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2015 NFL Week 14 Power Rankings: Newton, Wilson Stay Hot

We are now 75% of the way through the NFL season and only 11 teams have winning records, and four of those are just 7-5. However there is still plenty of football to be played and virtually nothing has been decided yet, other than the Panthers are NFC South Champions.

I thought last week was finally the one. It was Green Bay’s sixth prime time game, and I had incorrectly predicted the outcome of the first five. I took Detroit to win, and for the first, well actually for the entire 60 minutes, I was correct. However, an untimed down that ended in the longest game winning hail mary touchdown in the history of the NFL not only doomed the Lions, it also kept intact my streak of incorrect predicting the outcome of Packer primetime games. I also missed on the Monday Night affair, bringing my season record to 20-22.

This week I will take the Cardinals over the Vikings on Thursday, the Texans to upset the Patriots on Sunday Night, and the Giants on the road over the Dolphins on Monday.

So a little bit later than usual but nonetheless, here are the 2015 NFL week 14 power rankings.

Teams’ previous ranking in ( ).

(1-4)

  • Carolina Panthers (1): Cam Newton likely elevated himself to MVP favorite with his performance against the Saints.
  • Denver Broncos (2): There is really no doubt at this point that Brock Osweiler gives Denver the best chance to win. The bigger question is becoming whether or not Peyton Manning will ever start another game for the Broncos, even in 2016.
  • Arizona Cardinals (4): Arizona has a chance to clinch their division this week, but they are focused on bigger things, such as a first round bye.
  • Cincinnati Bengals (5): Cincinnati is starting to look like maybe they are the best team in the AFC.

(5-8)

  • New England Patriots (3): It’s hard to ever pick against Brady and Belicheck, but if the Patriots don’t get some guys healthy, I just don’t see them as a Super Bowl contender.
  • Seattle Seahawks (7): Russell Wilson is absolutely on fire right now, and the defense we are accustomed to showed up against the Vikings.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (8): Even without Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers might be the scariest team in the AFC. I know their defense isn’t as impressive as some other teams, but their offense might be the best in football.
  • Green Bay Packers (9): Imagine if Aaron Rodgers had the Cardinals’ or Steelers’ wide receiving corp.

(9-12)

  • Kansas City Chiefs (10): The Chiefs have rebounded from an absolutely awful start and have won six straight and if the playoffs started today, they’d be in.
  • Minnesota Vikings (6): After a blowout loss, the Vikings must rebound quickly as they face the Cardinals on Thursday night.
  • Buffalo Bills (14): The Bills are on the outside looking in but are still in excellent position to make the playoffs if they can win games down the stretch.
  • Indianapolis Colts (11): The Colts maintain the slimmest of leads in the AFC South and it looks as if perhaps they’ve gotten as much as they could ask for out of Matt Hasselbeck.

(13-16)

  • New York Jets (16): Don’t look now but the Jets would be the #6 seed if the playoffs started today. Do they have enough to maintain that spot over the final four weeks? I say no.
  • Houston Texans (12): The Texans missed a golden opportunity to take over the lead in their division. Now they must face a Patriots team that will undoubtedly be angry after losing two straight.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (20): I’m not sure what is more surprising, the fact the Bucs have overtaken the Falcons in the division, or the fact the Bucs are the first team out of the playoffs if they were to start today. Regardless of the outcome of the season, it looks like the Bucs found their franchise quarterback.
  • Chicago Bears (13): The Bears sure made things interesting but even if they were to win out they appear likely to miss the playoffs.

(17-20)

  • Philadelphia Eagles (22): It took a punt return TD, interception return TD and blocked punt return TD to get the job done, but the Eagles got a critical win that frankly nobody saw coming.
  • Washington Redskins (17): The Redskins really gave away an opportunity to take sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
  • Atlanta Falcons (15): A few weeks ago I joked that Atlanta might miss the playoffs after a 5-0 start. It’s no longer a joke. In fact, it almost seems like a foregone conclusion at this point.
  • New York Giants (18): I still like the Giants to come out of their division. They have three winnable games left and I wouldn’t even put it past them to find a way to take down the Panthers.

(21-24)

  • Oakland Raiders (19): The Raiders have taken a tumble in recent weeks, and with three of their final four games coming against Denver, Green Bay and Kansas City, it seems unlikely that they will sniff .500.
  • Miami Dolphins (24): Miami faces the Giants on Monday Night football this week, which doesn’t bode well for them as they have lost 10 of their last 13 Monday games.
  • Detroit Lions (21): Despite being 4-8, the Lions have shown they won’t fold. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go on another roll and finish the season at 8-8.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (22): Raise your hand if you thought Blake Bortles would be a top 10 fantasy quarterback this year. Let’s be honest, most of us weren’t sure he’d be a top 30 fantasy quarterback.

(25-28)

  • San Francisco 49ers (29): Blaine Gabbert is awfully close to being 3-0 and at the very least has given himself a chance to be a starting quarterback next season.
  • New Orleans Saints (26): I thought New Orleans had a chance to beat Carolina. As it turns out, I was right; they had a chance.
  • St. Louis Rams (25): The Rams are on their way to another high draft pick. The question will be, do they try to find a franchise quarterback, or do they find a weapon for some other mediocre quarterback to throw to?
  • Dallas Cowboys (30): For the first time since the end of 2009, the Cowboys won a game started by someone other than Tony Romo. Now they need to do it again, this time in Lambeau.

(29-32)

  • Tennessee Titans (31): Despite the record, you have to think the Titans are happy with their selection of Marcus Mariota.
  • San Diego Chargers (27): A tough season doesn’t get any easier as the Chargers finish with three of their final four games on the road.
  • Baltimore Ravens (28): If you’re looking for something positive in Baltimore, I guess it would be that all four wins have come on their final drive.
  • Cleveland Browns (32): Johnny Football returns as the starter this week. We’re setting the over/under for how many weeks until he is seen partying again at 2.5.

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