NFC Power Rankings: Week 14

Richard ReschCorrespondent IDecember 8, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 06:  Domenik Hixon #87 of the New York Giants returns a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown against Sam Hurd #17 of the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter at Giants Stadium on December 6, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

1. Saints (12-0)

I think we can all agree that their game against the Redskins was ridiculous. The same team that squashed the Patriots a week earlier needed a couple miracles and an overtime to beat the Redskins. Still easily the top team in the division. (Last Week: 1)

2. Vikings (10-2)

A loss to the Cardinals in Arizona is not that surprising. The fact that it was nearly a blowout is concerning. But the biggest loss here was the possibly career-threatening injury to MLB E.J. Henderson. The Vikings will still earn a first round bye, but the loss of Henderson is a huge blow to this defense. (2)

3. Cardinals (8-4)

The Cardinals now have their division all but locked up, and should be talked about in the same class as the Saints and Vikings. With a healthy Kurt Warner, this offense can be as good as any. Also, any defense that can shut down Adrian Peterson should not be taken lightly. (3)

4. Packers (8-4)

With the offensive line healthy, Aaron Rodgers can now devastate opposing defenses without having to worry about being on his back every play. For the record, I'm not any higher on the Packers than I am on the three NFC East contenders, but I would be the shocked if they did not make the playoffs. Games against the Bears and Seahawks should be gimmes. (5)

5. Eagles (8-4)

Their win against a wounded Falcons team is not as impressive as the score might indicate, but it's still a big win. The return of DeSean Jackson could be huge in their game versus the Giants. We'll see whether or not Michael Vick's involvement in the offense is just a one-week thing. (6)

6. Giants (7-5)

This week's game against the Eagles may be their biggest game since...last year's playoff game against the Eagles. The Giants have revenge on their mind, and they'll need to carry over their momentum from last Sunday if they want to take another step towards the playoffs. A win this week could put the Giants in a three-way tie for first place, and with the Redskins, Panthers and Vikings backups on the docket, the Giants could win out their schedule and earn a home playoff game in the final season of Giants Stadium. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. (8)

7. Cowboys (8-4)

With games against the Chargers, Saints, Redskins, and Eagles, would anyone be surprised if they finish 8-8 or 9-7? The December slump might seem like a media creation, but it's hard to deny. The team I saw play the Giants hardly looked like a playoff team. (6)

8. Falcons (6-6)

Without Matt Ryan and Michael Turner, this team is a pushover. Hard to blame them though, as most teams would be in trouble without their two best players. It's a disappointing turn of events for what looked like a playoff team earlier in the season. (7)

9. 49ers (5-7)

An inexcusable loss to the Seahawks puts an end to the 49ers' season. What a waste of pro-bowl seasons by Patrick Willis (123 tackles) and Vernon Davis (10 touchdowns). (9)

10. Seahakws (5-7)

The Seahawks have now won two in a row and could finish .500 with a couple of upset wins. (12)

11. Panthers (5-7)

The Panthers defense picked off a rookie QB five times. That's something, right? (10)

12. Redskins (3-9)

The Redskins have come as close to winning three games in a row, without actually winning any of them as humanly possible. The Redskins lost by one to the Cowboys, three to the Eagles, and three in overtime to the Saints. If I were in the playoff hunt, I would not want to play the Redskins right now. (13)

13. Bears (5-7)

I am not impressed by an eight point win over the Rams. Sorry, Bears. Even though you have two more wins than the Redskins, I don't think you would beat them head to head. (11)

14. Lions (2-10)

They hung with the Bengals, which is a moral victory. Calvin Johnson is still a freak. (14)

15. Buccaneers (1-11)

If a rookie QB throws five interceptions, and no one cares...I seem to have forgotten how this proverb ends. (15)

16. Rams (1-11)

If they win another game, I will fast for an entire week. Or until I get hungry. (16)


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