Matzek's Weekly NFL Power Rankings: Week 14
Jaguars jump...Jets continue to fall. The week 14 NFL power rankings are below....
1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2) – They completely embarrassed two consecutive playoff caliber opponents by a combined score of 81-10. Is anybody going to argue that I moved the Patriots to the top spot ahead of Atlanta?
2. ATLANTA FALCONS (1) – Tied for the best record in football, the Falcons did nothing to lose their spot atop these rankings...it's just the Patriots have been unbelievable.
3. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (6) – Like the Falcons, the Steelers beat an awful team on Sunday (Bengals). A tougher test lies ahead in the NY Jets, who are fighting for their playoff lives.
4. BALTIMORE RAVENS (3) – What a game against the Texans! In the fourth quarter, with the Texans moving the ball at will, I kept saying to myself, "this is not the same Ravens defense.". Then they intercepted Matt Schaub in overtime and returned it for a game winning touchdown. THAT's the Ravens defense I remember.
5. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5) - They could end up being a 13-3 wild card team.
6. NEW YORK GIANTS (7) – They completely ran over the Vikings defense on Monday. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs rushed for over 100 yards, and the WR core is getting healthier. A key NFC East battle...
7. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (10) – ...is set for Sunday. The Eagles and Giants will do battle in the Meadowlands with the winner gaining control of the division. The loser will be in the wild card cross hairs.
8. CHICAGO BEARS (6) - Strange to see a Bears team so reliant on timing and precision in the passing game. The snow globe conditions in Chicago completely worked against them in an embarrassing loss to the Patriots.
9. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (12) - Their schedule isn't exactly the toughest you'll find, but the Jags continue to find ways to win. Might be a stretch to have them in the top 10, but at 8-5, they remain on track to win their division.
10. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (13) - They aren't just knocking on the door of the Kansas City Chiefs, they plowed right through it with a 31-0 win. They still trail KC by one game in the division, but it's hard to think they won't end up on top...and then lose their first playoff game.
11. GREEN BAY PACKERS (8) – A devastating loss to the Lions provided a significant blow to the Packers playoff chances. They need to win out over the Patriots, Giants and Bears...and they need Aaron Rodgers under center.
12. NY JETS (9) – The Jets have scored a whopping 9 points in their last two games. They'll be lucky to score 9 more against the Steelers on Sunday. They're still in the wild card drivers seat, but trending downward.
13. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (14) – Rare to see the Colts at just one game above .500 in mid December.
14. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (15) - Unbelievable how they beat the Redskins on Sunday. Two missed chip-shot FG's and a botched extra point gave them a 17-16 win, and allowed them to remain a thorn in the sides of NFC playoff hopefuls.
15. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11) - Yikes. As long as Brodie Croyle is under center, the Chiefs will lose. It's that simple. Though I'm not sure that Matt Cassel would have made a difference in their 31-0 loss to San Diego.
16. MIAMI DOLPHINS (20) - On life support one week ago, the Dolphins responded by beating the Jets 10-6. Ugly, but good enough to remain relevant in the AFC playoff picture.
17. ST. LOUIS RAMS (16) - Borrowing a phrase that I've used to explain the Seattle Seahawks: Is it possible to win a division with a sub-.500 record? The Rams are giving it a run!
18. OAKLAND RAIDERS (17) - Snatched defeat from the hands of victory against the Jaguars. At 6-7, the Raiders ship has sunk.
19. DALLAS COWBOYS (18) - No doubt the Cowboys have played much better football the last four weeks...but not good enough to beat the Eagles last Sunday.
20. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (25) - Remember when they were 0-5? Now they're one game back of the division lead.
21. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (19) - The Seahawks are a game better than the 49ers in terms of record...but they were smoked by San Francisco 40-21 on Sunday.
22. HOUSTON TEXANS (21) - After a 99 and 95 yard TD scoring drive (and 2-point conversion) in the 4th quarter forced overtime against the Ravens, the Texans raft deflated after a Matt Schaub pass was picked off and returned for a TD to end the game.
23. BUFFALO BILLS (27) - Still in last place, but have won three of their last four games.
24. CLEVELAND BROWNS (22) - I'm guessing the Browns/Bills game didn't receive much coverage outside the local TV markets.
25. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (23) - Both Brett Favre and the Metrodome are on the injured list....at least they'll get to play in MN on Monday night...though it will be on 0 degree weather at TCF Bank Stadium.
26. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (24) - Hunter Smith was fired for allowing an extra point snap to slip through his hands in a one point loss to the Buccaneers. What about kicker Grahm Gano's two missed chip shot field goals? How does he survive?
27. DETROIT LIONS (29) - Drew Stanton is not ready to play QB in the NFL, but their defensive front four sure is. They spent all day in the Packers backfield.
28. ARIZONA CARDINALS (30) - 43 points?! I didn't think it was possible.
29. DENVER BRONCOS (26) - What the heck happened to Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd? Guys?
30. TENNESSEE TITANS (28) - The countdown to Jeff Fisher's dismissal is on. I give him 2 days after the end of the season.
31. CINCINNATI BENGALS (31) - Didn't even show up against a bitter rival.
32. CAROLINA PANTHERS (32) - On the clock....again.