Welcome to another edition of NFL Power Rankings!
We’re making are way to the final turn of the season as every team has played a minimum of 12 games.
Each week still tells us something new, but as the body of work for each team becomes close to complete, we have a good idea of who these teams are – for better and worse.
Entering Week 14, four teams (all in the AFC) have been eliminated from playoff contention, while two teams have clinched a playoff spot; I’ll note those teams in the rankings (e = eliminated, x = playoff spot clinched). The Bills, Packers and Steelers can clinch a playoff spot this week, while the Broncos, Texans, Falcons and Cowboys could be eliminated this week.
Remember, this season 7 teams from each conference (14 total) can make the playoffs.
Also, tiers are back – and with some tinkering; expect that the rest of the way.
With that settled, lets get to the rankings.
Biggest rise: New York Giants (up 7 spots)
Biggest fall: Tennessee Titans (down 4 spots)
Leading Super Bowl contenders – teams best positioned to make a Super Bowl run
1. x–Kansas City Chiefs (PR: 1)
Record: 11-1 | Week 14 opponent: Miami Dolphins (away)
Divisional games always tend to end up closer than they should due to the familiarity of the teams involved, but I never thought the Chiefs were in real danger. With the Steelers loss on Monday, they have a chance of winning the conference.
2. x–New Orleans Saints (PR: 3)
Record: 10-2 | Week 14 opponent: Philadelphia Eagles (away)
It gets ugly but the Saints keep winning. Their defense is awesome. If this were the old playoff format they’d all but have a bye week wrapped up, but now they need to make sure they finish ahead of the Packers.
Deep playoff run potential – teams that have what it takes to make their conference championship game and possibly make the Super Bowl
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (PR: 2)
Record: 11-1 | Week 14 opponent: Buffalo Bills (away)
The perfect season is over, and at the hands of a team no one expected: Washington. The woes on offense are becoming more and more alarming as the season goes on.
4. Indianapolis Colts (PR: 5)
Record: 8-4 | Week 14 opponent: Las Vegas Raiders (away)
I’ve made it no secret I’m probably higher on the Colts than I should be, but they have a talented roster and solid enough QB. Everything is on track for them to make the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
5. Buffalo Bills (PR: 6)
Record: 9-3 | Week 14 opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers (home)
Josh Allen and the Bills offense looked sensational on Monday night, tearing up a pretty good (albeit injured) defense in San Francisco. If Allen can do this in the playoffs, Buffalo could make the AFC Championship Game.
6. Los Angeles Rams (PR: 9)
Record: 9-4 | Week 14 opponent: New England Patriots (home), Thursday; won
The Rams got two huge wins on Sunday and Thursday. They’ll be in the playoffs, and their defense really seems to have what it takes to carry them far. Dominating a Bill Belichick coached team is no easy feat, even as limited as the Patriots have been this season. This is a solid group.
7. Green Bay Packers (PR: 8)
Record: 9-3 | Week 14 opponent: Detroit Lions (away)
Aaron Rodgers is trailing Mahomes in the MVP race, but don’t let that stop you for admiring the remarkable season he’s having. My only concern is they lack a statement win versus a playoff caliber team (unless you count Week 3 versus the Saints).
Playoff Locks – playoff caliber teams that need to prove they can make a deep playoff run
8. Tennessee Titans (PR: 4)
Record: 8-4 | Week 14 opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars (away)
The Titans were embarrassed by Cleveland last week, don’t let the final score fool you. The talent deficit on defense is catching up to them.
9. Cleveland Browns (PR: 12)
Record: 9-3 | Week 14 opponent: Baltimore Ravens (home), Monday
Welcome to the top 10 Cleveland! What a win on Sunday. Winning in Tennessee is impressive, and the statement win of the season for this group.
10. Seattle Seahawks (PR: 7)
Record: 8-4 | Week 14 opponent: New York Jets (home)
Their loss to the Giants at home has to make you wonder if this group can even win a playoff game. This is the second straight season Seattle came out on fire only to die out as the season progressed. Real shame.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (PR: 10)
Record: 7-5 | Week 14 opponent: Minnesota Vikings (home)
Coming off a bye week the Bucs have 4 weeks to get their act together and ready for the playoffs. They have the best QB for that journey, but can it all mesh in time?
Playoff hopefuls – teams that should make the playoffs given their talent and record
12. Miami Dolphins (PR: 11)
Record: 8-4 | Week 14 opponent: Kansas City Chiefs (home)
Brian Flores getting ready to fight someone last week was awesome to watch, and I’m sure his players are even more willing to go to war for him now. They’ll need that energy against the Chiefs tomorrow.
13. Baltimore Ravens (PR: 14)
Record: 7-5 | Week 14 opponent: Cleveland Browns (away), Monday
Lamar Jackson is back and looked great against Dallas. Their game on Monday in Cleveland is as must-win as they come.
14. Arizona Cardinals (PR: 13)
Record: 6-6 | Week 14 opponent: New York Giants (away)
The Cardinals are reeling, having lost 4 of their last 5 games. Their only win in that time was the prayer to DeAndre Hopkins against the Bills. It’s not longer a lock they make the playoffs.
15. Las Vegas Raiders (PR: 15)
Record: 7-5 | Week 14 opponent: Indianapolis Colts (home)
The Raiders are lucky they won on Sunday, because against any other team in NFL history that’s a loss… but the 2020 Jets are no ordinary team.
16. Minnesota Vikings (PR: 17)
Record: 6-6 | Week 14 opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (away)
The Vikings sure love to make it interesting, with yet another dramatic win. They currently hold the final playoff spot in the NFC with 4 weeks to go.
NFL purgatory – just on the outside of the playoff picture and stuck in the middle of good and bad
17. New England Patriots (PR: 19)
Record: 6-7 | Week 14 opponent: Los Angeles Rams (away), Thursday; lost
After a dominant win against the Chargers, the roles were reversed in their loss to the Rams. Their playoff hopes are likely over in this season of highs and lows, but they’ll keep fighting.
18. San Francisco 49ers (PR: 16)
Record: 5-7 | Week 14 opponent: Washington (home)
Similar to the Patriots, the 49ers playoff hopes probably came to a close on Monday against the Bills. It’s admirable they’ve made it this far given the cascade of injuries.
NFC East Title Fight – playoff hopeful/purgatory level teams with a chance to make the playoffs due to the putrid NFC East
19. New York Giants (PR: 26)
Record: 5-7 | Week 14 opponent: Arizona Cardinals (home)
The week the NFC East became legit (part 1). The Giants, behind Colt McCoy and a stifling defense, stunned Seattle at home. They pulled ahead of two division foes (likely for good), but they’ll have some competition in winning the division for good.
20. Washington (PR: 24)
Record: 5-7 | Week 14 opponent: San Francisco 49ers (away)
Part 2 of the NFC East’s revival, as Washington upset the UNDEFEATED Pittsburgh Steelers! Suddenly the teams vying for the 5th seed don’t have an easy win against the winner of the NFC East.
Time for next season – teams that – to different degrees – need to focus on their future, because all hope is lost for success this season.
21. Houston Texans (PR: 18)
Record: 4-8 | Week 14 opponent: Chicago Bears (away)
Houston lost their chance of an upset late in their game against the Colts. It would’ve helped others more than them, but it’s a shame given the momentum the group was building.
22. Atlanta Falcons (PR: 20)
Record: 4-8 | Week 14 opponent: Los Angeles Chargers (away)
Similar to Houston, Atlanta could not pull off an upset win. Each team is playing for pride at this point.
23. Detroit Lions (PR: 27)
Record: 5-7 | Week 14 opponent: Green Bay Packers (home)
The Lions gave Chicago a taste of their own medicine (see: Week 1), pulling off a late comeback win. They’d need a lot to go their way to make the playoffs, but this type of win in their first game after Matt Patricia’s firing speaks highly of the group.
24. Carolina Panthers (PR: 21)
Record: 4-8 | Week 14 opponent: Denver Broncos (home)
I don’t really have anything to say here.
25. Denver Broncos (PR: 22)
Record: 4-8 | Week 14 opponent: Carolina Panthers (away)
Denver could not pull off the upset in Kansas City. After another lackluster performance by Drew Lock, yet again the QB position seems like a question mark.
26. Chicago Bears (PR: 23)
Record: 5-7 | Week 14 opponent: Houston Texans (home)
The Bears are just falling apart now. We’re likely a few weeks away from a full organizational restructuring.
27. e–Los Angeles Chargers (PR: 25)
Record: 3-9 | Week 14 opponent: Atlanta Falcons (home)
Losing 45-0 at home is nearly impossible to do, and takes a team effort worth of mistakes across the board. Ownership gave Anthony Lynn a vow of support for the remainder of the season, but you have to think he’s not coming back for 2021.
28. Philadelphia Eagles (PR: 28)
Record: 3-8-1 | Week 14 opponent: New Orleans Saints (home)
The Eagles have made the switch to Jalen Hurts, as Carson Wentz has proven he cannot be relied upon as the starter. Would the Eagles ever swallow the cap hit it would require to release him next year?
29. Dallas Cowboys (PR: 29)
Record: 3-9 | Week 14 opponent: Cincinnati Bengals (away)
Did you know the Cowboys have only scored 20+ points once since Dak Prescott was injured (31 against the Vikings)? They have also not held a team under 20 points this season.
30. e–Cincinnati Bengals (PR: 30)
Record: 2-9-1 | Week 14 opponent: Dallas Cowboys (home)
Another loss marked by a cheap hit on a Miami Dolphin. Not much left to look forward too this season.
31. e–Jacksonville Jaguars (PR: 31)
Record: 1-11 | Week 14 opponent: Tennessee Titans (home)
Jacksonville almost won, but they must’ve seen the Jets were never going to win.
32. e–New York Jets (PR: 32)
Record: 0-12 | Week 14 opponent: Seattle Seahawks (away)
You cannot tell me they are not actively tanking, how can you call a COVER ZERO BLITZ in that spot!?
Top image via ESPN
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