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 for Week 15 (Dec 11, 2014)

 eddie-lacy-rookie-of-the-year1. Green Bay Packers (10-3); beat Atlanta Falcons 43-37, retains same ranking – Everybody talks about the outstanding Green Bay passing attack, but their run game averaged 6.0 yards per carry in this one.

2. New England Patriots (10-3); beat San Diego 23-14, retains same ranking – Tom Brady ran his career December record up to an incredible 46-7 with this victory, while also adding his 64th game with 300 yards passing.

3. Denver Broncos (10-3); beat Buffalo 24-17, retains same ranking – A weird stat line for Peyton Manning in a victory, 173 passing yards and 0 TD’s, but CJ Anderson punched in three scores.

4. Seattle Seahawks (9-4); beat Philadelphia 24-14, moves up one spot – This is the third straight week that Seattle has held their opponent to season lows in yards and points. Now they face their entire division once more.

5. Indianapolis Colts (9-4); beat Cleveland 25-24, moves up one spot – It wasn’t the Colts’ prettiest win, but then again, few December games in Cleveland turn out pretty.

lesean-mccoy6. Philadelphia Eagles (9-4); lost to Seattle 24-14, drops two spots – On a day where LeSean McCoy set the Eagles’ franchise rushing record (6,539 yards), Philly was largely shut down on their home field. Good bye 10-game home winning streak.

7. Arizona Cardinals (10-3); beat Kansas City 17-14, retains same ranking – A much-needed win for Arizona in their quest to hold off Seattle for the NFC West crown. This is also the first time Arizona’s had back-to-back 10-win seasons since 1974-76.

8. Detroit Lions (9-4); beat Tampa Bay 34-17, retains same ranking – Identical scores in back-to-back weeks after beating Chicago 34-17 last week. This helps Detroit keep pace with Green Bay in the NFC North.

9. Dallas Cowboys (9-4); beat Chicago 41-28, retains same ranking – Another giant game for DeMarco Murray, who gained 176 rushing yards and scored a TD.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5); beat Cincinnati 42-21, moves up four spots – Pittsburgh is a hard team to figure out. A week after getting lit up by New Orleans, they demolish the AFC North-leading Bengals in Cincinnati.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (8-4-1); lost to Pittsburgh 42-21, drops one spot – What happened in the fourth quarter? The Bengals were blasted 25-0 as Le’Veon Bell ran over their defense.

12. Baltimore Ravens (8-5); beat Miami 28-13, moves up three spots – Following a rough first quarter, Baltimore pulled it together and outscored Miami 28-3 the rest of the way.

13 San Diego Chargers (8-5); lost to New England 23-14, drops one spot – In typical fashion, San Diego lost their fourth game of the season when held below 300 yards of total offense (216 yards this time).

jim-harbaugh-49ers-turmoil14. San Francisco 49ers (7-6); lost to Oakland 24-13, drops three spots – This loss probably dooms the Niners’ season and Jim Harbaugh’s tenure with the team.

15. Miami Dolphins (7-6); lost to Baltimore 28-13, drops two spots – The Dolphins are still technically alive for the postseason, although that’s likely to change when they travel to New England this weekend.

16. Houston Texans (7-6); beat Jacksonville 27-13, moves up three spots – Houston is playing their best football of the year, thanks in large part to J.J. Watt, who had three sacks this time around.

17. Kansas City Chiefs (7-6); lost to Arizona 17-14, drops one spot – Despite putting up solid offensive numbers, KC couldn’t hit Arizona where it counts, on the scoreboard.

18. Buffalo Bills (7-6); lost to Denver 24-17, drops one spot – Despite Kyle Orton throwing for 355 yards and a team-record 38 completions, the Bills fall further behind in the AFC North.

18. Cleveland Browns (7-6); lost to Indianapolis 25-24, drops one spot – Okay, Cleveland FINALLY sees the need to switch quarterbacks.

20. St. Louis Rams (6-7); beat Washington 24-0, NR – The Rams have completely dominated their last two opponents to the tune of a 76-0 score.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 14 (Dec 4, 2014)

aaron-rodgers-vs-patriots1. Green Bay Packers (9-3); beat New England 26-21, moves up one spot – If Green Bay grabs homefield in the NFC, it’s hard to see anybody stopping their Super Bowl run. Especially since Aaron Rodgers has thrown 20 TD’s and zero interceptions at home.

2. New England Patriots (9-3); lost to Green Bay 26-21, drops one spot – As for New England’s march towards AFC homefield advantage, they hold a tiebreaker over Denver with four games left.

3. Denver Broncos (9-3); beat Kansas City 29-16, retains same ranking – It hasn’t been easy to win at Arrowhead this season, but Denver made it look that way.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (9-3); beat Dallas 33-10, retains same ranking – With 256 rushing yards – including 159 yards by LeSean McCoy – Philly looks primed and ready to face Seattle this week.

5. Seattle Seahawks (8-4); beat San Francisco 19-3, moves up four spots – The return of Bobby Wagner has been huge for this defense. But they close against the Eagles and all three divisional opponents.

dan-herron-colts-starter6. Indianapolis Colts (8-4); beat Washington 49-27, moves up two spots – The Colts look to have found a good replacement for the injured Ahmad Bradshaw in Dan Herron.

7. Arizona Cardinals (9-3); lost to Atlanta 29-18, drops two spots – No Carson Palmer and three games left against NFC West opponents doesn’t bode well for a team that’s already headed downward.

8. Detroit Lions (8-4); beat Chicago 34-17, moves up two spots – There are no questions that Calvin Johnson still has it, catching 11 passes for 146 yards and 2 TD’s against the Bears.

9. Dallas Cowboys (8-4); lost to Philadelphia 33-10, drops three spots – This is the type of game that Dallas needed. But after getting blown out at home, their December 14th contest in Philadelphia looks pretty foreboding.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (8-3-1); beat Tampa Bay 14-13, moves up two spots – Andy Dalton still has yet to emerge as a true franchise quarterback this season, but the rest of the team looks solid.

11. San Francisco 49ers (7-5); lost to Seattle 19-3, drops four spots – The Niners still have a chance to make their playoff case. But in a crowded NFC West, they’re looking like the odd man out right now.

philip-rivers12. San Diego Chargers (8-4); beat Baltimore 34-33, moves up two spots – Huge road win for San Diego. Philip Rivers had ice in his veins in this one, completing 8-of-8 passes for 156 yards.

13. Miami Dolphins (7-5); beat NY Jets 16-13, moves up three spots – The Dolphins survived (emphasize this word) against an onslaught of Jets rushers to stay alive in the AFC playoff hunt.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5); lost to New Orleans 35-32, drops three spots – The Saints had a touchdown party against Pittsburgh, with Ben Watson, Erik Lorig and Nick Toon all scoring their first TD of the season.

15. Baltimore Ravens (7-5); lost to San Diego 34-33, drops two spots – How did a 23-13 fourth-quarter lead at home turn into a 34-33 loss for the Ravens?

16. Kansas City Chiefs (7-5); lost to Denver 29-16, drops one spot – KC hasn’t been defending homefield very well lately, losing 8 of their last 9 divisional games at Arrowhead.

17. Buffalo Bills (7-5); beat Cleveland 26-10, moves up one spot – This was a nice win for Buffalo and they still play Oakland. However, remaining games against Denver, New England and Green Bay make the postseason unlikely.

18. Cleveland Browns (7-5); lost to Buffalo 26-10, drops one spot – As the Johnny Manziel era begins, Cleveland seems to be an unlikely playoff team since they hold no tiebreakers in the AFC North.

19. Houston Texans (6-6); beat Tennessee 45-21, moves up one spot – Ryan Fitzpatrck exploded for six touchdown passes in this game – Houston’s franchise record.

20. New Orleans Saints (5-7); beat Pittsburgh 35-32, NR – New Orleans keeps pace with Atlanta in the dreadful NFC South.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 14 (Dec. 5th, 2013)

peyton-manning-chiefsLast week was characterized by a couple of very high-profile matchups between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs, as well as the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints. The Broncos proved their dominance of the AFC West by beating their division rivals on the road by a score of 35-28. Kansas City is still a lock for the playoffs, but the illusion of their defensive dominance is now gone.

As for the Saints and Seahawks, this one wasn’t even close as Seattle throttled the visiting team. Most believe that the Saints are nearly invincible inside of the Superdome. But they appeared very mortal while playing at CenturyLink Field. Here’s a look at how last week’s featured games will shake up the Week 14 NFL power rankings.

1. Denver Broncos (10-2); beat Kansas City 35-28, retains same ranking – The margin between Seattle and Denver is slim. But it’s hard to bump Peyton and company out of the top spot when they just beat a playoff-bound Chiefs for the second time this season. Eric Decker had the game of his life after reeling in four of Manning’s five touchdown passes.

2. Seattle Seahawks (11-1); beat New Orleans 34-7, retains same ranking – So much for that bolstered New Orleans defense… Russell Wilson looked like a 10-year veteran the way he picked apart the Saints defense to the tune of 310 passing yards and three touchdowns. Oh yea, and Seattle’s defense was pretty good too as they shut down one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

3. New England Patriots (9-3); beat Houston 34-31, moves up two spots – The Pats got off to a slow start against Houston. But they once again staged a big comeback on the strength of Tom Brady’s 371 yards and two touchdowns. On a side note, Stevan Ridley’s days as New England’s starting running back appear over.

colin-kaepernick4. San Francisco 49ers (8-4); beat St. Louis 23-13, moves up two spots – San Francisco ended St. Louis’ hot streak and took a big step forward in the race for NFC playoff positioning. The Niners, who began the year trying to feature Colin Kaepernick’s talents more, seem to be getting back to this approach now that they’ve got some wins under their belt.

5. New Orleans Saints (9-3); lost to Seattle 34-7, drops two spots – The Saints didn’t suddenly become a bad team just because they got blown out by a fellow NFC powerhouse. However, this loss does raise some questions about New Orleans’ ability to win big games away from home.

6. Carolina Panthers (9-3); beat Tampa Bay 27-6, moves up one spot – Nobody predicted this week’s game against New Orleans to be a battle for first place in the NFC South. But that’s exactly where we’re at after Carolina won a franchise-record eighth straight game. Cam Newton is playing the best football of his three-year career, and just threw for 263 yards, ran for 68 yards, and accounted for three TD’s against the Buccaneers.

7. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3); lost to Denver 35-28, drops three spots – Alex Smith is really looking solid at QB after piling up 293 passing yards, 46 rushing yards, and three total TD’s. But what happened to that vaunted KC pass rush from earlier this year? Manning went virtually untouched for the second time these two teams faced.

8. Cincinnati Bengals (8-4); beat San Diego 17-10, moves up one spot – Holding the Chargers to 10 points at home is no small feat. The Bengals supplemented their great defensive effort with a strong running game (164 yards on 38 carries).

9. Indianapolis Colts (8-4); beat Tennessee Titans 22-14, moves up one spot – The Colts put a halt to their massive struggles with a hard-fought victory over Tennessee. Their lack of a running game is disturbing and the Trent Richardson deal is officially a dud. But they still have a little bit of time to fix these issues before the postseason.

demarco-murray10. Dallas Cowboys (7-5); beat Oakland 31-24, moves up one spot – Dallas used a surprisingly effective two-back approach, with Lance Dunbar rushing for 82 yards on 12 carries and DeMarco Murray gaining 63 yards on 19 carries. Murray also got into the end zone three times against the soft Oakland D.

11. Philadelphia Eagles (7-5); beat Arizona 24-21, moves up one spot – Philadelphia keeps pace with Dallas in the NFC West with a huge victory over Arizona. Is it time to anoint Nick Foles (237PYDS, 3TD) as one of the league’s top QB’s?

12. Detroit Lions (7-5); beat Green Bay 40-10, moves up one spot – The Lions absolutely terrorized Matt Flynn in the pocket and racked up seven sacks and a safety. Now, the challenge will be repeating this dominant performance against teams without Flynn under center.

13. Arizona Cardinals (7-5); lost to Philadelphia 24-21, drops five spots – The Cardinals don’t really deserve this free-fall after losing by three points on the road. But with everybody behind them winning and boasting a similar record, the margin for error is slim in this range.

14. Baltimore Ravens (6-6); beat Pittsburgh 22-20, moves up three spots – Like any true champion, the Ravens aren’t going down without a fight. They scraped by with five field goals, and dug in to stop a two-point conversion with 1:03 left.

15. Miami Dolphins (6-6); beat New York Jets 23-3, moves up three spots – You have to give Miami some credit for battling back to .500 with all of the controversy surrounding them. It now appears that they’re in a two-team race with Baltimore for the last AFC Wild Card spot.

adrian-peterson-rushing-record16. Chicago Bears (6-6); lost to Minnesota 23-20 (OT), drops two spots – Chicago blew a golden opportunity to keep pace with the Lions in the NFC North. Their defense once again got gashed by a running back, with Adrian Peterson rushing for 211 yards on 35 carries.

17. San Diego Chargers (5-7); lost to Cincinnati 17-10, drops two spots – After a dramatic 3-point victory at Kansas City last week, San Diego couldn’t keep the magic going at home against the Bengals. The offense was surprisingly ineffective, especially when they crossed the 50-yard-line, and failed to complete drive after drive.

18. Green Bay Packers (5-6-1); lost to Detroit 40-10, drops two spots – Aaron Rodgers may be back this week. But the Pack is also down one and a half games in the NFC North, which is probably too wide of a margin to make up.

19. New York Giants (5-7); beat Washington 24-17, moves up four spots – New York kept their slim postseason hopes alive thanks to four sacks from Justin Tucker. Andre Brown also added two touchdown runs, though he only gained 35 yards on 14 carries.

20. Tennessee Titans (5-7); lost to Indianapolis 22-14, retains same ranking – Although they lost, Tennessee is still just a game out of the AFC Wild Card race, and they hold all of the tiebreakers.

21. New York Jets (5-7); lost to Miami 23-3, drops two spots – New York is just playing terribly on offense right now. At least Rex Ryan finally had the nerve to bench Geno Smith after another awful outing (29PYDS, 1INT). Unfortunately, Matt Simms isn’t much better…

22. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7); lost to Baltimore 22-20, drops one spot – Not only did Mike Tomlin earn himself a big fine for stepping in the way of a Jacoby Jones’ 73-yard kickoff return, but he also may have costed Pittsburgh a draft pick. Not exactly the best way to build for the future.

zac-stacy23. St. Louis Rams (5-7); lost to San Francisco 23-13, drops one spot – St. Louis fought hard on the road against a superior team. Zac Stacy turned in a tough game against this loaded defense as he rushed for 78 yards on 19 carries. He’s definitely a good building block for the future.

24. Minnesota Vikings (3-8-1); beat Chicago 23-20 (OT), moves up five spots – The teams from here on out are so bad that Minnesota leaps up five spots for grabbing a win against the Bears. Adrian Peterson finally looked like he did in the second half of last season, showing he has more than enough left in the tank.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9); beat Cleveland 32-28, moves up five spots – It’s finally time to consider the Jaguars a legitimate NFL team again. Chad Henne led a late comeback after finding Cecil Shorts in the end zone with 40 seconds remaining.

26. Cleveland Browns (4-8); lost to Jacksonville 32-28, drops two spots – As if it were possible, Cleveland is about to get a lot worse! Now both Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden are hurt, leaving the Browns picking at the bottom of the barrel for a healthy QB.

27. Oakland Raiders (4-8); lost to Dallas 31-24, drops two spots – After some ups and downs this season, Oakland is having yet another bad season. Perhaps they’ve found a quarterback for next year in Matt McGloin, though.

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-9); lost to Carolina 27-6, drops two spots – At this point, it’s very difficult to see Greg Schaino keeping his job. So Tampa Bay will essentially go back to the drawing board this offseason.

29. Atlanta Falcons (3-9); beat Buffalo 34-31 (OT), moves up two spots – Atlanta finally got the type of all-around offensive production they’ve been looking for, with Matt Ryan throwing for 311 yards and 1 TD, and Steven Jackson rushing for 84 yards and two touchdowns.

30. Buffalo Bills (4-8); lost to Atlanta 34-31 (OT), drops three spots – The good news is that CJ Spiller (149RYDS, 1TD) finally looked like the back that Buffalo was expecting this year. The bad news is that it comes when this team’s season has already gone down the drain.

31. Washington Redskins (3-9); lost to New York Giants 24-17, drops three spots – Washington has now been eliminated from the postseason in 17 of the last 21 years. After this season’s disappointment, some wonder if Mike Shanahan will be around in 2014.

32. Houston Texans (2-10); lost to New England 34-31, retains same ranking – Another close call for Houston, another loss. The Texans haven’t won since September 15th and it’s questionable if that will change before 2013 ends.