Here’s the Power Rankings for this week.
The Legitimate Contenders
1. Carolina Panthers (14-0) – Duh.
2. Arizona Cardinals (12-2) – Losing Tyrann Mathieu hurts… A lot more than people think…
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) – What they did to the Broncos defense is terrifying…
4. Seattle Seahawks (9-5) – Russell Wilson continues to put on a clinic each week.
5. New England Patriots (12-2) – This just goes to show how well the top 4 teams have played because the Patriots are still incredibly good…
They Have A Chance
6. Kansas City Chiefs (9-5) – 8 straight wins… Need I say more?
7. Green Bay Packers (10-4) – They’re slowly crawling out of their slump… The Packers are weirdly under the radar right now.
8. Denver Broncos (10-4) – The defense is so good… But the offense is too inconsistent to trust.
Not Quite There, But Close
9. Cincinnati Bengals (11-3) – Life without Dalton could be rough honestly.
10. New York Jets (9-5) – The lack of leadership at the QB position will likely hurt them in the Playoffs… If they even manage to make it.
11. Minnesota Vikings (9-5) – A nice win against the Bears, but they still haven’t proven that they can beat marquee competition.
12. Washington Redskins (7-7) – They play consistent football and have a well rounded roster… They’re just… average.
13. Houston Texans (7-7) – They aren’t much better than 14-22, but they actually have a chance at the Playoffs.
14. Oakland Raiders (6-8) – They have a lot to look forward to in the future, but for now, they are just too young.
15. Buffalo Bills (6-8) – They have such a great roster, but in the end, Tyrod Taylor just wasn’t good enough.
16. Detroit Lions (5-9) – They look like one of the best non-playoff contenders… Just too little too late.
17. St. Louis Rams (6-8) – No offensive line or quarterback… I hope they don’t ruin Todd Gurley’s career.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (6-8) – So inconsistent… This team could have been so much better this season.
19. Chicago Bears (5-9) – Teams should fear those few games where Jay Cutler plays really well.
20. New York Giants (6-8) – A few more lucky bounces and they could be sitting tight at 12… They’re good at ALMOST winning games.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) – Jameis, youth, blah blah you’ve heard it all before.
22. Indianapolis Colts (6-8) – Imagine if Luck stayed healthy, they could have won 11 games and gotten destroyed in the Playoffs!
23. New Orleans Saints (5-9) – Such a shame that Drew Brees is stuck with this garbage organization.
24. Atlanta Falcons (7-7) – Yay, they finally won a game, against the Jaguars…
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9) – They’re really good at ending team’s losing streaks.
26. San Francisco 49ers (4-10) – Some weeks they’re the worst team in the league, other weeks they’re just kind of bad.
27. Miami Dolphins (5-9) – How do you let the Chargers BLOW YOU OUT…?
28. Los Angeles Chargers (4-10) – Screw Dean Spanos.
29. Dallas Cowboys (4-10) – You know what? Screw Jerry Jones too.
30. Tennessee Titans (3-11) – Just lose out and get that first pick.
31. Baltimore Ravens (4-10) – Jimmy. Clausen.
32. Cleveland Browns (3-11) – When your starting quarterbacks name is “Johnny”, you know you’re in trouble.
1. Carolina Panthers (14-0) – Despite the Giants somehow almost pulling out a ridiculous comeback the Panthers held on. Cam Newton had another great day and despite suffering some injuries recently the team itself definitely seems like it’ll keep form down the stretch as long as Superman doesn’t go down.
2. Arizona Cardinals (12-2) – The Cardinals demolished the Eagles and showed that they are elite competition for any team in the league. I would love to see them run into the Panthers during the post season.
3. Seattle Seahawks (9-5) – I would’ve expected Seattle to beat up on the Browns even more than they did this past Sunday. They still had a commanding victory and one of the best offense/defense combinations in the league.
4. Pittsburg Steelers (9-5) – It really shows how good the Steelers truly are that they have been able to overcome so much adversity through the course of the season and be in the position they are. Even better is that they could easily end up winning the AFC if they played like they did this past week during the post season.
5. New England Patriots (12-2) – If the Patriots can get Edelman back for the playoffs they’ll easily be right up there with the Steelers for favorites to go to the superbowl from the AFC. As long as they don’t have anymore players go down they’ll be okay, but with how random injuries can be I fear for this team down the stretch.
6. Denver Broncos (10-4) – Though the defense had a rough time dealing with the Steelers this past week, I think any defense in the league would’ve fared much worse. The offensive problems are coming from all angles, but aren’t enough for them to worry about things in the postseason. Denver just has to hope that they’ll have their good games when it counts.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (9-5) – This team looks great right now, which is such an inspiring turnaround from the start of the season. This team could get beat up by any of the tops teams in the NFC, but thankfully the AFC playoff contenders all have their flaws so Chiefs fans should keep their hopes high.
8. Green Bay Packers (10-4) – The Packers still are a very good team, and with Aaron Rodgers at the helm anything is possible. Switching the play calling back to McCarthy seems to be the answer for this team despite everyone in Green Bay denying that from the end of last season. But their game this week against the Cardinals will tell us everything we need to know about who the Packers are right now.
9. Minnesota Vikings (9-5) – I think AP leaving the game was the best thing that could’ve happened to the Vikings this week. Teddy showed all his doubters that he’s a great young QB, and the plays weren’t restricted to help Peterson be his best. If this team can be a little more creative with what they do offensively they’ll be lots of fun to watch for the rest of the season.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (11-3) – It’s strange to think that this team could not be around for long in the playoffs, which must be heartbreaking for Bengals fans. Thankfully they didn’t lose what could’ve been a trap game this past week and hold strong with one of the best records in the AFC.
11. New York Jets (9-5) – I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a Jets fan right now, because they could end up 10-6 and not make it into the playoffs. But honestly Fitzpatrick is looking great and the combination of Decker and Marshall should get Jets fans excited for the next few years.
12. Washington Redskins (7-7) – Kirk Cousins. He’s probably one of the most confusing players in the league right now to me. The Redskins organization seems to think he may be their long term answer at QB, and they’re staring at possible making the playoffs at 9-7 or 8-8. Who knows, maybe they just might pull a Giants and go somewhere in the postseason.
13. Oakland Raiders (6-8) – The Raiders have a lot to look forward to, despite the legendary Charles Woodson leaving after this season. If they can start surpassing the Chiefs and Raiders they may be looking at an exciting next few years.
14. Buffalo Bills (6-8) – This team has so much talent on both sides of the ball, but they cannot get it together. If their coaching staff can’t teach this team how to be disciplined I foresee them going downhill very quickly, especially in a very competitive division.
15. Detroit Lions (5-9) – Thankfully this team was able to come off of a bad loss last week and beat the Saints. Not that beating that team is really saying much. All in all this just wasn’t the Lions’ year, but they could very easily pull it together in the offseason and be a contender again next year.
16. Houston Texans (7-7) – The fact that this is a playoff team is sickening. If the Colts hadn’t shat the bed this season they wouldn’t be anywhere near the postseason. They need to figure out their problems fast because with every other team in their division has a franchise QB to build around now, and will hopefully be bringing the AFCS out of the gutter.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (6-8) – This team has some big decisions to make in the offseason. Bradford looks like a very serviceable QB, but doesn’t really have any playmakers around him to help him out. Their defense is slowly dwindling away with injuries, but I don’t foresee them in the postseason so that doesn’t matter much at this point.
18. New York Giants (6-8) – It really just comes down to a few bad mistakes in every game this team plays. They almost beat the undefeated Panthers for crying out loud! There very well may be an alternate dimension where the Giants are one of the teams to beat this year, but it’s certainly not this one.
19. St. Louis Rams (6-8) – This team has really surprised me these past few weeks, beating teams that I think they had not business beating. Sadly it’s just too little too late for the Rams this season.
20. Chicago Bears (5-9) – In all honesty if the Bears were in a different division they could very well be heading to the playoffs. Sadly they’re stuck competing with teams like the Packers and Vikings, which are infinitely better teams than they are.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) – The Buccs were a team that I really hoped would find a way to get into the playoffs as a wildcard this year. Sadly they started to fall apart in the most crucial part of the season. I look forward to seeing this team beast it up next year.
22. Indianapolis Colts (6-8) – I’m actually glad that Luck went down this season, because it may be a wake-up call to the organization to actually attempt to build a complete team. If they don’t smarten up they very well could end up wasting Luck’s first portion of his career.
23. Atlanta Falcons (7-7) – Good for this team finally getting a win, but just barely and against one of the league’s perennial losers. Everything about this team just looks and feels bad, and they should feel bad about it.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9) – If this team was able to come away with a win in any of their recent close, winnable games, they could be in playoff contention. If they can find decent lineman and defensive players in free agency and the draft they could very well dominate the South next year.
25. New Orleans Saints (5-9) – With Drew Brees, the only shining light on a completely disappointing team, being hurt and in the midst of rehabbing this week, I don’t have any hope for them. I don’t foresee the Saints winning another game this season.
26. San Francisco 49ers (4-10) – This team was able to put up a fight against one of the top 10 teams in the league, which is amazing. The Bengals aren’t very healthy, but that doesn’t take any credit away from the 49ers for playing some decent football.
27. San Diego Chargers (4-10) – This team finally showed the fire that they had been lacking for weeks now and came up with a big win. Sadly it took being ripped out of their hometown for the spark to appear.
28. Dallas Cowboys (4-10) – This team is lost on the offensive side of the ball right now. They have a lot of promise on defense though, which is somehow keeping them in games.
29. Miami Dolphins (5-9) – This team just doesn’t know how to use what they have. I can’t wait to see Lamar Miller on a different team next year and see how he does when he gets carries.
30. Baltimore Ravens (4-10) – This team sucks really bad right now. There’s no two ways about it. I don’t have much else to say on this…
31. Tennessee Titans (3-11) – With Mariota being out for the season now there’s no way this team doesn’t completely lose out and get the number one pick. Hopefully with the high drafts picks they can build around their newfound franchise QB.
32. Cleveland Browns (3-11) – Call me crazy, but I think Manziel is the answer at quarterback for the Browns. He’s a young kid and makes mistakes off the field, but he has a strange way of making things happen when he’s on the field. Give him a year or two to develop and I think he could end up looking very similar to how Russel Wilson plays the quarterback position. Sadly, I really don’t see the Browns sticking with him and the current coaching staff after this year. They will continue to cycle out guys and give the team absolutely zero stability, which is all too necessary to succeed in this league. Okay, Johnny Football rant over, the Browns are bad, nobody is surprised.
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