NFL Power Rankings post Week 15:
#1 – Seattle Seahawks
They are the most complete team, offensively and defensively. They don’t lose at home. It’s hard to pick against them for the Super Bowl.
#2 – Denver Broncos
Fortunately every other major team in the AFC lost too. Peyton Manning has incentive to finish the season strong and give the Denver Broncos home field advantage.
#3 – Carolina Panthers
It’s not always pretty but the Carolina Panthers have established their identity. That defense will hold you down while Cam Newton does what he does.
#4 – New England Patriots
The Rob Gronkowski loss is devastating but the New England Patriots have always adjusted because they still have Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
#5 – New Orleans Saints
Their humiliating loss in St. Louis exposed a fatal flaw. The New Orleans Saints are not good on the road, and that is not something true of NFL champions.
#6 – Kansas City Chiefs
Shredding the Raiders was certainly a morale boost if anything else. Jamaal Charles is in line for the MVP award and the Kansas City Chiefs are back in the playoffs.
#7 – San Francisco 49ers
Defense is what’s driving the ship for the San Francisco 49ers. Colin Kaepernick has done his part by playing smart but this playoff run belongs to Vic Fangio.
#8 – Arizona Cardinals
Bruce Arians has quietly executed another brilliant team turnaround with the Arizona Cardinals. It won’t win Coach of the Year, but it could result in playoff noise.
#9 – Baltimore Ravens
After months of struggling on the road, the Baltimore Ravens finally got a big one in Detroit, and it was because of a kicker. Whoever says they aren’t important isn’t paying attention.
#10 – Cincinnati Bengals
Another team that continues to struggle away from home. Their near lifeless showing in Pittsburgh further proved the Cincinnati Bengals are a good but flawed team.
#11 – Indianapolis Colts
Wildly inconsistent all year, the Indianapolis Colts are nevertheless AFC South champs They do have Andrew Luck and a good defense, that counts for something.
#12 – Chicago Bears
Marc Trestman has his guys believing, especially after seamlessly reintegrating Jay Cutler. The Chicago Bears are getting hot, and healthy, at the right time.
#13 – Miami Dolphins
Who knew losing two front line offensive linemen would prove beneficial? That seems like the case as the Miami Dolphins are in perfect position to grab a wild card spot.
#14 – Philadelphia Eagles
Giving up 48 points to Minnesota without Adrian Peterson? One can imagine how the defense of the Philadelphia Eagles would’ve looked if A.P. played.
#15 – Detroit Lions
Losing a tough game in a blizzard is one thing, but the Detroit Lions could not afford to drop one at home over their final three games. That is exactly what they did.
#16 – Green Bay Packers
Luck prevailed for the Green Bay Packers as they faced a pitiful Cowboys defense as well as the ongoing ineptitude of Tony Romo is big games.
#17 – San Diego Chargers
Upsetting Denver was the highlight of 2013 for the San Diego Chargers but there is still work to do. A slight chance still exists for them to reach the NFL postseason.
#18 – St. Louis Rams
There is no doubt this team can take on anybody in the league in terms of talent, but must get their quarterback situation figured out.
#19 – Dallas Cowboys
Back-to-back heartbreakers against the NFC North has put the Dallas Cowboys in the clinch and time is running out to get back in the fight.
#20 – Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger should get a Pro Bowl invitation while the Pittsburgh Steelers try to rebuild their once dominant defense.
#21 – New York Jets
Rex Ryan did all he could but he can’t account for the rabid inconsistency of Geno Smith. His future as head coach of the New York Jets is very much in doubt.
#22 – Buffalo Bills
E.J. Manuel has work to do if he’s to get better while the Buffalo Bills try to figure out what’s holding back an otherwise talented defense.
#23 – Tennessee Titans
Their heroic last stand against Arizona was must-see TV, but the Tennessee Titans just couldn’t pull it out. This team is in line for changes next year.
#24 – Minnesota Vikings
One must ask where that outburst against Philadelphia was during the other games of 2013? Either way, the Minnesota Vikings remain a woefully inconsistent team.
#25 – New York Giants
It’s really hard to pick a low point for the New York Giants in 2013. Their latest dud against Seattle might as well slide to the top spot.
#26 – Atlanta Falcons
Beating Washington looks nice in the standings but the Atlanta Falcons are still a bad team that has a ton of work to do in order to recapture their contending status.
#27 – Cleveland Browns
Scrappy as ever, Rob Chudzinski never lets the Cleveland Browns get too low. They have a good roster that just needs a little more work before it’s ready.
#28 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Greg Schiano made a nice run to save his job but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t consistent enough. Unless he wins out the rest of the way, he’s done.
#29 – Jacksonville Jaguars
Gus Bradley has gotten all he could out of the Jacksonville Jaguars and there is reason for optimism, but this team still needs a lot of work.
#30 – Washington Redskins
Kirk Cousins provided a glimmer of hope about the 2014 off-season, but the Washington Redskins know they must sit at home and brood about another disappointing year.
#31 – Oakland Raiders
Getting beat is something the Oakland Raiders are used to, but getting hammered at home to the tune of 56 points by Alex Smith and the Chiefs is even worse.
#32 – Houston Texans
Gary Kubiak is out. Wade Phillips should follow him shortly. The Houston Texans are in for major changes after a colossally disappointing season.
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