NFL Power Rankings 2016: Week 15 Standings
Week 14 of the 2016 NFL schedule is over. Now it’s time to see how all 32 teams stack up. Let’s dive right in to this week’s edition of NFL Power Rankings. For reference purposes, here’s a link to last week’s order.
1 – New England Patriots 11-2 (Last Week: 3) – The Patriots are once again back on top of the NFL. Tom Brady is as good as ever.
2 – Kansas City Chiefs 10-3 (LW: 4) – The Chiefs are a close second behind the Patriots in the AFC. Kansas City has won eight of their last nine, with their one loss being a two-point defeat to a hot Bucs team. Andy Reid is clearly still one of the best coaches in the NFL. Big win for Big Red to beat the Raiders and take control of the toughest division in the NFL: the AFC West.
3 – Dallas Cowboys 11-2 (LW: 1) – Dak Prescott really struggled in the Cowboys’ second loss of the season. The rookie passer only completed 45.9% of his passes at 4.5 yards per attempt for one touchdown, two interceptions, and a 45.4 passer rating. Dallas will likely stick with Prescott for now, but there’s certainly room for debate if Tony Romo would be the better option for the Cowboys.
4 – Oakland Raiders 10-3 (LW: 2) – Derek Carr averaged a mere 2.9 yards per attempt against Kansas City’s defense. It’s fair to wonder how much his finger injury is negatively impacting his performance. The Raiders have now lost to the Chiefs twice this season, so it’ll be hard for them to take back the division lead.
5 – Detroit Lions 9-4 (LW: 7) – The good news for the Lions is that they’re now the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoff picture. The bad news is that potential MVP candidate Matthew Stafford injured his finger. He’ll play through the injury but it remains to be seen how it’ll impact his performance.
6 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-5 (LW: 8) – Hard to not have respect for the Bucs. They’ve won five in a row now. Tampa Bay is currently the sixth seed in the NFC but there’s still plenty of time for Jameis Winston and company to take the division lead away from Atlanta.
7 – Atlanta Falcons 8-5 (LW: 9) – The Falcons’ offense put up 42 points on the Rams’ defense despite missing their best player: Julio Jones. Atlanta’s defense is vulnerable but if their offense gets going … look out.
8 – Pittsburgh Steelers 8-5 (LW: 10) – Pittsburgh is back in first in the AFC North. They’ve won four games in a row since going on that four-game losing streak. Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is a terror for opposing defenses to deal with.
9 – Denver Broncos 8-5 (LW: 6) – There’s no guarantee the defending Super Bowl 50 champions will make the playoffs. Denver’s defense is still good but their offensive deficiencies are holding them back from being one of the league’s best teams. It’s almost like the Broncos should have invested in better quarterback options.
10 – Green Bay Packers 7-6 (LW: 12) – If there was any doubt before, a blowout win over the Seahawks shows the Packers are truly back. There’s still time for Aaron Rodgers to make a playoff push down the stretch here.
11 – Seattle Seahawks 8-4-1 (LW: 5) – The Seahawks just aren’t the same team on the road. Seattle has been outscored 133 to 102 in away games this season. They’ve scored 10 or less points in four of their road games. That has to be a big concern for the Seahawks in the playoffs considering they won’t have guaranteed home field advantage.
12 – New York Giants 9-4 (LW: 17) – The Giants might not be as good as their record indicates, but there’s no denying their defense has stepped up. New York swept their season series with Dallas and there’s still a chance the G-Men could win the NFC East, though that’s not necessarily likely.
13 – Baltimore Ravens 7-6 (LW: 11) – It’s very difficult to play on the road and get a win over the Patriots. The Ravens put forth a respectable effort, but their loss dropped them out of the AFC North lead. Baltimore ranks eighth in the AFC playoff picture.
14 – Washington Redskins 7-5-1 (LW: 14) – Washington could have easily lost to the Eagles, but they found a way to hold on.
15 – Miami Dolphins 8-5 (LW: 16) – The Dolphins came up with a big win over the Cardinals that leaves them on the wrong side of a tie-breaker with the Broncos for the sixth seed. The bad news for Miami is that Ryan Tannehill suffered a significant injury, so their season could be shot. It’s now up to Matt Moore to take over.
16 – Minnesota Vikings 7-6 (LW: 18) – Minnesota is trying their hardest to make a playoff push. Eagles fans are strongly rooting against that since Philadelphia owns the Vikings’ 2017 first-round pick. The Eagles need Sam Bradford to start throwing some picks so the Eagles can get a better pick.
17 – Tennessee Titans 7-6 (LW: 19) – The Titans still have a solid chance to win the AFC South if they can stay afloat and beat the Texans in the season finale. Tennessee has gone from being the worst team in the league to making a playoff push.
18 – Arizona Cardinals 5-7-1 (LW: 13) – Leave it to Bruce Arians to somewhat seriously complain that the weather was rigged against them in the Cardinals’ loss.
19 – Buffalo Bills 6-7 (LW: 15) – Prior to the Bills’ loss to the Steelers, there were reports about Rex Ryan being fired and Tyrod Taylor being benched. Well, Buffalo lost and neither of those things has happened … yet. But it could be only a matter of time.
20 – Houston Texans 7-6 (LW: 25) – The Texans aren’t a great football team. They rank 30th in DVOA and seventh to last in point differential. Yet here they are in first place in the AFC South because they’re undefeated in the division at 4-0. The Titans are their biggest threat right now.
21 – Cincinnati Bengals 5-7-1 (LW: 22) – The Bengals are doing enough to keep Marvin Lewis around for another year. Cincinnati fans must be rejoicing.
22 – Indianapolis Colts 6-7 (LW: 20) – Indy had an opportunity to take control of their division but they blew it. The Colts likely won’t make the playoffs for the second year in a row now.
23 – Carolina Panthers 5-8 (LW: 26) – The reigning NFC Champions have fought back after getting off to a bad 1-5 start. Carolina won’t be making the playoffs this season but things could have gone a lot worse for them.
24 – San Diego Chargers 5-8 (LW: 21) – Tough season for San Diego. The Bolts play in the league’s toughest division and they’ve been hit hard with injuries. They’ve lost a lot of close games, too.
25 – Philadelphia Eagles 5-8 (LW: 23) – A week after effort was drawn into question, the Eagles showed good fight against Washington. They arguably deserved to win the game; the Birds outgained Washington in several key categories. Ultimately, though, the Birds didn’t have the talent to overcome their missed opportunities. Carson Wentz played a pretty good game, so at least Eagles fans can take solace in that.
26 – New Orleans Saints 5-8 (LW: 24) – Is the end near for Drew Brees? The future Hall of Fame quarterback has thrown no touchdowns to six interceptions in his last two games.
27 – Chicago Bears 3-10 (LW: 27) – Matt Barkley continues to look more competent than expected. The Bears have also shown some good fight lately. But they’re still bad.
28 – New York Jets 4-9 (LW: 29) – The only thing the Jets really accomplished by beating the 49ers was ruining the draft position they need to draft a new quarterback.
29 – Los Angeles Rams 4-9 (LW: 28) – Jeff Fisher is the first coach to be fired this season. Give him credit, though (language NSFW):
Jeff Fisher was right. https://t.co/WqwFlzyXZG
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 12, 2016
30 – Jacksonville Jaguars 2-11 (LW: 30) – Gus Bradley is now 14-47 in 61 career games. The Jaguars remaining schedule: @ HOU, vs. TEN, @ IND. There’s still time for the Gus Bus to hit the 50-loss mark.
31 – San Francisco 49ers 1-12 (LW: 31) – Can Chip Kelly survive this season after losing 12 games in a row? San Francisco probably knew they weren’t going to be any good this season, but did they really expect to be this bad?
32 – Cleveland Browns 0-13 (LW: 32) – The Browns blew what was arguably their most winnable game remaining on the schedule. 0-16 is probably going to happen.