Week 15: NFL Power Rankings

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals

What another crazy weekend of football. Week 14 of the NFL had a lot to offer. Outside of all the snow games, we are now seeing which teams are on the rise and which teams are packing it up and looking forward to next season.

Both the Cincinnatti Bengals and the San Francisco 49’ers have been playing extremely well as of late. These two teams were both heavily favored prior to the start of the season, however, at the half way point of the season many questioned whether or not these teams will be able to do something come January. The Bengals and the Niners both had their fair share of struggles at one point of the season. They were both able to look at their low points and build off of them. With the playoffs nearing, both of these teams are on a roll and can do some serious damage over the next couple of months.

While San Francisco and Cincinnatti continue to roll, the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans continue their let down seasons. These teams were both in the playoffs last year. Coming into this season, the Texans were big time favorites in the AFC, while the Redskins were expected to continue their success from last season. Both of those predictions have been WAY off. The Texans have already fired their head coach and the Redskins might be doing the same in the near future.

Here are my Power Rankings for week 15. Feel free to leave your comments and opinions below. Also, make sure you check back every Tuesday morning as I will continue to post my Power Rankings throughout the season.

Number 1: Seattle Seahawks (11-2) – Last Week 1

Despite losing this past weekend, the Seattle Seahawks remain atop of my Power Rankings. When you look at this teams body of work throughout the season it is clear that they are the best team in the NFL. Sure, they might not be the same team on the road. Good thing for them is they are good enough on the road to where they don’t have to worry about traveling in the postseason.

Number 2: New England Patriots (10-3) – Last Week 2 

Tough loss for the New England Patriots on Sunday as they lost tight end Rob Gronkowski for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL and MCL. If you look at the hit it was a direct result of defenders not being allowed to go high. Brady now lost his favorite target. Let’s see how the rest of the group can respond.

Number 3: Denver Broncos (11-2) – Last Week 3

Boy, did Peyton Manning prove a lot of people wrong yesterday (including myself), about playing in the cold weather. He looked phenomenal, tossing 4 touchdown passes. Unfortunately, they lost Wes Welker to his second concussion in just four weeks. Not a good sign.

Number 4: New Orleans Saints (10-3) – Last Week 4 

After last night I came to the conclusion that there is just no winning in New Orleans during a prime time game. The Saints we’re able to put an end to Carolina’s winning streak and they did it in impressive fashion. They still need to find a way to take the number one seed from Seattle.

Number 5: San Francisco 49’ers (9-4) – Last Week 6

The 49’ers have been playing tremendous football as of late, probably the best they have all season. A big positive is the way the defense has been playing. Unlike the start of the season, they have been playing smash mouth football. They have allowed 13 or fewer points in four out of their last six games.

Number 6: Cincinnati Bengals (9-4) – Last Week 7

Cincinnati has quietly been on a three game winning streak. Sunday marked the first time in five games in which Andy Dalton did not turn the football over. He has just three games all season with no interceptions. He still needs to work on his turnovers, but this team is looking very good. They have a very favorable schedule to close out the season and could roll into the playoffs on a 6 game winning streak.

Number 7: Carolina Panthers (9-4) – Last Week 5

All good things must come to an end eventually. The Panthers eight game winning streak was abruptly snapped on Sunday night against the Saints. Carolina looked like a completely different football team. They couldn’t get anything going offensively and their frightening defense failed to stop Drew Brees. They have the Jets next week before they play the Saints in a rematch.

Number 8: Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) – Last Week 8 

The Chiefs three game losing streak finally came to an end in a very lopsided victory over the Washington Redskins. The Chiefs are very fortunate that their offense has been able to click over the past few games. They will get a Wild Card spot, but they are a team that no one wants to face in the postseason. You can take a great defense and a running game with you on the road and have great success.

Number 9: Philadelphia Eagles (8-5)  – Last Week 10

Nick Foles is on fire. The second year quarterback threw his first interception of the season on Sunday, but was able to help the Eagles secure a come from behind victory. The real story in that game was LeSean McCoy. McCoy broke the Philadelphia Eagles record for most rushing yards in a game at 217 yards. Crazy thing is he did it in six inches of snow.

Number 10: Arizona Cardinals (8-5) – Last Week 12

It’s about time. The Cardinals were finally able to get a division win, something that they have failed to do in their last eight attempts. Carson Palmer continues to play phenomenal football and the Cards are right in the thick of things in the NFC Wild Card race. They have to compete with San Francisco and Carolina for the last spot. It will be tough, but hey, anything is possible, right?

Number 11: Baltimore Ravens (7-6) – Last Week 13

Here comes the Ravens. The defending Super Bowl champs have caught fire as of late, winning three out of their last four. The Ravens got healthy at the right time and although Flacco wasn’t perfect yesterday, he got the job done when it mattered.

Number 12: Chicago Bears (7-6) – Last Week 15

Holy Josh McCown. The man was on fire throughout the night as he tossed four touchdowns while rushing for another. Very impressive win by the Chicago Bears. They really made a statement headed forward in the NFC North. The Lions seem to be falling while the Bears are on the rise. Oh and what a catch by Alshon Jeffery.

Number 13: Detroit Lions (7-6) – Last Week 9

I guess finishing isn’t something the Detroit Lions are very good at. They have had countless amount of opportunities to clinch a division title and a spot in the postseason. They continue to give up games that they should have won. If they don’t end up winning their division and miss the playoffs, I can see how Jim Schwartz keeps his job at the end of the season.

Number 14:  Indianapolis Colts (8-5) – Last Week 11

Much like the Detroit Lions the Indianapolis Colts have finishing problems. Yes, they won their division on Sunday, but they did it in a losing fashion. If it wasn’t for Peyton Manning and the Broncos, the Colts would still be fighting to close out the division. Oh the irony.

Number 15: Miami Dolphins (7-6) – Last Week 17

I am so proud of the Dolphins. With all of the distractions that this team has been faced with over the past couple of months they have really come together as a team and are playing great football. The playoffs for Miami is a reality and I am very excited.

Number 16: Green Bay Packers (6-6-1) – Last Week 16

It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but the Packers were finally able to get a win. They took advantage of Atlanta’s turnovers and were able to seal the deal. They are still in the conversation for first place in the NFC North. Will Rodgers come back or are they thinking big picture? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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