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Paul Ulane

NFL Power Rankings: Week 15 26


Huge fans of the power rankings out there may have noticed I was not around last week to rank the teams. That means it’s been two weeks since I last sorted through the NFL hierarchy. A lot can happen in 14 days in the NFL, so fasten your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen, there’s been a lot of movement. Keep reading to see which teams landed where…

NFL Power Rankings

1Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 1
(13-0)
The Packers finally ran into a bit of adversity in Week 14, losing wideout Greg Jennings for the rest of the regular season to a sprained knee. With only three weeks left, can Aaron Rodgers and the Pack keep it rolling without their superstar receiver?
 
2New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 6
Pulling out a tough road win against Tennessee when the offense wasn’t clicking on all cylinders made me a believer in these Saints. If you look at the schedule, the Saints might be able to sneak in and grab the NFC’s 2 seed for the playoffs.
 
3New England Patriots
Last Week: 2
That defense terrifies me. And not in a good way. While the Pats are the 14th ranked scoring defense, they give up the most yards in the league. Sooner or later, all of those long drives will start resulting in more points.
 
4Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 3
It’s kind of crazy, but the Ravens have gone 4-0 without the injured Ray Lewis. Maybe they should consider benching him once he’s healthy for the playoffs to see if they can make a Super Bowl run. (Relax, Ravens fans, I’m just kidding.)
 
5Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 5
While Big Ben might be able to tough it out with his busted foot, the Steelers won’t be at full strength and that’s bad news for a team that’s neck and neck with the Ravens right now for homefield in the playoffs. If Ben misses any one of the team’s last three games, Pittsburgh is probably looking at a wild-card berth.
 
6Houston Texans
Last Week: 7
The magic of T.J. Yates has the Texans in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. But the injuries continue to mar what is otherwise a dream season for the Texans. In addition to losing Matt Schaub and Mario Williams for the season and Andre Johnson and Arian Foster for parts of the season, Houston found out yesterday that it would also be losing defensive coordinator Wade Phillips for two weeks due to a medical procedure. Phillips has transformed the Texans from the 30th ranked defense last season to #1 this year.
 
7San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 4
The Niners have lost two out of their last three and now have Pittsburgh coming to town for a Monday-nighter. While the NFC West is already locked up, San Fran needs to turn things around if they want to hold on to that 2 seed in the NFC.
 
8New York Giants
Last Week: 16
They’ve only won once in their last five games, but they’re still in the driver’s seat to win the NFC East. If the Giants sneak into the playoffs, lookout for them to make some noise behind an experienced QB (Eli Manning) and a developing defense (including the new stud defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul).
 
9Denver Broncos
Last Week: 13
PRA-TER! PRA-TER! PRA-TER! Forget Tebow, fans should be chanting for the Broncos kicker. During Denver’s current six-game win streak, Prater is 8-for-9 in the second half and overtime including three consecutive game-winners…the last of which was from 51 yards out. Amazing.
 
10New York Jets
Last Week: 14
The Jets have spun off three straight wins against the murderer’s row of the Bills, Redskins and Chiefs. In other words, the competition hasn’t exactly been stiff. Let’s see how they close out the season with a double dose of the NFC East (@PHI, vs. NYG) and a division game against the revitalized Dolphins on the season’s final day.
 
11Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 9
The Falcons knew they had to get more big plays on offense to keep up with the Packers and the Saints in the NFC and it looks like their big off-season moves have paid off. The Falcons rank in the top ten in plays of both 20 yards or more and 40 yards or more.
 
12Detroit Lions
Last Week: 15
Lost in all the hubbub over the Lions lack of discipline has been the disappearance of Calvin Johnson. Megatron was one of the league’s elite receivers through six weeks, only to fall completely off the face of the earth ever since. Johnson had a season-low 29 receiving yards last week and only has one touchdown in his last five games. The Lions are still in the thick of the playoff mix, but it won’t matter unless they get their best offensive player back on track.
 
13Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 8
It just doesn’t make sense anymore. The Cowboys find new and excruciating ways to lose each week. Just two weeks ago I wrote about the Cowboys improvement in close games. Well, since then, they’ve dropped two straight heartbreakers and have fallen out of first place. Some people think performance in close games comes down to luck from year to year, but the Cowboys continue to find ways to lose close games and if they can’t stop that trend, they’ll miss the playoffs for the third time in the last four years.
 
14Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 11
I expected the Bengals to go 1-3 during their rough stretch (vs. PIT, @ BAL, vs. CLE, @PIT) but losing at home against the Texans and their third string QB might’ve sealed the playoff fate of this year’s team. Still, there is a lot to be excited about in the Queen City. Andy Dalton looks like a franchise QB, while wideout A.J. Green might be the most explosive offensive rookie in the league.
 
15Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 10
In the last two weeks, Carson Palmer has completed 53 percent of his passes while throwing five interceptions. Can you guess if the Raiders won either of those games? Palmer needs to take care better care of the ball if the Raiders want to wrestle back the AFC West from the charging Broncos.
 
16Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 17
The Titans have the 6th best scoring defense in the league and a real shot at the playoffs. Tennessee closes out the season with three division games, starting this weekend against the winless Colts. The real question for the final push is which Chris Johnson will the Titans get: the stud who had more than 150 yards on the ground in both Week 12 and 13 or the bust who finished with 2.1 yards per carry in Week 14?
 
17San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 22
As Philip Rivers go, so go the Chargers. During their current two-game win streak, Rivers has 6 TDs and 0 INTs. Then again, Rivers has put up those sparkling numbers against the Jags and the Bills. Let’s see if Rivers really has recaptured his mojo when he takes on the Ravens D this Sunday night.
 
18Chicago Bears
Last Week: 12
Without Jay Cutler, the Bears offense struggled. Without Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, the Bears offense should just take a knee and punt. After averaging 26.8 points per game with Cutler in the team’s first 10 games, Chicago has only put up 11 points per game with Caleb Hanie under center.
 
19Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 20
We finally saw flashes of the offense everyone expected in the Eagles win over the Dolphins, but the inconsistent defense hasn’t played well enough to put together any win streaks. The Eagles just can’t stop anybody on the ground and rank 20th in points allowed this season.
 
20Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 24
Marshawn Lynch and his Skittles obsessions has gotten all the attention – and why not? He houses Skittles like the Cookie Monster devours cookies – but the Seahawks defense has also played a big part in Seattle’s recent run of four wins in five games. Seattle’s D has only allowed 14.7 points per game over the last five, helping vault Seattle to the fringe of the playoff race.
 
21Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 28
If this were a traditional season in the NFC West, the streaking Cardinals would be right in the thick of a division title race. Unfortunately, the Niners have already clinched the division and Arizona’s five wins in six games is a case of too little, too late.
 
22Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 18
The quarterback is usually the most important position on offense, but you can’t deny Jake Long’s impact on the Dolphins. The left tackle left the game against the Eagles in the first quarter with a back injury and the offense never recovered in a 26-10 home loss.
 
23Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 26
If you want to stop the Jacksonville offense, you only have one job: stop Maurice Jones-Drew. Easier said than done. Even with limited offensive weapons around him, Jones-Drew is on pace for his third straight season of at least 1,300 rushing yards and 300 receiving yards.
 
24Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 25
Everyone knows the Panthers have a building block on offense in Cam Newton. Not as many people know about the superstar defensive end Charles Johnson, who has a shot at double digit sacks for the second consecutive season.
 
25Washington Redskins
Last Week: 21
This hasn’t exactly been a happy season in the nation’s capital – and it’s only going to get worse. Since 2008, the Redskins have a 3-11 record in December, so don’t exactly expect a turnaround to inspire hope for next season.
 
26Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 19
This season continues to get sadder and sadder for Buffalo. The last time the Bills won, in a game against the Redskins the day before Halloween, they were 5-2 and in first place. Since then, they’ve been outscored 194-77 and sit in third place, riding a six-game losing streak.
 
27Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 23
The big story in Cleveland is the possible misdiagnosis of Colt McCoy’s concussion on the sideline. The NFL has GOT to make sure they get these kinds of calls correct. McCoy has shown some promise (even with limited offensive weapons) and is too valuable to risk with such a dangerous injury.
 
28Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 29
New QB? New head coach? I don’t think it really matters for the Chiefs this season, who have lost five different times by 28 or more points in 2011.
 
29Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 27
There’s a lot of blame to go around during this disappointing year in Tampa. I wonder who Bucs fans blame the most. Is it quarterback Josh Freeman? Head coach Raheem Morris? Team mascot Captain Fear?
 
30Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 30
Christian Ponder took a huge step backwards on Sunday, throwing three picks and getting benched in the third quarter. Ponder has as many TD passes as interceptions (11) and the Vikings have nothing left to play for this season. It’d be much more productive for Ponder to play out the string and learn the pro game than to stick with career back-up Joe Webb.
 
31St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 31
I’m starting to worry that Sam Bradford isn’t really a franchise QB. Not only are the Rams 1-9 in Bradford’s starts this year, but he’s only thrown 6 touchdowns in 10 games.
 
32Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 32
Peyton Manning threw a football this week! (Remember when that was status quo in Indy instead of the biggest news of the week?)
Your rating: None Average: 3 (29 votes)

26 Comments

Tebow stiiiiiiiiiinnnkssssssssss

You are wrong my friend.

GO PACK GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go Broncos GO FIGHT WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go Saints!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHO DAT!?1 WHO DAT!?! WHO DAT GONNA BEAT MY SAINTS!?!

The Bears should NOT be 18th in the power rankings. I thought we were going to do better without Cutler. Apparently I was wrong. The Bears are still going to the playoffs this year.

There's nothing worse than loving a team that's going down the toilet. Hopefully Ponder can get his act together next season and pull the Vikings up to where they should be. I can't believe I'm saying it, but they were WAY better off with Favre. Best of luck to Minnesota!!

Broncos just got lucky to win against 8 bad teams and Tim Tebow isnt as good as he thinks i wish they played against the packers,steelers and patriots all in a row. Marion Barber did some bad choices, no offense I love the bears.

GO GIANTS!!! They should be ahead of the 49ers.

I agree.

No Way!I am a Eagles Fan and i think that the 49ers are soo much better then the giants

NO WAY!!!

TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTEEEEEEEEBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW TTTTTTTIIIIIIIIIIIMMMMMEEEEEEEE BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!go back to school professor cuz you do not no what your talkin about.

Nah! Tebow is Bad! Pretty Darn Lucky! You gotta know!

yeah he nos what he's talking bout

[vikings should be higher]

broncos and Saints fan Saints #1 and always will be tebow is a christian and I like that so they are my second fav WHO DAT! Saints #2( I've given up on finding a way to beat Green Bay!)

go packs

WHO GONNA LOSE IN THE NFC TITLE GAME? GREEN BAY BABY! SAINTS ALL THE WAY!

no lions the best'

"Not only did Prater have a 51 yarder, but also a 59 yarder to force it into overtime."

prater:)tebow:(

tebow is awesome

Tim Tebow is overrated. When you look at his stats, they aren't great, and Cam Newton is a better rushing QB that Tebow. Also, the Broncos played some of the easiest teams in the NFL, including the (then) struggling Jets, the Bears without Jay Cutler, the inconsistent Raiders, the Chiefs without a good franchise QB (now they have Kyle Orton, though), the struggling Chargers, and the just plain terrible Vikings without Adrian Peterson (which makes them even worse). If you ask me, my boy Tony Romo deserves a pro bowl spot more than Tebow.

Finally someone who understands that Prater was the broncos MVP. And another MVP for the Broncos Marion Barber. I am saying this because Marion Barber roan out of bounds in he 4th Quater and gave the Broncos a chance. Also, in OT he fumbled and cost the Bears the game. Anyway,the Giants will win the NFC East!

Prater is good, but I like Tebow a lot.

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