Matzek's NFL Power Rankings: Week 14
BIGGEST JUMP: Tennessee Titans (from 16 to 10)
BIGGEST DROP: Philadelphia Eagles (from 18 to 24)
1 (1). GREEN BAY PACKERS - Without the services of their two starting ILB's, starting left tackle, starting guard, their best running back, and Charles Woodson, the Packers still beat a playoff contending NY Giants team on the road.
2 (2). PITTSBURGH STEELERS - In my opinion, they have the best balance of offense and defense in the NFL.
3 (3). NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - Drew Brees is going to break Dan Marino's record for passing yards in a season...he might also break the NFL record for completion percentage too.
4 (6). SAN FRANCISCO 49ers - I moved them up because they completely dominated a bad Rams team 26-0.
5 (5). BALTIMORE RAVENS - I thought Joe Flacco was supposed to be better?
6 (4). NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - I moved them down because, despite winning 31-24, they allowed an awful Colts team to hang around. Colts ultra-backup Dan Orlovsky threw for 353 yards against Patriots defense?
7 (7). HOUSTON TEXANS - In recent years the loss of passing-attack weapons would destroy the Texans, but their defense (minus Mario Williams) and running game has been outstanding.
NOTE: The teams below represent the log-jam that is the NFL's playoff picture. There are 10 teams vying for just a few spots. With the exception of the Giants at 6-6, every team below is 7-5.
8 (8). ATLANTA FALCONS - A delay of game on 4th and 1 in the waning seconds of a close game? Oh my...that's how coaches lose jobs.
9 (9). DALLAS COWBOYS - I thought it was funny that Jason Garrett inadvertently iced his own kicker before a game winning field goal attempt. Wouldn't ya know it - Dan Bailey missed the kick that counted and the Cowboys lost to the Cardinals in overtime.
10 (16). TENNESSEE TITANS - Don't sleep on the Titans. After sleep-walking through the first half of the season, Chris Johnson has rushed for 343 yards in back-to-back wins.
11 (15). NY JETS - After being backed into a corner at 5-5, the Jets have thrown two haymakers to improve to 7-5...right in the middle of the AFC playoff mix.
12 (10). CHICAGO BEARS - They have little chance to make the playoffs with Caleb Hanie at QB. They have no chance with Caleb Hanie in and Matt Forte out.
13 (11). DETROIT LIONS - Does anybody outside of Detroit actually like the Lions? They have quickly become one of the most hated teams in the NFL with their dirty play and lack of discipline.
14 (17). DENVER BRONCOS - How is Denver winning ball games? Their defense and special teams have been outstanding, and Tim Tebow, despite his limitations, does not turn the ball over.
15 (13). CINCINNATI BENGALS - I'm just going to keep my comment from last week: I don't think anyone will take the Bengals seriously until they beat Baltimore or Pittsburgh. They have yet to do so this season.
16 (14). NY GIANTS - They've lost four straight, but still control their own destiny in the NFC east.
17 (12). OAKLAND RAIDERS - Chaz Schilens has been their leading receiver in the last two weeks. (???)
NOTE: The teams below represent the portion of the league that is (for all practical purposes) out of the playoff hunt.
18 (20). SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - I never thought Marshawn Lynch would be able to carry this team on his back. Granted, they are 5-7, but trending upward.
19 (23). MIAMI DOLPHINS - Would you want to play the Dolphins right now? They have obliterated four of their last five opponents.
20 (22). SAN DIEGO CHARGERS - Well it's about time they put up 38 points with all that offensive talent.
21 (24). ARIZONA CARDINALS - Granted, the quality of their opponents has not been out of this world, but the Cardinals have rattled off four wins in their last five games.
22 (21). BUFFALO BILLS - Three words: fools gold
23 (19). TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - Last season they were in the hunt for the playoffs. This season, they are losing to Carolina.
24 (18). PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - I'm done being fooled by the occasional Eagles win. I can't imagine Andy Reid will be the Head Coach next season.
25 (28). KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - I'm not sure how, but the Chiefs have 5 wins.
26 (27). CAROLINA PANTHERS - They've won back to back road games. That's impressive in any league, and any sport.
27 (25). WASHINGTON REDSKINS - I was wrong on the Redskins. I thought they would beat the Jets. I'm an idiot for believing.
28 (26). CLEVELAND BROWNS - They couldn't score in Vegas.
29 (29). JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - They were playing without their three best defensive backs against the Chargers, and gave up 38 points.
30 (30). ST LOUIS RAMS - Shut out by the 49ers. AJ Feely played like Mr. McFeely.
31 (31). MINNESOTA VIKINGS - I really wasn't expecting the loss of Adrian Peterson to help.
32 (32). INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - Along with the Packers, the Colts are the most consistent team in the league.