NFL Power Rankings: Week 15

Week 15 featured some of the most pivotal matchups thus far this season. In a rematch from last year’s divisional round, the Atlanta Falcons silenced many critics with their 34-0 pounding of the defending-champion New York Giants. Combined with Dallas’ win over the struggling Steelers and Washington’s fifth win in as many games, we have a de facto tie atop the NFC East with three teams sitting at 8-6. This is shaping up to be an exciting finish.

The Texans and Packers both clinched their respective divisions with wins over division rivals, while the Broncos added to a league-best nine game winning streak with an impressive performance in Baltimore.

And in a potential super bowl preview, Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers were able to survive a furious 28-point comeback by the New England Patriots to cement themselves as the team to beat in the NFC.

Photo Courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons/Flickr

Team Rank Previous Rank Record Thoughts

 

Denver Broncos

1

2

11-3

A win in Baltimore coupled with a New England loss vaulted the Broncos into the #2 seed in the AFC. With two games against bottom feeders, a first round bye looks likely for Denver.

 

San Francisco 49ers

2

3

10-3-1

Colin Kaepernick handled the spotlight well as he became the first 49ers QB since Jeff Garcia in 2003 to throw for four TD passes in a game.

New England Patriots

3

1

10-4

Should we put more stock in the fact that the Patriots fell behind 31-3, or that they rattled off 28 straight points against the league’s stingiest scoring defense?

Green Bay Packers

4

4

10-4

Green Bay clinched their second straight NFC North championship with a win over the suddenly fading Chicago Bears.

 

Houston Texans

5

5

12-2

Houston bounced back from an ugly performance in New England with a solid win over the Colts. Home-field advantage throughout the playoffs will make this team tough to beat.

 

Atlanta Falcons

6

6

12-2

Atlanta took a huge step towards proving that they can win come playoff time by destroying the Giants.

 

Seattle Seahawks

7

9

9-5

Who would have thought that the Seattle Seahawks would put up 50+ points two weeks in a row?

 

 Indianapolis Colts

8

7

9-5

The Texans reminded Andrew Luck that they are the team to beat in the AFC South. Regardless, the Colts can lock up a wild-card spot with a win next week.

 

Washington Redskins

9

11

8-6

Even without RGIII, the Redskins were able to continue their winning ways. This team is playing inspired football right now.

 

 

Baltimore Ravens

10

8

9-5

After a 15 game home winning streak, Baltimore has lost two straight in the usually friendly confines of M&T Bank stadium.

 

Dallas Cowboys

11

13

8-6

Unlike their usual MO (find ways to lose), Dallas has recently found ways to win. Their past four wins have come by five points or less.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

12

14

8-6

All of a sudden, Cincinnati finds themselves just one game behind Baltimore in the AFC North and in prime position to grab a playoff spot.

 

 New York Giants

13

10

8-6

Are we headed toward yet another “New York makes things interesting but ultimately sneaks into the playoffs” type of year?

Minnesota Vikings

14

16

8-6

Adrian Peterson is not human. Just a year after destroying his knee, he is just 294 yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s single season NFL record of 2,105 yards with two games remaining.

 

 Chicago Bears

15

12

8-6

It seems like just yesterday that the Bears were 7-1 and the “best team in the NFL”. Now at 8-6, Chicago is in serious jeopardy of missing playoffs.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

16

15

7-7

The return of Big Ben was supposed to help the Steelers. Pittsburgh has lost its last two games and would not make the playoffs if the season ended today.

 

St. Louis Rams

17

17

6-7-1

Adrian Peterson ran all over the Rams defense on Sunday. It’s almost too bad they can’t play the 49ers every week.

 

New Orleans Saints

18

22

6-8

Maybe the most shocking occurrence over the weekend (but not really) was the beleaguered Saints defense pitching a shutout against the high-scoring Buccaneers

 

Miami Dolphins

19

23

6-8

In a matchup of Florida powerhouses, the Dolphins got the best of the Jaguars.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

20

18

6-8

Once Tampa Bay’s schedule became more difficult, they went and lost four games in a row.

 

New York Jets

21

19

6-8

Mark Sanchez has officially been benched in favor of Greg McElroy. Although Sanchez has been awful, I will defend him by saying that his receiving corps is garbage.

 

Cleveland Browns

22

20

5-9

Cleveland has a chance to shake things up in the AFC with games against Denver and Pittsburgh to close out the season.

 

Carolina Panthers

23

26

5-9

Carolina has a winning streak for the first time this season. It’s only two games, but hey, you’ve got to crawl before you walk.

 

Tennessee Titans

24

28

5-9

In a predictably ugly Monday Night game, the Titans may have ended Mark Sanchez’s career as a New York Jet.

 

 San Diego Chargers

25

21

5-9

A solid win in Pittsburgh was followed by an absolute stinker at home against the 5-9 Panthers. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 San Diego Chargers.

 

Buffalo Bills

26

24

5-9

I’d be shocked if the defensive coordinator is back next season. With the additions they made on defense, this team was not supposed to be giving up almost 29 points per game.

 

Arizona Cardinals

27

29

5-9

And finally the nine game losing streak has ended. Their 38 point showing was easily their highest point total of the year.

 

Oakland Raiders

28

31

4-10

A terrible Chiefs offense was a welcome sight for a terrible Raiders defense.

 

 Detroit Lions

29

25

4-10

I do not know if there is anything worse than losing by 28 points to a team that had been on a nine game losing streak.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

30

27

4-10

With the Nick Foles era officially beginning in Philadelphia you’ve got to wonder about the future of Michael Vick.

 

 Kansas City Chiefs

31

30

2-12

Kansas City has scored nine points or less in four of their past five games, which, unsurprisingly, have all been loses.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

32

32

2-12

Jacksonville is 31st in both total offense and total defense; a recipe for failure.

 

Comments

Avatar