2015 NFL Week 15 Power Rankings: Seahawks and Steelers Soaring

Week 14 was a week some teams would like to forget, and the Bengals are at the top of that list. Andy Dalton is likely to miss extended time due to a thumb injury, and Tyler Eifert left Sunday’s game with a concussion. Elsewhere, LeGarrette Blount is out for the season with a hip injury which puts the Patriots onto running back #3. Jonathan Stewart of the Panthers also has a concerning injury that left him in a walking boot, and tight end Greg Olsen left the game but appears to be okay moving forward.

This past week my upset pick of Houston over New England proved to be a disaster, but the other two games went in my favor, moving my season record to 22-23.

Week 15 brings us games on four different days, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. On Thursday I will take the Bucs over the Rams in a game that about 17 people might tune into watch, most of them being family members of the players. On Saturday, I like the Jets to hand Dallas yet another loss. On Sunday night, I desperately want to take the Eagles to upset Arizona, but I just can’t bring myself to do it, so I’ll take the red birds. And on Monday night, I will finally take a home team, the Saints, to beat the Lions.

With just three weeks to go, 25 different teams remain alive in the playoff race, though to be fair New Orleans and Chicago are hanging on by the slimmest of margins. We could potentially have two teams reach the playoffs this year with sub .500 records, while someone in the AFC could potentially win 10 games and miss.

There is a lot of football left to be played and much still to be determined. With that, let’s take a look at the 2015 NFL week 15 power rankings:

Teams’ previous ranking in ( ).

(1-4)

  • Carolina Panthers (1): The offense put up nearly 40 for the second straight week. But this time instead of allowing that many, they pitched a shutout. They clinched a bye and you have to think they may consider resting some players in the final week or two.
  • Arizona Cardinals (3): They didn’t exactly outplay Minnesota, but regardless a win against a team over .500 was something they didn’t have many of this season. A road game at Philly and home games against Green Bay and Seattle will give this team a great test to end the season.
  • New England Patriots (5): Another week, and more injuries for the Patriots. Unless Tom Brady goes down though, they are still a major threat.
  • Seattle Seahawks (6): Seattle may be the hottest team in the league right now, and Russell Wilson is unquestionably the hottest quarterback. Right now they are my pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

(5-8)

  • Pittsburgh Steelers (7): The Steelers are nearly as hot as the Seahawks. They don’t quite have the same defense, but their offense might be the best in football.
  • Denver Broncos (2): Obviously you can’t expect Brock Oswieler to win every week but you have to think Denver’s performance against Oakland has Bronco fans concerned.
  • Green Bay Packers (8): The passing game is still not clicking but if they can run like they did on Sunday, they can probably get by with a mediocre passing attack.
  • Cincinnati Bengals (4): You have to feel for the Bengals, because with a healthy Andy Dalton, they are a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Without him, they may not even hold on to win the AFC North.

(9-12)

  • Kansas City Chiefs (9): Another week, another win. Despite the 1-5 start, the Chiefs actually still have a reasonable shot to win the division and host a playoff game.
  • New York Jets (13): I continue to not believe in the Jets, and they continue to win. You’re welcome, Jets fans.
  • Minnesota Vikings (10): To say they fumbled away what would have been the best win of their season would be an understatement.
  • Buffalo Bills (11): They really let one get away against LeSean McCoy’s former team and their playoff chances took a big hit.

(13-16)

  • Indianapolis Colts (12): Giving up 51 points to the Jaguars (or to anyone quite frankly) is really not what you’re looking for this time of year.
  • Houston Texans (14): Not a good performance on Monday night but they remain tied for the division lead.
  • Philadelphia Eagles (17): Back to back wins has Philly feeling good but they will face another tough test this week as they get a visit from the Cardinals.
  • Washington Redskins (18): They did exactly what they needed to and maintain their slim lead in the NFC East.

(17-20)

  • New York Giants (20): There might not be a tougher team to figure out than the Giants. If Eli can play at a level anywhere near how he did on Monday Night, I give New York a decent chance to end Carolina’s undefeated season.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (15): After beating the Saints early in the year, the Bucs couldn’t complete the season sweep and their playoff aspirations became thin with the loss.
  • Oakland Raiders (21): Just when the Raiders start to look like the Raiders again, they put up a second half like they did in Denver. They aren’t going to reach the playoffs but if they can follow their win against Denver with a win against Green Bay that will give them a lot to build on.
  • Chicago Bears (16): Another close game that didn’t go in Chicago’s favor. Despite their record, they’ve had what can only be described as a successful season.

(21-24)

  • Jacksonville Jaguars (24): The Jaguars exploded and showed that maybe they don’t need to add too many players on offense. Dare I say Blake Bortles is turning into a franchise quarterback?
  • Miami Dolphins (22): Initially the coaching change appeared to motivate this team but they are back to extreme mediocrity once again.
  • Atlanta Falcons (19): Needless to say the Falcons officially hit rock bottom this week with their embarrassing performance against the Panthers.
  • New Orleans Saints (26): At 5-8 the Saints are all but eliminated. They would have to win out, and hope that both Seattle and Minnesota lost all their remaining games, along with about a dozen other variables as well.

(25-28)

  • St. Louis Rams (27): Welcome back Todd Gurley. After disappearing for about a month, Gurley reminded us why he will likely win the Rookie of the Year in the NFC.
  • Detroit Lions (23): Detroit was officially eliminated this weekend with their loss and now will look to see how high of a draft pick they can come away with.
  • San Francisco 49ers (25): Blaine Gabbert has to be thinking this isn’t what he signed up for when he went from Jacksonville to San Fran.
  • Dallas Cowboys (28): A lot of teams were eliminated from playoff contention this week, but somehow the Cowboys weren’t one of them.

(29-32)

  • Cleveland Browns (32): Johnny Manziel got the Browns a win and played pretty well. You have to wonder if he was given a full season, what type of success could Manziel bring?
  • San Diego Chargers (30): You have to give credit to the Chargers, despite their season, they give it everything they have. Which makes you realize, they just don’t have a very good football team.
  • Tennessee Titans (29): Who knew that Marcus Mariota was not only the best quarterback on the roster, he may be the best receiver too.
  • Baltimore Ravens (31): All things considered, Jimmy Clausen fared pretty well against that Seattle defense. Unfortunately his own defense couldn’t say the same for their performance against Russell Wilson.

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