Power Rankings (Week 15)

  1. Chiefs (-): Patrick Mahomes threw 3 interceptions. He took an NFL record 30 yard sack. But none of that mattered. This team is that good. The AFC is very deep and very good this year. But it’s very tough to see a world where this team doesn’t represent them in the Super Bowl for the 2nd straight year.
  2. Packers (+1): Aaron Rodgers just toyed with the Lions defense the whole game. He was in complete control, as he has been all season long. This team now sits atop the NFC, which in a year with only one team from each conference getting a bye is crucial. Not to mention, do you have confidence in any team going into Lambeau in January and knocking this team out? I don’t.
  3. Bills (+2): Josh Allen is the man and the whole world knows it now. This is now back to back games in primetime where he looked elite in double digit victories, this one being against the formerly 11–1 Steelers. And don’t look now, but this defense is starting to figure it out like was expected coming into the season. This is the clear 2nd best team in the AFC, and the argument could easily be made that they’re the 2nd best team in football.
  4. Saints (-2): Taysom Hill is undefeated no more. It was bound to happen. He’s not capable of consistently winning week in and week out. That’s not surprising. What was surprising this week was this team’s inability to stop the Eagles ground game, led my Jalen Hurts. With the Chiefs game coming up, it’s possible this was simply a trap game for this team. But what a trap it was. They lost control of the top seed in the NFC with this loss.
  5. Colts (+1): This is simply a great all-around football team. Their defense controls the line of scrimmage and turns opposing offenses over. Their offense has a new guy each week who steps up and is led by Philip Rivers playing some of his best football. They won’t get pushed around by anyone come January.
  6. Steelers (-2): I fully expected the Steelers to lose a game, maybe even 2, following their 11–0 start. But it’s definitely alarming that it’s now 2 straight losses and 3 straight disappointing games for them. It would be one thing if they were losing games because of their defense not being as sharp without Bud Dupree. That would make sense. But it’s their offense that has been absolutely lifeless for 3 weeks. Dropped balls and the inability to run the ball have all contributed to being held in the teens these past 3 games. If they want to hang with the other teams that are going to be in the AFC playoffs, they need to figure out how to score points.
  7. Seahawks (+1): Poor Jets. After losing to the Giants last week, you knew this team was going to pour it on this week. And that’s exactly what they did in a 40–3 victory. It was against the Jets so obviously it doesn’t carry too much weight, but they did what they were supposed to do. Now if they can just have some consistency to finish out the season, they would be a real threat in the NFC.
  8. Rams (+2): The Rams may have found something with Cam Akers late in the season here. A proven winning formula in the playoffs is a shutdown defense combined with a solid ground game. This team demonstrated just that this past Thursday night. With the Jets coming to town this week, I’m curious what the record is for fewest points allowed in back to back weeks.
  9. Browns (-2): Impressive in a loss. That was the feeling I got watching this team on Monday night. This offense is good. Baker looks legit. The ground game is great. Defensively, they were gashed by Lamar Jackson. This loss could hurt when it comes to positioning in the playoffs. But ultimately, for a team that is essentially guaranteed a playoff spot, a loss like this after a 4-game winning streak could be what they need to reset and finish the regular season on an upswing.
  10. Titans (-1): The roller coaster season continues for this Titans team. Derrick Henry is heating up, as to be expected this time of year. It’s amazing how he puts up 200+ yard performances and it seemingly is expected. With the Lions this week and the Packers next week, it’s realistic to think Henry gets to 2,000 rushing yards on the season. I don’t know which Titans team will show up any given week, but they certainly can beat anyone with the way they run the ball.
  11. Ravens (+1): I would never suggest celebrating an injury to anyone. But the Ravens season may have been saved because of Trace McSorley going down. And it’s nothing against him. It’s simply that Lamar Jackson was gashing the Browns defense all night, primarily on the ground, and him reentering the game was what won it for them. Of all of the AFC teams either in or hovering around the playoffs, this is the biggest “wild card”. They are so explosive on the ground offensively that if a defense isn’t properly prepared, they can score at will. But if a defense is able to stop Lamar and the ground game, they’ve shown nothing to suggest they can beat a team by throwing the ball. Still, it’ll be interesting to see if they sneak into the playoffs how they fare. They definitely have more upside than the Dolphins, who currently hold that 7th spot.
  12. Buccaneers (-1): It was certainly a slow start, but Tom Brady and the Bucs got back on track this week. Watching this game, there were certainly some positives to take away from it — the defense played great and Brady connected on some deep throws. But in that 1st quarter and a little into the 2nd, the G.O.A.T. made a couple throws that were once again some of the worst throws I’ve ever witnessed. It’s just very odd seeing him make these kinds of throws week in and week out.
  13. Dolphins (-): This defense caused Patrick Mahomes to throw 3 picks. That was impressive. They made one mistake though: they got up 10–0 early. That doesn’t seem to be the formula to beating the Chiefs. These next 3 games will determine whether the 2020 season will simply be a nice overperformance by this team that entered with no expectations, or if it’ll be one where they shock the world and make the playoffs.
  14. Cardinals (+1): A nice win by this team against a hot Giants team to break their 3-game losing streak. Defensively, it was a great performance, even if it was against lesser competition. But offensively, 2 for 7 is simply not going to cut when talking about converting red zone possessions into TDs. This team entered the game 1st in the league in that department and left it 7th. A big factor in this drop is Kyler Murray and his lack of either ability or desire to run the ball of late due to being banged up. Still, with the win and the Vikings loss, this team now holds the 7th spot in the NFC.
  15. Raiders (-1): It’s not looking good for this Raiders team. If not for the Jets being the Jets last week, they would be on a 4-game losing streak. As it stands, they’re 7–6 and a game out of the 7th spot in the AFC. The good news for this team is they face 2 sub-.500 teams out of the final 3 games. The lone team they face with a winning record is the Dolphins, who are one of the teams they need to jump ahead of.
  16. Giants (-): Give Daniel Jones credit for wanting to play, and likely convincing his coaches to let him play, despite clearly not being 100%. In hindsight, it wasn’t a good move. I’m not sure if Colt McCoy being in there would’ve given them a better chance of winning, but I am sure the offense wouldn’t have been worse. This defense is still dominant. Despite consistently being dealt with short fields to defend and being on the field seemingly the entire game, they held tough in the red zone and only allowed 2 of 7 trips to result in TDs. If they want a chance at the division, they’ll need to win at least 2 of these next 3 games.
  17. Vikings (-): Offensively, the Vikings played decent. Defensively, they were also okay. But you’re simply not going to win many games when your kicker misses all 4 times they’re called on to convert a field goal or an extra point. What a brutal performance in a game where a win would’ve put this team in a great spot at potentially making the playoffs.
  18. Football Team (+2): Washington just keeps winning football games. 4 straight wins. 4 straight games holding their opponent under 18 points. And now sitting alone atop the NFC East at 6–7. Suddenly, with them playing 2 of their final 3 games against teams under .500, it’s starting to become realistic that the division winner might actually get to 8 wins.
  19. Patriots (-): Why does it look so difficult for Cam Newton to throw the football? I understand this offense doesn’t have any weapons at receiver. I get that they’re a run-first team. But that doesn’t change the fact that every time Cam throws the ball, it simply looks unnatural. Regardless, this team stinks, as it has all year despite winning a lot of games. This loss finally finished them.
  20. 49ers (-2): Speaking of teams that stink… Why did 1 win by this team 3 weeks ago against the Rams all of a sudden make people think this team was good? I’m not saying it’s entirely their fault — this team has been decimated by injuries at key positions all season long. But this team was favored last week against the Bills, and people were actually saying they had a realistic shot at the playoffs. They’ve won one game since October. They’re a well-coached team that plays hard. But they simply don’t have the healthy talent to win games consistently.
  21. Bears (+5): Umm… did Mitchell Trubisky just outplay Deshaun Watson? Yes, yes he did. Great win by this Bears team for their first win since Week 6. This defense has been great all year, so seeing them hold the Texans to 7 points wasn’t a total shock. But seeing them score 30+ for the second straight week has to be a shock to everyone who’s watched Mitchell Trubisky throughout his young career.
  22. Eagles (+6): Both good and bad came out of this shocking upset the Eagles had over the Saints. The obvious good news being Jalen Hurts looked dynamic. His athleticism gave this offense that spark they’ve desperately needed all season. He was good enough through the air to complement the explosion he gave them running the ball. His rushing ability also allowed for Miles Sanders to explode for 100+. The bad news is now all of those people chirping to get Jalen Hurts in earlier in the season now have a leg to stand on. On top of that, this complicates things immensely for this team moving into the offseason.
  23. Broncos (+2): 21/27, 280 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs. That was Drew Lock’s stat line this week. Wow. Great win by this team. Sure it was in a meaningless game against another team not going anywhere this year, but that doesn’t take away from it being an impressive performance by this team.
  24. Falcons (-3): 3 second half interceptions thrown by Matt Ryan doomed this team. Aside from that, it was actually a solid outing by this team. Their final 3 games all come against Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes.
  25. Panthers (-3): This team’s final 3 games all come against current NFC division leaders. So either they’ll be playing spoiler, or they’ll be in a very good spot in next year’s draft. Regardless, they just need CMC to get healthy. No sense in him suiting up this season.
  26. Texans (-3): Ugly. Not only did they not reach double digit points, but they made Mitchell Trubisky look very good. PLEASE GET DESHAUN WATSON SOME HELP.
  27. Lions (-3): It’s possible, and I would argue likely, that we’ve seen the final snap Matthew Stafford takes with the Lions. It’s a shame too. This offense was looking really good these past two weeks with the coaching change. They competed with the Packers, but it was evident that Aaron Rodgers had complete control of this defense.
  28. Chargers (-1): For once this season, the Chargers actually found a way to win a close one late. And it was the defense that was the main reason for this victory. This was their first game since September where they held their opponent under 27 points.
  29. Cowboys (+2): Sure they were outgained by the Bengals. But when you win the turnover battle 3–0, that doesn’t really matter. And good for Andy Dalton getting a win against his former team. It may be crazy to even say, but this team face 3 teams under .500 the rest of the way. Have they shown anything all season to suggest they’ll win them all? Absolutely not. But the opportunity is still there for this team. I’m not sure how.
  30. Jaguars (-1): The ’stache is back. That’s all that needs to be said.
  31. Bengals (-1): It’s looking good for the Bengals to get the 3rd pick next year, which essentially means they’ll be able to get their top ranked non-QB prospect. Not too bad for this team.
  32. Jets (-): 3 games left for the dreaded winless season to become a reality. They’ve got 2 tough games up next followed by the Patriots in Week 17. Anyone else got that feeling that Bill Belichick is going to cost the Jets that first pick?

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I like sports. I’m very opinionated. I like sharing my opinions and arguing senselessly with anyone who wants to argue.

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Craig Ebinger

Craig Ebinger

I like sports. I’m very opinionated. I like sharing my opinions and arguing senselessly with anyone who wants to argue.

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