Nothing really changed at the top of the power rankings following week 14: It’s still the Carolina Panthers and the rest trailing behind, with the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals the two others to take the most seriously. As for the worst in the NFL? For this week, we’ll choose the Tennessee Titans, but nothing is set in stone.
1. Carolina Panthers, 13-0: Arrogant, fun, lethal, dominant, perfect. The Cam Newton show isn’t stopping, and it’s just getting more and more difficult to slow them down.
2. New England Patriots, 11-2: Their win against the Houston Texans was a return to excellent pass-rushing, quarterback protection and mostly, the comfort of having Rob Gronkowski on the field.
3. Arizona Cardinals, 11-2: The Cardinals have a difficult finish ahead of them, but it’s hard to believe they won’t clinch the NFC West.
4. Denver Broncos, 10-3: The loss to the Raiders brought back memories from Peyton Manning’s worst games. Poor protection, and no ability from the quarterback to escape the pass rush.
5. Green Bay Packers, 9-4: The most important thing from their 28-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys was finding their running game once more, through both Eddie Lacy and James Starks.
6. Kansas City Chiefs, 8-5: OIn their seven win run, the Chiefs have held teams to 13 points or less on five of these games.
7. Cincinnati Bengals, 10-3: If Andy Dalton really is gone for four to six weeks, they’re going to be sinking fast down these rankings.
8. Seattle Seahawks, 8-5: As amazing as Russell Wilson has been lately, constantly losing quality running backs will have to slow them down at some point.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers, 8-5: Everyone’s flying high because of their big win over the Bengals, but it was without Dalton on the field for most of the game, and their defense still gives up too many easy points.
10. New York Jets, 8-5: On their three game winning streak, Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown nine touchdown passes with 0 interceptions.
11. Minnesota Vikings, 8-5: Keeping Adrian Peterson happy is important by constantly feeding him the ball, but Mike Zimmer needs to find the right balance to make Teddy Bridgewater be effective on a consistent level.
12. New York Giants, 6-7: When their offense is on and the team against them isn’t very good, they’re pretty fun to watch.
13. Philadelphia Eagles, 6-7: Despite all the DeMarco Murray drama, the Eagles have won consecutive games for the first time since October.
14. Washington Redskins, 6-7: Have a Win-Loss-Win-Loss thing going on right now, and the team is ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in almost every important statistic. It’s slightly sad they’re the division leaders in the NFC East.
15. Oakland Raiders, 6-7: While Derek Carr and Amari Cooper have grabbed most of the attention this season, Khalil Mack, with 14 sacks, is the team’s best player.
16. Buffalo Bills, 6-7: Penalties and turnovers remain a staple of Rex Ryan teams in important games. Turnovers and penalties they committed, not force.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6-7: Even though two wins in the remaining three games isn’t impossible, it’s hard to believe the Bucs can make the playoffs without winning out, and even then it might not be enough.
18. Houston Texans, 6-7: The Patriots aren’t everyone, but it has to be worrying seeing how easily their defensive pressure was cancelled out for an entire game.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars, 5-8: It’s a little bit sad that this is considered a successful season, but the Jags have some nice firepower going on to build on for more than just this season.
20. St. Louis Rams, 5-8: It seems that Todd Gurley busting out for some big numbers is the main difference between a decent Rams team and a pathetic one.
21. Indianapolis Colts, 6-7: Another embarrassing loss, and it seems that this is more than leaning back on winning a terrible division. The Colts might be falling apart, as the Matt Hasselbeck charm is wearing off.
22. New Orleans Saints, 5-8: While it’s less dependable than ever, the Drew Brees air show is still one of the best things in the NFL.
23. Atlanta Falcons, 6-7: Right now? Not sure Matt Ryan could even start for the Cleveland Browns.
24. Chicago Bears, 5-8: Every time Jay Cutler’s head is filled up with compliments and appraisal, he falls back to his usual mistake and frustrating play.
25. Miami Dolphins, 5-8: When this season is over, the Dolphins need to think hard about why so much money invested in free agents and holding onto players yields such poor results.
26. Detroit Lions, 4-9: With the loss to the Rams, the Lions have clinched their 13th losing season since 2000.
27. San Francisco 49ers, 4-9: With Johnny Manziel making them look bad, maybe the enthusiasm over Blaine Gabbert and a couple of wins was a little bit too much and taking it too far.
28. Dallas Cowboys, 4-9: Another poor offensive performance in Green Bay, this time without the expectations of last year.
29. Baltimore Ravens, 4-9: For the first time this season out of their nine losses, they weren’t close for a single minute to win their game against the Seahawks.
30. San Diego Chargers, 3-10: What a sad way to leave the city and move on a couple of hours North.
31. Cleveland Browns, 3-10: With all of the criticism, Johnny Manziel is now the winningest quarterback this season for the Browns.
32. Tennessee Titans, 3-10: Seems like there is so much work to be done before the Titans, with or without Mariota, are decent enough to make the playoffs.