Week 14 NFL Power Rankings (From an Amateur)
by Jennifer Jordan
Divisions were clinched, byes were cast, and Miami’s still winless. Things are quickly solidifying in this years NFL.
1. New England Patriots (13-0) (Previous rank: 1): Despite the Steelers guarantee, the Patriots easily won the game. The Tom Brady/Randy Moss connection can’t be stopped and when it is, he just finds another receiver.
2. Dallas Cowboys (12-1) (Previous rank: 2): This was a huge come from behind victory against Detroit who seemed to have the game in the bag. Tony Romo was spectacular when he needed to be but now, now, Wade, let’s not deem him the next John Elway just yet.
3. Indianapolis Colts (11-2) (Previous rank: 4): With a 44-20 victory, this game wasn’t actually as close as it seems. The Colts completely took it to the Ravens, jumping out to a big lead and never relinquishing. Anthony Gonzalez just might be the next Marvin Harrison.
4. Green Bay Packers (11-2) (Previous rank: 3): Green Bay got it done on special teams against the Raiders. It was another easy victory for the Packers. With Ryan Grant suddenly coming to life, this team is a huge threat to fill the NFC’s spot in the Super Bowl.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4) (Previous rank: 6): In any other division, the Jaguars would be at the top. With an easy victory over Carolina, they’ve all but guaranteed themselves a wild card berth. This team is one people need to watch out for.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-4) (Previous rank: 5): Come on boys, a little less talk, a lot more action. Their loss to the Patriots proved that the Steelers aren’t quite ready to be in the highest tier of the NFL. Still, they need to be more concerned with their injuries: they are starting to add up.
7. Seattle Seahawks (9-4) (Previous rank: 8): . The Cardinals never really had a chance against Seattle: they got ahead early and never looked back. Suddenly, the Seahawks are back to doing what they always do: winning the NFC West.
8. New York Giants (9-4) (Previous rank: 9): Eli Manning is bent on making the NFL say “Peyton who?” With their win against the Eagles, the Giants are in a nice spot for the post season. They are still hurting at running back, which may come back to bite them.
9. San Diego (8-5) (Previous rank: 10): This was maybe the biggest victory of the season for the Chargers. They let the Titans dominate for three quarters, but they game alive in the end. Phillip Rivers is still a risk: playing poorly for three quarters and well for one isn’t a very good ratio.
10. Tampa Bay (8-5) (Previous rank: 7): This was a rough loss to the Texans. Their defense let them down but more importantly, their quarterback couldn’t lead them to victory. Tampa Bay really needs Jeff Garcia back in the lineup if they want to go anywhere in the playoffs.
11. Cleveland Browns (8-5) (Previous rank: 12): Derek Anderson picked the right moments to get going as he guided the Browns to a victory over the Jets. Right now, Cleveland has the second AFC wildcard in the palm of their hands. Whether it stays there will depend on the rest of the season.
12. Minnesota Vikings (7-6) (Previous rank: 13): The Minnesota Vikings have come out of nowhere to be the sleeper team of the NFC. Their once ridiculed defense stuck it to the 49ers, never giving them a chance. On offense, the Vikings got it done with Chester Taylor.
13. Tennessee Titans (7-6) (Previous rank: 11): How they let this one slip away, the world will never know. With the Chargers coming from behind to force overtime and then win, the Titans are in a rough spot for a wildcard. There was no excuse to lose this game.
14. Buffalo Bills (7-6) (Previous rank: 15): The Bills absolutely crushed Miami (I know, I know, who hasn’t). Trent Edwards is going to have a great career if he keeps it up. At 7-6, the Bills are thinking wildcard. Going against the Browns this week they control at least part of their own destiny.
15. New Orleans Saints (6-7) (Previous rank: 17): Their offense stuck it to the Falcons, even without Reggie Bush in the lineup. With the season nearly over, every game is a must win for the Saints if they want to go marching into the playoffs.
16. Denver Broncos (6-7) (Previous rank: 20): Denver wishes they played the Chiefs every game this season. Dominating on offense and even on defense, this is the Bronco team we know and love. They still have a slim chance at the post season, but they need a lot of help.
17. Houston Texans (6-7) (Previous rank: 23): This was a nice victory against the Buccaneers. At 6-7, the Texans, like the Broncos, still have a slim playoff hope. This makes their match up on Thursday night particularly big.
18. Arizona Cardinals (6-7) (Previous rank: 14): In the battle of the birds, the Cardinals let the Seahawks jump to an early lead and never quite recovered. The five interceptions by Kurt Warner killed them, but the absence of his star receivers hurt them even more.
19. Washington Redskins (6-7) (Previous rank: 22): They turned the Chicago Bears into cubs…even with a backup quarterback. The injury to Jason Campbell is concerning, but Todd Collins (yeah, who?) proved he could lead the troops to victory.
20. Detroit Lions (6-7) (Previous rank: 16): So much for their ten win season. This implosion against the Cowboys is inexcusable, and could cost them a playoff berth. On offense, Detroit continues to dazzle, but on defense they can’t get it together.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (5-8) (Previous rank: 18): It was close against the Giants, close but no cigar (laces out, David Akers). Their defense was okay, but offensively the Eagles continue to struggle. If they didn’t have Brian Westbrook they’d be averaging like two yards per game.
22. Chicago Bears (5-8) (Previous rank: 20): Their defense was shredded by the Redskins. This team can no longer be known for defensive dominance. Brian Griese made a nice attempt at a comeback but, like their season, it was too little too late.
23. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8) (Previous rank: 24): The Bengals didn’t play well this game but lucky for them, the Rams played worse. Carson Palmer didn’t have one of his better outings but Rudi Johnson got the job done. Still, their playoff hopes are virtually nonexistent.
24. Carolina Panthers (5-8) (Previous rank: 22): Oh Carolina! Whomever picked the Panthers to be Super Bowl contenders has got to be realizing that their psychic powers are limited. Carolina was embarrassed by Jacksonville. Their injuries at quarterback have hurt them all year.
25. Kansas City Chiefs (4-9) (Previous rank: 25): This was a pathetic day for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Denver offense scored nearly every time they had the ball and their defense got to the running back and the quarterback. KC may never win when playing on the road against the Broncos.
26. Oakland Raiders (4-9) (Previous rank: 26): Oakland was never really in this game: Green Bay ran, threw, and made “special” plays all day long. The defense that once was is no more and their offense is awful. No matter what they do, they can’t seem to get a passing game.
27. Baltimore Ravens (4-9) (Previous rank: 27): It looks like the Ravens lost their will when they lost to the Patriots. They let Peyton Manning throw all over them. On offense, they couldn’t do much, which is the story of their lives.
28. New York Jets (3-10) (Previous rank: 28): They were in this one till the end against the Browns, but they just couldn’t seal the deal. Their defense let a good offensive effort go to waste.
29. St Louis Rams (3-10) (Previous rank: 29): After losing to the Bengals, the Rams probably can’t wait for the season to end. New quarterback, same result. Oh well, maybe next year.
30. Atlanta Falcons (3-10) (Previous rank: 30): They are destroyed by the New Orleans Saints and then their coach desserts them. This has been a horrible year for the Atlanta Falcons.
31. San Francisco (3-10) (Previous rank: 31): They contained Adrian Peterson, but Chester Taylor ran all over them. San Francisco simply had no answer for the Vikings.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-13) (Previous rank: 32): Even the games where Miami only lost by a field goal now look far away: they were manhandled by the Buffalo Bills. Cam Cameron has got to start wondering about his job security.
Week 14 NFL Power Rankings (From an Amateur)