Week 14 of the NFL is almost in the books. The only game left is between the New England Patriots and Houston Texans, two teams jockeying for position in the AFC.
The NFL power rankings landscape looks much like it did last weekend, with the exception of a few moves in the middle of the rankings to reflect the results of this weekend.
Teams are starting to prove they belong in the playoff hunt, and others nearly officially took themselves out of position on Sunday. From Dallas and Washington battling it out to Denver and New England battling for a first-round bye, Week 15 promises to give us games that will change the landscape yet again.
Here's a look at the upcoming Week 15 power rankings, with a mind towards each team's playoff odds.
1. Houston Texans: Clinched Playoff Spot
Before the Texans take on the New England Patriots on Monday night, they'll have their playoff spot wrapped up in a bow. Houston has a shot to take the franchise to a new level with both a statement win over New England and a deep playoff run.
2. Atlanta Falcons: Clinched Playoff Spot
Something about the Carolina Panthers spells trouble in the ATL. The Falcons dropped to 11-2 after losing to the Panthers, but they still boast a firm lead on the home-field advantage card and have their playoff spot wrapped up.
3. Denver Broncos: Clinched Playoff Spot
Denver continues to win—even in ugly fashion on a short week. The Broncos might even boast the NFL MVP when the season's over. Peyton Manning is just that good.
4. New England Patriots: Clinched Playoff Spot
Despite the defensive struggles and loss of TE Rob Gronkowski, the Pats will face off with the Texans on Monday night with a clear conscience after already clinching a playoff spot. Keep an eye on the running game—the Pats have three running backs that can break it at any time.
5. Baltimore Ravens: 4-1
A disappointing loss to the Washington Redskins gives further reason to pause with the playoffs right around the corner. With Denver, New York and Cincinnati still on the schedule, these won't be an easy three weeks in Baltimore. Still, the Ravens likely need just one more win to get in.
6. San Francisco 49ers: 2.5-1
At 9-3-1, the 49ers hold the keys to both the NFC West and the second home-field advantage spot in the NFC. Colin Kaepernick at QB is paying off for Jim Harbaugh. Will he give the Bay Area the spark to win a second straight championship in major sports this year?
7. Green Bay Packers: 2-1
The Pack attack kept on rolling against Detroit, and control their own destiny in regards to the playoffs and the NFC north. The way this team is playing, it's hard to bet against it both in playoff odds and even a Super Bowl run.
8. New York Giants: 4-1
Inconsistent play has been a hallmark of this team for the past five years, but you can't argue with two Super Bowl rings. The giants have split games with both Dallas and Washington, and still have a game lead on both teams with Philly still on the schedule.
9. Chicago Bears: 5-1
Without Cutler, the Bears are 0-2, and with him they are 8-2. If he can't go next week against the Packers in an obvious battle for the NFC North, the Bears lose a step on both the division and the shot at even making the postseason.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers: 7-1
Ben Roethlisberger was back in action, but that couldn't stop the suddenly alive Chargers from upsetting the Steelers on Sunday. At 7-6, they have an inside track on the sixth seed, but still have a way to go. The division game against Cincinnati will likely decide the season.
11. Seattle Seahawks: 7-1
Richard Sherman is the new island, so move over Darrell Revis. At 8-5 and after turning in a dominating defensive performance against the Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks are the sixth seed in the NFC and need to win two out of the next three to make it.
12. Indianapolis Colts: 4-1
Nine wins. Andrew Luck. Chuck Pagano. Even if the Colts don't make the playoffs, which is not likely, they've had a great season due to the first three sentences. After beating Tennessee and preparing for Houston twice in the next three weeks, things are set to get interesting in Indy.
13. Cincinnati Bengals: 8-1
The loss to Dallas stings, but Cincy still holds its destiny with an impending showdown with Pittsburgh still on the schedule. That game will likely decide the season for both teams.
14. Washington Redskins: 10-1
Those who questioned the Kirk Cousins draft pick can eat their words after the rookie came in a second time this season to get his team over the hump. The odds are at 10-1 because the Skins must now deal with an injury to RG3 and likely win out to dethrone the Giants atop the NFC East.
15. Minnesota Vikings: 15-1
Adrian Peterson is approaching the 2,000-yard rushing mark, and the Vikings kept their postseason hopes alive with a glimmer of hope after beating the Bears. 15-1 doesn't give the Vikings much of a chance, but it does keep them alive.
16. Dallas Cowboys: 12-1
Dallas is tied with the Redskins yet again after finding a way to win on the road in Cinci. Losses to the Skins and the Ravens look like the games that will end up costing the 'Boys this season, but if Dallas finds a way to beat both New Orleans and Pittsburgh, anything is possible.
17. St. Louis Rams: 20-1
The tie could end up being big for the Rams if they win out. That's an extremely tall task, but that extra half-point in the standings would prove pivotal if tied with a slew of 9-7 teams for a wild-card spot.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 25-1
At 6-7, the walls appear to be closing in after another loss. Atlanta has already clinched the NFC South, but you can't do anything but respect the effort Greg Schiano's team has done this year. It's a long shot, but Tampa Bay is still alive.
19. New Orleans Saints: 1,000-1
The remaining wild-card leaders already have eight wins, so the 5-8 Saints would need a miracle to knock off the rest of the field. Go ahead and write the season off to bountygate, since the players clearly did in Week 1 (especially the defense).
20. Detroit Lions: Eliminated
The Lions are clearly better than 4-9, but a slew of injuries and costly QB play leaves them in the position of re-evaluating the team from the ground-up. The only two players that appear safe are QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson.
21. Miami Dolphins: 1,000-1
Miami has lost out on the AFC East, and like Cleveland and New Orleans, the Dolphins would need a small miracle to leapfrog the remaining clump of teams in the AFC. Still, this team is better off than most and comes in at No. 21.
22. San Diego Chargers: 500-1
What are the odds that San Diego makes a magical run, finishes 8-8 and doesn't fire Norv Turner? Probably about the same as the playoff odds, but that won't stop Philip Rivers from trying.
23. New York Jets: 100-1
Greg McElroy was back to being irrelevant, and it didn't cost the Jets with Mark Sanchez back in the saddle. Luckily for the Jets, they were facing the Jaguars. Don't be fooled by the 6-7 record—this team is a mess and will find a way to miss the postseason.
24. Buffalo Bills: 1,000-1
The Bills are another 5-8 team without much of a chance towards January and beyond. Still, they'll get the same odds as the rest of the eight-loss teams, and continue to plan for a future with a franchise QB.
25. Tennessee Titans: 1,500-1
It's nearly impossible, but the Titans get a nod as a team with an outside shot. So goes the AFC—even the nine-loss teams get a nod. Jake Locker has a long way to go and proved that on Sunday against the Colts, a team the Titans should have beaten twice this year.
26. Carolina Panthers: Eliminated
I've said it all season—the Panthers are a few bounces away from being in the wild-card mix. As it is, they'll return to the drawing boards with one win against Atlanta that should be two, and a slew of pride questions still lingering after an extremely slow start.
27. Cleveland Browns: 250-1
No. 27 isn't fair for a team that's 5-8 and has a chance to make the playoffs, but I really don't feel that Cleveland could consistently beat the teams ahead of it on the list.
28. Philadelphia Eagles: Eliminated
Nick Foles has his first career win, and the Eagles showed some fight in a game they likely shouldn't have won. In a true Norv Turner question, will that be enough to save Andy Reid's job? Conventional wisdom says no, but Philly has never been a conventional franchise.
29. Oakland Raiders: Eliminated
Somewhere, Hue Jackson is laughing and counting his money. Oakland was no better off without him, and might fire Dennis Allen just a year into what's becoming the the toughest coaching job on the planet. Will Oakland pursue Jon Gruden?
30. Jacksonville Jaguars: Eliminated
I've asked it once and I'll ask it again: Should Jacksonville draft a QB if the opportunity presents itself? It appears the team has given up on Blaine Gabbert, as evidenced by the Chad Henne move.
31. Arizona Cardinals: Eliminated
58-0. Eight turnovers. No QB. That sums up the Arizona season.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Eliminated
Geno Smith, anyone? Matt Barkley? Which QB do you take with the No. 1 overall draft pick in April? So many QB questions, so few answers.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.
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