NFL Power Rankings: Week 14

Has the balance of power shifted in the NFL? With just three games left in the season, AFC teams occupy the top two spots in this week’s rankings.

This is the first time in the Gavel’s power rankings that an NFC team has failed to find itself in the top two.  But with winning streaks of seven and eight games respectively, the Patriots and Broncos are certainly deserving of their positions.

Speaking of the Patriots, they continued their December dominance with a 42-14 thrashing of the previously 11-1 Houston Texans. Amazingly, the Patriots have won 20 straight games in December at home and 13 straight games in December overall.

Not to be outdone, the Denver Broncos own the NFL’s longest winning streak at eight games. Yet, during this streak, the Broncos have only played one team that currently has a winning record (Cincinnati). Next week’s game at Baltimore, albeit a struggling Baltimore, will be a test.

 

Team Rank Previous Rank Record Thoughts

 

New England Patriots

1

3

10-3

During their seven game win streak, the Patriots have scored 284 points; more than 10 teams have scored ALL season.

 

Denver Broncos

2

4

10-3

Could we be headed toward yet another Brady-Manning AFC championship game showdown?

 

San Francisco 49ers

3

5

9-3-1

It looks as if Colin Kaepernick is here to stay. How will the rookie handle a Sunday night game in Foxboro against the red-hot Patriots next week?

 

Green Bay Packers

4

6

9-4

For a team that has been an offensive juggernaut the past couple seasons, their underwhelming offensive stats through 13 games are surprising.

 

Houston Texans

5

1

11-2

How worried should Texans fans be? Well, for a team that had been so stout defensively, they’ve given up 30+ points three of the past four games.

 

Atlanta Falcons

6

2

11-2

The “Atlanta is overrated” talks will certainly continue after losing to the 4-9 Panthers. This team will ultimately be judged though come playoff time.

 

 Indianapolis Colts

7

8

9-4

Don’t look now, but the Colts are just two games behind Houston in the AFC South with two of their final three games against the Texans.

 

Baltimore Ravens

8

7

9-4

Firing offensive coordinator Cam Cameron with three games less was a curious move. We will see if it helps a suddenly struggling offense.

 

Seattle Seahawks

9

12

8-5

Seattle did their best New England Patriots impersonation as many have accused them of running up the score in their 58-0 defeat of Arizona.

 

 New York Giants

10

13

8-5

In typical New York Giants fashion, the G-men rose to the occasion with Dallas and Washington breathing down their neck.

 

Washington Redskins

11

14

7-6

Their fourth win in four games was tempered by RGIII’s sprained knee.

 

 Chicago Bears

12

9

8-5

Make that four losses in five games for the Bears. If they still have any aspirations of winning the division they must beat Green Bay next week.

 

Dallas Cowboys

13

16

7-6

Week 17’s game at Washington could very well decide the playoff fates of three NFC East teams.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

14

11

7-6

With the losses of division rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh, Sunday’s loss against Dallas was heartbreaking.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

15

10

7-6

If they have any hope of reaching the playoffs, Pittsburgh needs to fix its offensive line issues quickly.

 

Minnesota Vikings

16

17

7-6

Adrian Peterson may have catapulted himself to the top of the MVP discussion with another 150+ yard performance on Sunday.

 

St. Louis Rams

17

19

6-6-1

Their pulse may be faint, but with three wins in a row, St. Louis is still alive in the playoff race.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

18

15

6-7

Disappointingly, a three game losing streak has essentially ended Tampa Bay’s playoff hopes. This team will be a factor for years to come though.

 

New York Jets

19

22

6-7

Unbelievably the Jets are just one game out of a wild-card spot in the AFC with three winnable games to close out the season.

 

Cleveland Browns

20

23

5-8

The Browns have won three straight games and have a chance to show exactly how much they’ve improved with their final three games against contenders.

 

 San Diego Chargers

21

25

5-8

The Chargers gave us a glimpse of what we thought they could be with a dominant performance in Pittsburgh.

 

New Orleans Saints

22

18

5-8

When you give up almost 30 points a game, it’s tough to beat good teams, as we’ve seen during the Saints’ three game losing streak.

 

Miami Dolphins

23

20

5-8

The Dolphins could benefit from adding an explosive receiver this offseason.

 

Buffalo Bills

24

21

5-8

With yet another non-winning season, you have to wonder if Chan Gailey will be returning in 2013.

 

 Detroit Lions

25

24

4-9

If Detroit could win close games, they could be 9-4 instead of 4-9. During their five game losing streak, they’ve lost by an average of about five points.

 

Carolina Panthers

26

28

4-9

Cam Newton and the Panthers played their best game of the season against the division leading Falcons.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

27

29

4-9

The Eagles broke their longest losing streak of the Andy Reid era with a dramatic final-play touchdown in Tampa Bay.

 

Tennessee Titans

28

26

4-9

Does Jake Locker have what it takes to be an NFL quarterback? His terrible offensive line hasn’t helped his case.

 

Arizona Cardinals

29

27

4-9

After losing 58-0 to Seattle, Arizona has hit rock bottom. They need to find a franchise quarterback.

 

 Kansas City Chiefs

30

30

2-11

For a team that could seriously use a quarterback it doesn’t seem as if there is one worth taking with a top pick in the upcoming draft.

 

Oakland Raiders

31

31

3-10

There’s a lot riding on next week’s Oakland-Kansas City matchup…Draft order that is.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

32

32

2-11

Chad Henne has played fairly well in place of Blaine Gabbert. He will probably go into next year as the starting QB.


 

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