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Latest NFL Power Rankings

Updated on December 14, 2016

Week 14 NFL Power Rankings

Three of last week’s top five teams lost last week which means there is turmoil at the top of the rankings. Dallas, Oakland and Seattle all came up short, but with so many top teams losing, will their spots be in danger? Short answer? Yes. These are weekly rankings. If you lose, odds are you drop even if just a little. It doesn’t mean the season is over. Just because Dallas fell out of the top spot doesn’t mean I think they are in serious trouble. They are, after all, still the only team to have clinched a playoff spot. Expect more of that to happen this weekend. But, before we can get to this week’s games we need to rank the teams for what they did last week. So without further ado, I give you Week 14’s NFL Power Rankings.

  1. New England Patriots (11-2) ~ No Gronk? No problem. Tom Brady strengthened his MVP case by throwing for over 400 yards and three touchdowns against Baltimore who came in as the top rated defense in the league. Is there anything this man can’t do? New England is back atop the AFC and, for now, the road to the Super Bowl goes through Foxborough yet again. (Last Week’s Ranking 2)
  2. Dallas Cowboys (11-2) ~ They had a chance to clinch the NFC East with a win Sunday night but could not avenge their opening week loss to the New York Giants. That puts Dallas at 0-2 versus the G-Men but 11-0 versus the rest of the league. As long as the Cowboys avoid New York in the playoffs I think they’ll take that. (LWR 1)
  3. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) ~ Last week I mentioned that if K.C. could take down the Oakland Raiders people would have to start giving them their due. While I haven’t heard much about them since that game, I do know this. Nobody is going to want to face this team in the playoffs. Especially in Arrowhead where they are 5-1 this season. (LWR 5)
  4. Atlanta Falcons (8-5) ~ Matt Ryan shook off a few downish weeks, at least for him, in what was an absolute drubbing in L.A. He did it without his top two targets as Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu both sat out with injuries. The Falcons will need them back to advance in the playoffs, but this week, with a home matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, I think they’ll be just fine with or without them. (LWR 6)
  5. Oakland Raiders (10-3) ~ I really like the Raiders but Derek Carr’s injured pinky finger has me concerned. He was making a strong case for league MVP and then put up a clunker in Kansas City as he completed just 41% of his passes for a season-low 117 yards. It was also just the second time all year he was held without a touchdown pass. If he is healthy, I’m back on the wagon. If not, well, how much trust do you have in Matt McGloin? (LWR 3)
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) ~ They are back in sole possession of first place in the AFC North and that is largely due to Le’Veon Bell rushing for a franchise-record 236 yards while finding the end zone three times. My fantasy team is also now in the championship game largely due to Bell’s efforts. Thank you Le’Veon, and please, keep it up. (LWR 8)
  7. Seattle Seahawks (8-4-1) ~ Russell Wilson threw a career-high five interceptions in a blowout loss on the frozen tundra. They weren’t all his fault, but five picks are five picks. Things should be different this week at home, although, the last time Seattle played L.A they were held out of the end zone in a 9-3 loss. (LWR 4)
  8. Detroit Lions (9-4) ~ The Raiders aren’t the only team with a quarterback dealing with a finger issue. Matt Stafford had a “grotesquely dislocated” middle finger on his throwing hand. He, like Carr, is expected to continue playing with the aid of a split and/or glove. The Lions will only go as far as Stafford’s right arm can carry them. (LWR 9)
  9. New York Giants (9-4) ~ The G-Men are protecting their house. Their win over Dallas improved their home record to 6-1 and they will close out their home schedule Sunday when Detroit comes to town. Back-to-back games against teams currently seeded higher than them in the NFC followed by two divisional road games is a tough way to end the season as they try to clinch a playoff berth. (LWR 11)
  10. Denver Broncos (8-5) ~ After starting the year 6-2, Denver has to be feeling the pressure of possibly missing out on a return to the postseason. We know Carolina, last year’s other Super Bowl participant, is toast. Could both Super Bowl teams miss the playoffs entirely this year? (LWR 7)
  11. Green Bay Packers (7-6) ~ If Aaron Rodgers can average 22 yards rushing a game for the next three weeks there is a good chance he will end the season as Green Bay’s leading rusher. I don’t think that is how they drew it up at the beginning of the year. (LWR 12)
  12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5) ~ That’s five straight wins for the Bucs which include holding the Seahawks and New Orleans Saints to a combined 16 points. The defense looks to be back in Tampa. Couple that with the dangerous duo of Jameis Winston and Mike Evans and Tampa could be dangerous should they reach the playoffs. (LWR 14)
  13. Baltimore Ravens (7-6) ~ The scoreboard says they lost by only seven, but anyone watching that game knows it was a much bigger beatdown than that. Losing on the road to Tom Brady and company happens to everyone though. Especially teams in the AFC as Baltimore became the 50th AFC team to lose in their last 51 tries at Foxborough when Mr. Brady is playing. (LWR 10)
  14. Washington Redskins (7-5-1) ~ They snapped their two-game losing streak to keep their playoff hopes alive but it wasn’t easy. It took a Ryan Kerrigan strip-sack in the closing minute to salt the game away. They will need another win Monday night against Carolina if they want to continue playing past New Year’s Day. (LWR 13)
  15. Tennessee Titans (7-6) ~ OK, I admit it. I thought they would lose at home to Denver and thus remind us all that the Titans are on the rise but not quite there yet. Well, after their win. Maybe they are there. The AFC South title is still well within reach. (LWR 17)
  16. Houston Texans (7-6) ~ The standings still have Houston atop their division but I’m still a skeptic. Brock Osweiler has been terrible after signing a lucrative deal to leave Denver. His 73.4 passer rating is the second-lowest among qualifying quarterbacks (Ryan Fitzpatrick) in the league. And last I checked Fitzpatrick lost his starting job to Bryce Petty. (LWR 18)
  17. Miami Dolphins (8-5) ~ The good news? Quarterback Ryan Tannehill didn’t tear his ACL or MCL as initially feared. The bad news? He did suffer a sprain which will keep him out for a few weeks. That means Miami’s playoff hopes now ride on backup Matt Moore. I don’t know how I feel about that. Any Dolphins fans want to weigh in? (LWR 15)
  18. Minnesota Vikings (7-6) ~ On the road. In Jacksonville. Should be an easy win. Right? It was a two-point game until Minnesota punched in into the end zone just before the two-minute warning. They snuck out of Florida with a win, but I’m not holding my breath on them sneaking into the playoffs. Not this year. (LWR 16)
  19. Indianapolis Colts (6-7) ~ Donte Moncrief was forced to leave Sunday’s game due to injury. If he is forced to miss time that will allow defense to key in on stopping the ever-dangerous T.Y. Hilton who has 18 catches for 261 yards and a score over his last two games. (LWR 19)
  20. Buffalo Bills (6-7) ~ Buffalo is very, very cold at this time of year. In fact, the only thing that is hot up there is coach Rex Ryan’s seat. While his job is clearly on the line, the Bills get a gift this week in the form of the Cleveland Browns. Who said Christmas doesn’t come early? (LWR 20)
  21. Arizona Cardinals (5-7-1) ~ Seemingly everything has gone wrong for Arizona this season. A last-second road loss to the Tannehill-less Dolphins all but eliminated them from playoff contention. Up next is a match-up with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints who are in the midst of a highly disappointing season of their own. The loser is guaranteed a sub .500 season. (LWR 21)
  22. Cincinnati Bengals (5-7-1) ~ Top wideout A.J. Green is back to practicing and could return from a hamstring injury as soon as Sunday. The Bengals aren’t yet mathematically eliminated from playoff contention but they will need to win out and getting Green back will certainly help make that prospect more realistic. (LWR 24)
  23. Carolina Panthers (5-8) ~ Carolina will see a familiar face on the opposing sideline Monday night as they visit the Redskins and former cornerback Josh Norman. Would things be different if Carolina retained their star defender rather than releasing him in the offseason? Given that the Panthers are allowing 26 points per game, which is 26th in the league, I’d say that is a definitive yes. (LWR 26)
  24. San Diego Chargers (5-8) ~ A season full of injuries got even worse on Sunday when Melvin Gordon and Joey Bosa were forced to leave the game. There’s nothing left to gain with them coming back quickly this season. It’s probably best for San Diego to look towards 2017 for now. (LWR 23)
  25. New Orleans Saints (5-8) ~ Drew Brees has now gone two consecutive games without a touchdown pass. He hasn’t done that since 2009. I can’t imagine he will have a third such game in a row. Look out Arizona secondary. You’re on notice. (LWR 25)
  26. Philadelphia Eagles (5-8) ~ My Eagles aren’t done yet. Here’s what needs to happen to have Philadelphia get into the playoffs. They must win out while the Falcons, Redskins and Packers must all lose out. The Vikings must beat the Packers, but lose their other two games. The Buccaneers must beat the Panthers. The Saints must lose to Arizona or Tampa Bay. Oh, and the Cardinals must lose at least once. Got it? Good. Cuz I don’t. (LWR 22)
  27. Chicago Bears (3-10) ~ The Bears have been competitive with Matt Barkley under center. Now he gets some help as Alshon Jeffery returns from a four-game suspension this weekend. (LWR 28)
  28. New York Jets (4-9) ~ Bilal Powell took over for an injured Matt Forte and ran for 145 yards and two scored as the Jets came back from a 14-point deficit on the road to win in overtime. Granted, it was against the worst rush defense in the league. But 145 yards and two scores is still a monster game no matter who it is against. (LWR 30)
  29. Los Angeles Rams (4-9) ~ Head Coach Jeff Fisher has been fired. It seems like it was only yesterday that the Rams announced his extension. Either way, Fisher is the first Los Angeles Rams coach to be fired since Chuck Knox back in 1995. (LWR 27)
  30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) ~ Eight straight losses for Jacksonville. This team had such promise. Or at least I wanted them to have promise. (LWR 29)
  31. San Francisco 49ers (1-12) ~ Eight straight losses for Jacksonville? That’s nothing. Make it a dirty dozen for the Niners who missed out on a golden opportunity to get back into the win column Sunday. Two blown field goals by the usually reliable Phil Dawson helped contribute to blowing a lead at home to the woeful Jets who were on their backup quarterback and running back. (LWR 31)
  32. Cleveland Browns (0-13) ~ Twelve straight losses for San Francisco? Ha! That’s really nothing! It’s thirteen in a row for Cleveland this year and sixteen straight if you go back to 2015. It has now been more than a calendar year since Cleveland won a game. Their starting quarterback at the time? Johnny Manziel. Yowza. (LWR 32)

That's all she wrote folks. Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them right here. Or if that's not good enough you can follow/harass me on Twitter @therichwhiteguy. It wouldn't be the biggest waste of your time.

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