chants of “We want Goff!” grew their loudest yet during this poor offensive display.

28. New York Jets (3-6); lost to Miami 27-23, down 2 spots – New York has already equaled their loss total from last season with seven games left in the year.

29. Chicago Bears (2-6); bye week, same spot – Coming off a win two weeks ago over Minnesota, Chicago returns to action against Tampa Bay.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6); lost to Kansas City 19-14, same spot – If the losing continues, expect head coach Gus Bradley to be gone before the 2016 campaign ends.

31. San Francisco (1-7); lost to New Orleans 41-23, same spot – In other potential firing news, San Francisco GM Trent Baalke is likely to be ousted in the near future.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-9); lost to Dallas 35-10, same spot – Some thought that Dallas could be walking into a trap game since they’d potentially overlook the Browns. But as the score shows, this definitely wasn’t the case.

NFL Power Rankings Week 9, 2016

cowboys-vs-eaglesLast weekend, the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys battled for supremacy in the NFC East. Dak Prescott led the Cowboys to yet another victory, leaving them 6-1 and firmly in control of the East.

See where Dallas moves up to in our Week 9 power rankings, and check out last week’s rankings here.

1. New England Patriots (7-1); beat Buffalo 41-25, same spot – Tom Brady broke this game open on a 53-yard TD pass to Rob Gronkowski. New England also scored 27 points on five consecutive possessions, and they look unstoppable right now.

2. Denver Broncos (6-2); beat San Diego 27-19, same spot – Denver harassed Philip Rivers into 20-of-47 passing and stopped the Chargers on several crucial drives at the end.

3. Dallas Cowboys (6-1); beat Philadelphia 29-23 (OT), up 1 spot – Prescott had a shaky start, but he played well enough down the stretch to win the game. There’ll be no quarterback controversy until Dallas starts losing.

4. Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1); lost to New Orleans 25-20, down 1 spot – Russell Wilson had a chance to win the game, but his end-zone completion to Jermaine Kearse was ruled out of bounds.

nick-foles-chiefs5. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2); beat Indianapolis 30-14, up 3 spots – Much like last year, the Chiefs are putting together a win streak after a slow start. Nick Foles will start against the Jaguars as Alex Smith sits with a concussion.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3); bye week, up 1 spot – It was thought that Ben Roethlisberger would be out for several weeks. But odds are that he’ll play against the Ravens this week.

7. Minnesota Vikings (5-2); lost to Chicago 20-10, down 2 spots – This shocker was partly the result of Minnesota’s normally stout defense giving up 153 rushing yards to Jordan Howard.

8. Atlanta Falcons (5-3); beat Green Bay 33-32, up 2 spots – Matt Ryan found Mohamed Sanu in the end zone with 31 seconds left to notch a huge win against Green Bay.

9. Oakland Raiders (6-2); beat Tampa Bay 30-24 (OT), up 2 spots – Derek Carr was outstanding, passing for a franchise-record 513 yards as Oakland looks like the surprise team of the year.

aaron-rodgers-vs-patriots10. Green Bay Packers (5-3); lost to Atlanta 33-32, down 1 spot – Aaron Rodgers threw for four touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to hold off Atlanta’s charge in the end.

11. Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1); lost to Carolina 30-20, down 5 spots – As talented as Arizona is, they aren’t even close to a playoff spot halfway through the season.

12. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3); lost to Dallas 29-23 (OT), same spot – Rookie Carson Wentz had a solid performance in this big game. However, he couldn’t move his team downfield in the fourth quarter and overtime.

13. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1); tied Washington 27-27, up 1 spot – Despite their subpar play in the first half of the season, Cincinnati is only one game out of the division lead.

14. Washington Redskins (4-3-1); tied Cincinnati 27-27, up 1 spot
 – Dustin Hopkins took a lot of heat after missing a 34-yard field goal with 2:13 in overtime.

15. Buffalo Bills (4-4); lost to New England 41-25, down 2 spots – Buffalo was bad on both sides of the ball…so bad in fact that one of their fans threw a sex toy on the field out of frustration.

brock-osweiler-texans16. Houston Texans (5-3); beat Detroit 20-13, up 2 spots – Brock Osweiler bounced back from a terrible performance to throw for a modest 186 yards and a TD.

17. New York Giants (4-3); bye week, down 1 spot – New York will come out of their bye week and jump right into a tough NFC East matchup with Philadelphia.

18. Detroit Lions (4-4); lost to Houston 20-13, down 1 spot – Detroit had a three-game win streak snapped as they failed to muster any offense until the fourth quarter.

19. Baltimore Ravens (3-4); bye week, up 2 spots – Baltimore has lost four straight games, and they need to beat Pittsburgh this week to stop their decline.

20. Miami Dolphins (3-4); bye week, up 2 spots – Jay Ajayi will try to become the first-ever running back with three straight 200-yard rushing performances against the Jets.

21. Indianapolis Colts (3-5); lost to Kansas City 30-14, down 2 spots – Indianapolis couldn’t stop Nick Foles when he came in for an injured Alex Smith. Foles threw two touchdowns to put this game away.

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5); lost to Oakland 30-24, down 2 spots – Tampa Bay’s defense was shredded by Derek Carr, including the game-winning touchdown drive in overtime.

23. Tennessee Titans (4-4); beat Jacksonville 36-22, up 3 spots – DeMarco Murray has been running the ball extremely well, but coach Mike Mularkey wants to lighten his load by getting Derrick Henry more involved.

24. LA Rams (3-4); bye week, down 1 spot – LA will try to get back to .500 as they host the Carolina Panthers at home.

25. New Orleans Saints (3-5); beat Seattle 25-20, up 3 spots – New Orleans has been playing much better over the past few weeks, and it showed in this home victory over Seattle.

26. New York Jets (3-5); beat Cleveland 31-28, up 1 spot – The Jets got off to a slow start, but Matt Forte ran for two second-half touchdowns to help them get a comeback victory over the lowly Browns.

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers27. Carolina Panthers (2-5); beat Arizona 30-20, up 2 spots – It was a bittersweet victory as Cam Newton took a tough shot and blasted NFL officials afterward (justifiably so).

28. San Diego Chargers (3-5); lost to Denver 27-19, down 4 spots – Melvin Gordon has been a bright spot in the Chargers season, rushing for 572 yards and scoring 10 overall touchdowns so far.

29. Chicago Bears (2-6); beat Minnesota 20-10, up 1 spot – After missing five games, Jay Cutler had a solid comeback, throwing for 252 yards and a touchdown in this win.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5); lost to Tennessee 36-22, down 5 spots – Somebody had to go after yet another dismal Jaguars start, and it was offensive coordinator Greg Olson, rather than head coach Gus Bradley.

31. San Francisco (1-6); bye week, same spot – Perhaps the bye week gave Colin Kaepernick more time to work on things and regain his form from 2012 and ’13.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-8); lost to NY Jets 31-28, same spot – The Jets may have been one of the Browns’ last chances to get a win this season. Their best hope now is playing good combined with an emotional letdown by a superior team.