Sunday’s games included a lot of intrigue, but there’s a clear upper eschelon in the NFL nowadays. Here are our NFL Power Rankings after 14 weeks.
1. Dallas Cowboys (11-1; Last Ranking: 1)
When the Cowboys take the field on Sunday, it will mark exactly three months since they last lost a football game. Needless to say, the fact that a rookie running back and quarterback are leading this team on a three-month long winning streak is unbelievable.
2. New England Patriots (10-2; Last Ranking: 2)
It feels repetitive to write the same thing all the time, but Tom Brady and the Pats looked great on Sunday. After losing to Seattle, it is nice that the league gave the Patriots a cake-walk – better known as playing the Jets, 49ers, and Rams in three straight games.
3. Oakland Raiders (10-2; Last Ranking: 3)
After going down 24-9 in the second half, the Raiders reeled off 29 points for a commanding 38-24 victory over the Bills. The comeback is yet another example of Derek Carr growing up before our very eyes. This team is a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
4. Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1; Last Ranking: 4)
Seattle is a solid team and their defense is legit. It would be crazy to think that they won’t lose something with Earl Thomas gone for the year, but when you have potentially four other future Hall of Famers on the defense, the pressure gets alleviated slightly.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3; Last Ranking: 6)
The Chiefs might be the best team in the AFC. The Raiders are young and don’t have that playoff experience yet. The Patriots are without their biggest weapon on offense. The Steelers looks shaky. Kansas City is healthy, and rolling.
6. Denver Broncos (8-4; Last Ranking: 7)
Denver has a really good defense and that is obvious. However, people have been wondering if they are still able to win games in the same way that they did last year. If you watched Sunday’s game then you know that this defense can still win games.
7. Detroit Lions (8-4; Last Ranking: 8)
Detroit has a lot to be proud of this season, but never have they had such a seamless game as they did on Sunday. Their pass defense (31st in the NFL going into the game) shut down the high powered Saints offense.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5; Last Ranking: 12)
After unimpressive wins vs. Cleveland and Indy, the Steelers came out and reminded everyone why they were Super Bowl contenders before the season started. This defense is hitting a groove, the killer B’s are all playing well, and Ladarius Green is finally healthy.
9. New York Giants (8-4; Last Ranking: 5)
After six straight wins (only one vs. a team with a winning record), the Giants ran into a determined Pittsburgh Steelers team. Too many turnovers and miscues along the offensive line were the primary reasons they left Pittsburgh as the losing team.
10. Baltimore Ravens (7-5; Last Ranking: 13)
The Ravens went out and smacked the Dolphins last week and proved they are legitimate playoff contenders. Joe Flacco had an elite day throwing the football, and will need to keep his level of play raised if this team is going anywhere.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5; Last Ranking: 16)
The Bucs are certainly the surprise team of the year so far. Since starting 1-3, they are 6-2 in their last eight games (including a current four game win streak) that has included wins over Seattle and Kansas City. Look out for this team.
12. Atlanta Falcons (7-5; Last Ranking: 9)
The Atlanta Falcons started hot but have gone 3-3 in their last six games. Luckily, they have made it past the difficult part of their schedule and play LA, Carolina, New Orleans, and San Francisco to finish out the season.
13. Washington Redskins (6-5-1; Last Ranking: 10)
The Redskins had a great opportunity to move to 7-4-1 and slide into the #6 seed in the NFC playoff picture. Instead, they sit half a game out of the playoffs with a relatively easy schedule left. The only tough game is week 17 vs. the Giants.
14. Miami Dolphins (7-5; Last Ranking: 14)
One week after sliding into the wild card picture and looking like a potential playoff team, the Dolphins were outmatched on every level on Sunday against the Ravens. They will need to play well against the Cardinals to win next week.
15. Green Bay Packers (6-6; Last Ranking: 18)
The Packers are two games into their six games of trying to run the table, and so far, so good. Aaron Rodgers has done enough in the last two games to keep the Packers alive, but they will have to improve their play against the Seahawks next week.
16. Minnesota Vikings (6-6; Last Ranking: 11)
The Vikings are 1-6 in their last seven games and it looks like injuries have really started to bite this team. Without either starting tackle, their quarterback, and their running back, it is tough to have offensive success.
17. Indianapolis Colts (6-6; Last Ranking: 20)
The Colts smacked the Jets on Monday Night Football in one of the least intriguing matchups this season. Luck looked fresh after clearing the concussion protocol, and now the Colts are tied for the division lead.
18. Buffalo Bills (6-6; Last Ranking: 15)
The Bills lost a tough one to the Raiders, but they have no time to rest as they prepare for the red-hot Steelers to come to town. It is obvious that the Bills are great offensively when Taylor and McCoy are playing well. However, they need other playmakers to step up.
19. Houston Texans (6-6; Last Ranking: 17)
The Texans are in a free fall, but anyone who paid attention to statistics knew this was inevitable. This team is being outscored by 50 points this season, in spite of having a .500 record and leading the division.
20. Arizona Cardinals (5-6-1; Last Ranking: 24)
The Cardinals may have saved their season with a win against the Redskins on Sunday. Not only does it help them make the playoffs, but Washington losing helps them too. No guarantee that they come close to making the playoffs, but this certainly doesn’t hurt.
21. San Diego Chargers (5-7; Last Ranking: 21)
A team with a record far worse than their performances would be the Chargers. All seven of their losses have been by one possession, and the only teams they have lost to that didn’t have winning records and the Saints and the Colts.
22. Tennessee Titans (6-6; Last Ranking: 22)
After a late bye week, a recharged Titans team will host the Broncos on Sunday.
23. New Orleans Saints (5-7; Last Ranking: 23)
The Saints for the most part have been an underrated team. Their offense, while #1 in the NFL at times, is unstoppable while their defense keeps the other team in games. However, Drew Brees threw an uncharacteristic three interceptions – against Detroit, of all teams.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (4-7-1; Last Ranking: 26)
This is a lost season for the Bengals, and many are starting to wonder if it will be Marvin Lewis’ last with the team. In this his 14th NFL season, Lewis will likely end up with a losing record for only the 3rd time. However, with five consecutive playoff appearances (and losses), this team has clearly regressed.
25. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7; Last Ranking: 19)
Once a promising team near the top of the rankings, the Eagles have gone 2-7 in their last nine games, although each of their losses came from 2015 playoff teams or likely 2016 playoff teams. It is clear that Carson Wentz will be a solid NFL quarterback in due time.
26. Carolina Panthers (4-8; Last Ranking: 25)
Everyone is talking about Cam sitting out the first possession and how that impacted the team. Well, after Cam came back in the game, the Seahawks still outscored the Panthers 37-7. Carolina has completely lost its identity from last year.
27. Los Angeles Rams (4-8; Last Ranking: 27)
Anyone who watched Hard Knocks this year would not have expected Jared Goff to be a solid contributor this season. The kid doesn’t even know which side of planet earth the sun rises on. Side note: the Rams are idiots for extending Jeff Fisher.
28. Chicago Bears (3-9; Last Ranking: 29)
The Bears won the Toilet Bowl that would help determine who receives the number two overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. A week after dropping game winning touchdowns, the Bears decided Jordan Howard would run it in instead.
29. New York Jets (3-9; Last Ranking: 28)
The Jets have clearly taken a massive step back from last season, and it is not just at the quarterback. A year after finishing top four in both passing yards, total yards, and points allowed, the Jets are in the bottom ten teams for passing yards and points allowed this season.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10; Last Ranking: 30)
Gus Bradley has a head coaching record of 14-45. Before this season, you could give him the benefit of the doubt because his team was deep in rebuilding mode. However, in Season Four, there are no excuses for this.
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-11; Last Ranking: 31)
The 49ers are plodding along this year, and it was a miserable day for Colin Kaepernick. It is never fun to have more sacks (five) than passing yards (four), but that was Kaepernick’s day.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-12; Last Ranking: 32)
Luckily for the Browns, they didn’t have to play this week. They play the Bengals this Sunday.