Dec 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) celebrates an interception against the New York Giants during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Updated 2014 NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks Maintain Momentum

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.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

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  • DTVTechGuy

    To the writer of the article..

    ” Every other major team in the AFC lost as well… ”

    Great job. Your analytical skills are second to none…. Glad to see the Chiefs… Tied for the Leagues best record… Tied for the AFC #1 Seed… With Denver owning the tie breaker….

    ISNT a major team in the AFC….

    Bravo Sir….. Your skills are to be applauded.

    Oh and the Patriots…. You must be a fan…. They’re Chum in the water and everyone knows it.

    • Erik Lambert

      I’m sensing a little hostility, DTV. Is that sarcasm in your tone as well? I’m merely going by reality here. The Patriots are currently higher in the rankings because they have earned the benefit of the doubt. Kansas City has fed on cupcakes most of the year. People so easily forget they lost three-in-a-row to Denver and San Diego before going back to the dessert table with Washington and Oakland. I don’t so easily give them a pass because of what their record says. I believe 6th is fair.

      • DTVTechGuy

        Hostility? No.

        Your statement of ” Every other MAJOR team in the AFC ” is what generated my sarcasm. And to be fair… Let’s look at KC’s losses versus New England’s losses…

        Denver twice and San Diego.

        San Diego was a fluke… 3 points before Houston/Hali go down and out of the game and 38 after. When you lose all ability to seal the edge or rush the passer, that will create a bad situation.

        Denver twice…. Oh well… Arguably the best team in the NFL and it wasn’t like they got blown out. KC made so many offensive mistakes in the first game it cost them at LEAST 10 points.

        Second game…. A touchdown. Both games were genuine battles and hard fought games.

        We can at least call the San Diego loss on par with the Dolphins loss for the Pats.

        Didn’t the Patriots also lose to the brush fire that is the Jets…

        You know what everyone, yourself included, seem to forget…. Great teams don’t lose to teams they should beat. Kansas City has beat everyone they should have….

        And let’s not forget… The Browns win at Foxboro until the Refs hand the game over on a BS interference call that gave that game to the Patriots.

        Again, no hostility… Just odd your rankings are the only ones that have the Patriots that high this morning.

        Remember this conversation when the Pats are one and done in the playoffs.

        Have a great day!

        • Erik Lambert

          This is not playoff predictions, this is power rankings. I’m not convinced the Patriots would do very well at all come January. What I’m saying is they’ve won playoff games in this decade, something the Chiefs cannot say. KC was 2-14 last year. Just because their record improved considerably does not qualify them to be called a major player in the AFC just yet. If they win in the wild card round, I will retract my statement.

          As to your Jets example, I recall that “brush fire” team also beat the Saints.

          The Chiefs should’ve beaten San Diego and had Denver down 21-7 at Arrowhead before coughing it up. They are a good team, not a great one.

          This is not about Patriots favoritism, it’s about knowing the layout of the AFC. Aside from what their record says, the last time I checked Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are still there. They have not lost a game by more than seven points this season despite a myriad of injuries and they’ve played in the AFC championship game two of the last three years. The Chiefs are not at that level of trust.

          Not yet anyway.

          Stay warm out there.

          • DTVTechGuy

            That’s the problem here….

            You can’t justify CURRENT power rankings by anything last year or prior accomplishments. And that’s what everyone does with the Patriots.

            They get more credit than they should because of yesterday.

            Struggled to beat the Browns and the Texans…. At home.

            But whatever… You think the Patriots are the 4th best team in the League… Good enough. As I said earlier… My issue was you said EVERY OTHER MAJOR AFC TEAM LOST….

            Like it or not…. Which people just don’t seem to want to like it…. THIS YEAR Kansas City is a major factor in the AFC…. A team tied for the League’s best Record deserves a little more respect than that… It’s not the over abundance of respect you give to The Patriots… It’s the lack of respect you show the Chiefs.

          • Erik Lambert

            How is being 6th overall out of 32 total teams not respect, DTV? I’m really failing to grasp the indignation. The Patriots have beaten better teams this year despite having more losses, as have the Saints. The Chiefs have a losing record in their own division with both their wins being against the Raiders. Are they talented? Absolutely. Do they deserve to be in the playoffs? Better believe it. But that won’t change my mind that they currently belong where they are in these rankings.

            Losing to Miami doesn’t convince me that the Patriots are dead in the water. Getting beat down by the Ravens next week will.

          • DTVTechGuy

            You wrote…


            I already said ” You think the Patriots are the 4th best team in the league, good enough ”

            Which means I’m not going to argue the Chiefs against the Patriots…. If we want to argue Chiefs VS Patriots… Let’s just say I’d rather root for a loser than a cheater.

            But the overall idea behind what I have been saying is simple…

            To say the Chiefs aren’t a Major team in the AFC with the best record in the NFL is without merit and sounds biased.

            Does that explain it?

          • hunger

            Now I get it. you made these rankings based on “playoff games in this decade”.
            Wait… How come the Steelers aren’t in the top 5?

          • Erik Lambert

            How many playoff games have the Steelers won in the past three seasons? Oh wait, none, that’s right. The Patriots are 10-4 and could easily be 12-2, have battled through ridiculous injuries and beaten better teams. And yes, they have playoff victories in recent seasons to fluff up their standing a tad.

          • LGB

            You got from using a decade stat about the Chiefs to a 3 year stat about the steelers. Lol. Im surprised you didn’t say ” the 49ers are ranked so high because Jerry rice was a beast”. Power rankings are about you is best at the particular moment. Not how teams did last year or the decade prior. In that case shouldn’t the Ravens be number 1 cause they have that “pedigree” But you will rank Carolina 3. How were the last year? This is the biggest joke of an article I have seen in awhile and your reasoning and logic is flawless my friend….. that was sarcasm.

          • Erik Lambert

            Clearly you weren’t paying attention, LGB. My putting the Patriots that high is not SOLELY based on their successful history. It’s based on the quality of opponents they’ve faced and beaten this season, their quarterback, and their head coach. I think that trumps the fact they have one more loss than a Chiefs team that lost three straight crucial division games. Beating up on a hapless Raiders squad isn’t enough to elevate them into the top five after that. Be sarcastic all you want, “friend”, but it won’t change how I perceive them at this particular moment.

  • Cyteria Knight

    Thank you Eric for being fair in your rankings. I just viewed another set of Power Rankings that I thought were totally out of whack. As a fan of the NFL and the Panthers in particular, it is good to see weekly rankings based on the present and not on the past. If Carolina doesn’t do their job this coming Sunday and beat New Orleans (although I know they will) then I would expect them to fall in the rankings. But until that game is decided then I feel that the Panthers and the other teams you have listed are in their proper place. THANKS!