NFL

Week 14 NFL Power Rankings

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  1. Carolina Panthers 12-0: The Carolina Panthers aren’t just winning a lot, they’re proving they can win any way they have to. This week Cam Newton and company showed they can score a lot of points to win if need be. It’s hard not to believe in what Carolina is doing right now.
  2. Arizona Cardinals 10-2: The Arizona Cardinals just keep plugging along and beating everyone in front of them. The way Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald are playing, the Cardinals are going to be tough to beat in January.
  3. Cincinnati Bengals 10-2: The Cincinnati Bengals might be the most complete team in football, but until they prove they can win in the playoffs, they’re always going to have their skeptics.
  4. Denver Broncos 10-2: It really would have been difficult to imagine an injury to Peyton Manning going as well as this one has for the Denver Broncos. At this point, the Broncos are confident they can win down the stretch whether or not they ever see Manning at his best again.
  5. New England Patriots 10-2: Ok, things just got real in New England. The injuries are taking their toll, and their loss to a Philadelphia team that had lost three in a row, and their last two by a combined score of 90-31, is a sign that the Pats are in trouble if they don’t get healthy.
  6. Green Bay Packers 8-4: The entire Packers world seemed to be crashing to the ground when we were reminded, Aaron freaking Rodgers is amazing. Like with Brady and the Patriots, as long as the Packers have No. 12, you can’t count them out.
  7. Seattle Seahawks 7-5: Speaking of teams you can’t count out…The Seattle Seahawks reminded us Sunday that they’ve been to consecutive Super Bowls, and they’re the team that nobody wants to see in the playoffs.
  8. Minnesota Vikings 7-5: The Minnesota Vikings are a talented young football team, but they looked like a team that might not be ready for prime time Sunday against Seattle.
  9. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-5: It’s been a very tough year for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they find themselves at 7-5 with four to play. With as wide open as the league feels this year, they’ll feel pretty good about their chances if they get into the playoffs with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown.
  10. Kansas City Chiefs 7-5: With their remaining schedule, the Chiefs are in really good shape when it comes to a playoff bid. The way they’ve played as of late, they may have a shot in January as well.
  11. New York Jets 7-5: The New York Jets pulled off a big overtime victory over their Met Life Stadium co-tenants Sunday, and it kept them right in the thick of the AFC Wild Card picture.
  12. Buffalo Bills 6-6: A loss to Houston on Sunday may have ended the Buffalo Bills hopes at landing a playoff spot. Buffalo is still in a tough spot behind three 7-5 teams, so they’ll have to play their best football down the stretch if they’re going to have any chance.
  13. Indianapolis Colts 6-6: The Indianapolis Colts had won three in a row, and hadn’t lost with Matt Hasselbeck under center before getting throttled by Pittsburgh Sunday. They remain tied for 1st-place in the AFC South.
  14. Houston Texans 6-6: The Houston Texans missed their opportunity to pass the Colts by falling to the Buffalo Bills Sunday. The Colts and Texans meet in two weeks in a game that could be for the division crown.
  15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-6: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the youngest team in the NFL, but they’re not playing like it. This is a team on the rise, and Jameis Winston has a locker room full of guys young and old ready to follow him. For the first time in a long time, Bucs fans are feeling optimistic about the future.
  16. Atlanta Falcons 6-6: The Atlanta Falcons were 6-1 and feeling very confident under first year head coach Dan Quinn. Five losses in a row later, and the Falcons are .500 and staring at a date with the undefeated Panthers.
  17. Washington Redskins 5-7: There’s an inappropriate joke we could tell about the Washington Redskins, but instead we’ll just tell you that they still somehow lead the NFC East at 5-7, and that’s equally offensive.
  18. New York Giants 5-7: The New York Giants are probably telling themselves that they’re the best 5-7 team in football, but good football teams don’t find as many ways to lose as the Giants have this season. Odell Beckham Jr is special, everyone else, meh.
  19. Oakland Raiders 5-7: The Oakland Raiders playoff hopes were all but crushed with their loss to the Chiefs on Sunday. There’s plenty of reason for optimism with young stars like Khalil Mack, Derek Carr, and Amari Cooper, but they’re not there yet.
  20. Chicago Bears 5-7: The fact that we’ve been talking about how good of a job John Fox is doing when the Bears have had a losing record all season is a sign of how short Chicago is on talent. Just when it looked like the Bears might be turning the corner, they go and lose to the Niners on Sunday.
  21. Miami Dolphins 5-7: If you think about it, the Miami Dolphins are right where they’ve been for the last 20 years. They’ve got some talented stars, and look like they’re not that far away, but they never get over that hump. 2016 will likely be more of the same.
  22. Detroit Lions 4-8: There is probably no team in the NFL more capable of pulling off a late game loss to the Green Bay Packers the way the Detroit Lions did on Sunday. We kind of wanted them lower on the list after that, but how the heck do we put them below a Philadelphia team they whooped on Thanksgiving?
  23. Philadelphia Eagles 5-7: So, after three consecutive losses, including two blowouts to the Lions and Bucs, the Eagles beat New England. Congrats Chip Kelly, you’ve created a sloppy inconsistent mess of a team that sometimes looks amazing.
  24. New Orleans Saints 4-8: The Saints offense looked good in their 41-38 loss to the Panthers, but in the end, their defense once again showed why the team is 4-8. They can’t stop anyone.
  25. Dallas Cowboys 4-8: The Dallas Cowboys beat the division leading Washington Redskins on Monday night football to pull to within a game of the rest of the division, who all come in a 5-7. How can the Cowboys be sliding after a win you ask? Because the NFC East stinks.
  26. St. Louis Rams 4-8: There were so many signs that the Rams were on their way, but they’re right back in quarterback purgatory. It’s far from the only problem in St. Louis, but until they find someone they can believe in under center, this won’t get better.
  27. San Francisco 49ers 4-8: This season has gone about as well as everyone expected after the mass exodus of talent this offseason. It’s a shame, because Jim Tomsula is a lot of fun, and it would be fun to see him be around for a while.
  28. Baltimore Ravens 4-8: The Baltimore Ravens season has gone about as poorly as possible. It’s going to be an interesting offseason in Baltimore where they need an influx of talent.
  29. San Diego Chargers 3-9: You just know that Philip Rivers isn’t handling being awful very well. His left handed pass attempt on Sunday was the Chargers season in a nutshell.
  30. Jacksonville Jaguars 4-8: It’s probably very sheik to flip flop Jacksonville and Tennessee after the Titans win on Sunday, but we’ll still give the nod to the Jags since they split the season series and the Jags are a game better, so there.
  31. Tennessee Titans 3-9: The Tennessee Titans won their third game of the season Sunday. A fact that highlights how far away the whole roster is. That said, they have to feel a lot better about the roster today than they did a year ago, especially at quarterback.
  32. Cleveland Browns 2-10: So, the Browns are going back to Johnny Manziel again. So there’s that.

About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.