After a busy Thanksgiving weekend, the NFL prepares for the final quarter-mile of the regular season. The race for the playoffs is heating up as both conferences feature teams jockeying for position. Last weekend featured a few major clashes as Baltimore and San Francisco faced off in the rain and Minnesota traveled to Seattle for a Monday night battle. As we prepare for the final four games of the season, and after multiple helpings of Thanksgiving dinner, we take a look at the NFL Week 14 Power Rankings.
Bottom of the Barrel
32. Cincinnati Bengals
31. New York Giants
30. Detroit Lions
29. Miami Dolphins
28. Washington Redskins
So Close but So Far
The Rams are scraping for the last playoff spot and received a quick shot of life after a dominating victory over Arizona. Todd Gurley has resumed his role as the bell-cow of the Los Angeles offense as head coach Sean McVay seems to have remembered he has a top-tier running back. Pittsburgh defies logic as they remain in playoff contention while playing with their third-string quarterback, second and third-string running backs, and without their top wide receiver. Mike Tomlin may win Coach of the Year if his team can clinch a spot. Meanwhile, the Titans continue their streak of hot play with Ryan Tannehill at the helm of the offense. A heavy dose of Derrick Henry has put fear into the hearts of opposing defenses. If the offense can continue to look functional, the Titans will earn a playoff spot.
No. 10 – Minnesota Vikings (8-4; -4)
The Vikings drop in this week’s power rankings. Minnesota lead at halftime against the Seahawks by a score of 17-10. Then the third quarter happened. Seattle scored 24 unanswered points over the next 17 minutes of actual game time. The Vikings are a game back of Green Bay, two games when you consider the current tiebreaker goes to the Packers.
No. 9 – Green Bay Packers (9-3; n/r)
The Packers rebounded from a humiliating loss against the 49ers with a victory over the listless Giants. Green Bay maintains a game lead over Minnesota and holds the head to head advantage from their victory over their rivals earlier this season. The Packers welcome Washington to town on Sunday.
No. 8 – Kansas City Chiefs (8-4; n/r)
Kansas City is in the driver’s seat to win another AFC West crown. The Chiefs were rude hosts to the visiting Raiders as they jumped on their rivals quickly. Kansas City’s defense is beginning to gel and added a score of their own on Sunday.
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No. 7 – Houston Texans (8-4; +3)
Aside from the final four minutes, Houston bloodied New England. Houston’s victory shoots them ahead three spots in our power rankings. The Texans controlled the football and forced the New England offense to sustain drives. Houston has a game lead in the AFC South over Tennessee.
No. 6 – Buffalo Bills (9-3; +1)
Buffalo went into Dallas, on Thanksgiving Day, and punched the Cowboys in the mouth. The Bills are a tough team to play due to their stingy defense and solid ground game. Josh Allen is playing clean football and make plays with both his feet and his arm. By the way, Buffalo welcome the Ravens to Orchard Park on Sunday.
No. 5 – New Orleans Saints (10-2; n/r)
The Saints clinched the NFC South crown with their Thanksgiving victory over the Falcons. New Orleans currently sits as the top seed in the NFC but have a tough task ahead as the 49ers are making their way to the Superdome. Will the Saints keep marching?
No. 4 – New England Patriots (10-2; -1)
What can New England do to fix the offense? The simple answer is to get healthy. The Patriots lack reliable pass catchers due to various injuries throughout the roster. Mohamed Sanu and Julian Edelman have returned to practice this week and will be needed against the Chiefs on Sunday.
No. 3 – Seattle Seahawks (10-2; +1)
Seattle finds ways to win football games. How? It helps to have Russell Wilson leading your offense. Seattle used an explosive third quarter on Monday night to get the victory against the Vikings. They now lead the NFC West due to a tiebreaking victory against the 49ers. The Seahawks are on the road against the Rams on Sunday before a trip to the east coast to play the Panthers.
No. 2 – San Francisco 49ers (10-2; n/r)
The 49ers have lost twice in the last four weeks. They account for the only losses for San Francisco. Both games were winnable with the 49ers losing by a field goal in both games. The 49ers have the talent to beat anyone and things may have been different if the Baltimore weather had been kinder. That point alone keeps the 49ers in the second spot in our power rankings.
No. 1 – Baltimore Ravens (10-2; n/r)
For the third consecutive week, the Ravens are at the top of our power rankings. Right now, there isn’t anyone playing better in the NFL. The Ravens survived against a tough 49ers team on the back of Lamar Jackson. The second-year quarterback continues to build his case for league MVP with victory after victory against some of the best. Baltimore travels to Buffalo to take on another tough defense, this time on the road. Could we see a rematch between the 49ers and Ravens in early February?