NFL Week 14 Power Rankings
1. Seattle Seahawks-
-The Seahawks are not only for real, but they should be considered the team to beat in the NFL. They are so dominant at home that it makes it tough to pick against them in the NFC if they can maintain this homefield advantage (which looks extremely likely). They have a great combination of a top notch defense and a very strong offense. Russell Wilson has proven that last year isn't a fluke and right now he may be the best quarterback from the 2012 draft class.
2. Denver Broncos-
-The Broncos did a great job going on the road and beating the Chiefs. They still look primed for the top spot in the AFC and really don't have a tough schedule down the stretch.
3. New England Patriots-
-The Patriots are one of the oddest teams this year. They've had dramatic victories over the Broncos and Saints, but have also played down to opponents and nearly lost to teams like the Bills, Texans, and even the Falcons. New England is a really good football team, but they can't afford any miscues going forward.
4. New Orleans Saints-
-The Saints had a chance to get over the lead for the number one seed, but were just blown out by the Seahawks on the road. New Orleans now needs to protect their division lead with a game against the Panthers this week. While they should be playoff bound regardless, if they don't get things right, they could be forced into a wild card spot.
5. Carolina Panthers-
-The Panthers crushed the Buccaneers and with the Saints loss have a shot of taking the division if they can win next Sunday night over New Orleans. The Panthers are winning with strong defense and athletic quarterback play, a combination that just dominated the Saints on Monday Night.
6. Kansas City Chiefs-
-The Chiefs had a 21-7 lead at home with a strong defense, but that didn't matter to Peyton Manning as the Broncos won 35-28. Kansas City is a good football team, but they have been struggling of late. Though they have practically locked up a wild card spot, they need to show that they can get back to winning. Good news is this week they face the Redskins and should have an easy win.
7. Indianapolis Colts-
-The Colts get the win over the Titans and all but locked up the AFC South. They still aren't dominating teams like they were earlier in the year when Reggie Wayne was healthy, and there is a real question just how far this team can go. That being said the Colts have beaten the Seahawks, 49ers, and the Broncos this season which is incredibly impressive. They do have two tough road games remaining versus the Bengals and Chiefs. If they can win one or both of those it could prove them as a force in the playoffs.
8. Cincinnati Bengals-
-The Bengals get the win over the Chargers and remain with a strong lead in the AFC North. While they will take the win, you would like to see the Bengals be able to have a better offensive showing against a team like the Chargers. Cincinnati's defense can take them far, but at some point they will need to be able to rely on their offense if they want to win football games.
9. San Francisco 49ers-
-The 49ers dominated the Rams, and with the Cardinals loss have a clear path to the 6th playoff spot. This week they have their rematch versus the Seahawks and this time the game is at home. While the win isn't needed, it would help lock up a playoff spot and prove that the Seahawks aren't invincible.
10. Dallas Cowboys-
-The game was closer than they would have liked, but the Cowboys got the win on Thanksgiving day to remain in first place (with the tie breaker) of the NFC East. Dallas can't afford a misstep though as the Eagles are hot on their heels and playing really good football.
11. Philadelphia Eagles-
-The Eagles had a tough game on their slate, but they continued winning as they beat the Cardinals. The fear was that the Cardinals defense would dominate the game, and though they prevented the Eagles from putting up huge numbers, Philly showed their efficiency and protected the football.
12. Detroit Lions-
-The Lions broke their streak of losses on Thanksgiving Day by clobbering the Packers 40-10. This was a total victory for the Lions as their defense owned the Packers and didn't allow them to do anything, while Matt Stafford, Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson had their way with Packers defense. The Lions are in a great position to win the NFC North as they control the tie breakers over the rest of the division, and of course the current lead.
13. Arizona Cardinals-
-The Cardinals dropped a game to the Eagles this past Sunday. Arizona battled back after being down throughout the game, but couldn't pull it out. The Cardinals still have a winning record, but it may not be enough in the ultra competitive NFC Wild Card Race.
14. Baltimore Ravens-
-The Ravens couldn't afford to lose to the Steelers at home on Thanksgiving Day, and while Pittsburgh made it close Baltimore came away with the win. The Ravens have a real shot at the 6th wild card spot right now, but it won't be easy. The Ravens final 3 games they face the Lions, Patriots and Bengals and will need to win probably at least 2 of those to make the playoffs.
15. Miami Dolphins-
-The Dolphins knocked off the Jets and amazingly this team despite all their controversy has a real shot at the postseason. The Ravens unfortunately hold the tie-breaker, but Miami is in this race.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers-
-The Steelers dropped a tough one on Thanksgiving to the Ravens and their playoff hopes took a significant hit. They are still in it, but will need to pretty much win out for that to occur.
17. San Diego Chargers-
-The Chargers lost a close game to the Bengals which hurt their wild card chances. Even if they miss the playoffs this should be considered a successful season in San Diego as this team looks like a potential threat going forward.
18. Chicago Bears-
-The Bears just can't seem to find a way to win. They should easily beat the Vikings whether Jay Cutler is in there or not, yet they lose the game in overtime and really make it tough for them to overcome the Lions. The Bears offense had good numbers, they just couldn't turn it into enough points. Cutler may help that, but other players on the Bears need to step up as well.
19. Green Bay Packers-
-The Packers are just lost without Aaron Rodgers and it's possible that he might not be back this year. While they aren't completely eliminated from the division race, they are going to have their work cut out for them. Even if Rodgers comes back they need to go on the road twice versus the Cowboys and Bears and have a home game against the Steelers who are playing much better football of late.
20. Tennessee Titans-
-The Titans dropped another game to the Colts, and fell to 5-7. After starting the year 3-1, the Titans are just 2-6 since then and are basically out of the division race. The 6th wild card is a possibility still, but with the way they've been playing it should be considered a long shot.
21. New York Giants-
-The Giants beat the Redskins to improve to 5-7 on the year and two games behind the Eagles and Cowboys. They are going to need some help if they want to catch the teams at the top, but they remain alive (slightly).
22. St. Louis Rams-
-The Rams had been playing better of late, but they couldn't handle the 49ers. St. Louis could have a tough time hitting .500 this year, but you do have to wonder what their season would have been with Sam Bradford for 16 weeks. Now the question is, does Bradford come back?
23. Cleveland Browns-
-The Browns lost to the Jaguars despite the fact that Josh Gordon had another incredible day. As much as Cleveland needs to find a quarterback this offseason, they need an answer at running back as well. The Browns are averaging 3.7 yards per carry for the year and have just 2 rushing TDs.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-
-Early on it looked like the Bucs could make it a game versus the Panthers, but Carolina quickly shut that down. Tampa still has a ways to go, but they are a young team with some nice upside.
25. Oakland Raiders-
-The Raiders played tougher on Thanksgiving than most people gave them credit for, but it was still another loss for this team. Some young guys are starting to emerge for the Raiders, but this team is in need of a significant rebuild after the season.
26. Minnesota Vikings-
-The Vikings won in overtime over the Bears to pick up their third win (plus their tie). It was a great day on the ground for Minnesota, particularly Adrian Peterson who totaled 200+ yards for the first time this season. The Vikings passing game though is still non-existent and needs to be the focal point of the team this offseason.
27. New York Jets-
-Maybe the only thing worse than benching Geno Smith is to bench him and get worse production out of your back-up. The Jets look to be going back to Geno Smith, but the reality is no quarterback is going succeed this year for New York. They just don't have the talent around them on offense to put points on the board. The defense is still really good in New York, but it gets exposed given the field position and situations they are put in.
28. Buffalo Bills-
-The Bills dropped a game to the Falcons despite the fact that they finally got C.J. Spiller going. Buffalo is a team with a lot of nice young pieces, but they clearly haven't put it all together just yet. The future is brighter in Buffalo, but these final four games could be tough.
29. Atlanta Falcons-
-The Falcons got their 3rd win of the year over the Bills on Sunday. They still have a ways to go to get back to the kinda of team people expected this preseason, but it was good to see Roddy White get involved.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars-
-The Jaguars have back-to-back wins, and are showing they aren't ready to give up on this season. This is still a bad football team, but it's good to see that they are still fighting.
31. Washington Redskins-
-Four weeks ago the Redskins and Eagles were sitting at 3-5, tied for second in the division (Eagles held the tiebreaker). Since then the Eagles have won 4 straight and the Redskins have lost 4 straight. They are now tied for the league's 2nd worst record and look on the verge of completely imploding. The Redskins have just failed to show up in numerous games and have really had little chance in most games.
32. Houston Texans-
-The Texans are an odd team winning their first two games and then losing the past 10. The shocking thing is though they've been very close in many of their toughest games. They've lost by 3 points or less against the Seahawks, Chiefs, Colts, Cardinals and Patriots. This is a better football team than their record, but they keep finding ways to lose.