NFL Power Rankings: Week 15

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NFL Power Rankings: Week 15
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1. (1) Indianapolis Colts (13-0)

After setting a new NFL record with 22 consecutive regular season victories and clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs, the only question remaining is whether the Colts will let their starters play the full 60 minutes over the final three weeks in their quest for perfection. 

As a fan, I'd love to see them go for it and they may not even need to have Peyton Manning and others play the entire game in Weeks 16 and 17 vs. the Jets and at Buffalo, but this Thursday at a playoff desperate division rival Jags team will be the biggest test.

 

2. (2) New Orleans Saints (13-0)

After eeking out a win against a Matt Ryan and Michael Turner-less Falcons team, the Saints also face their largest hurdle in their race towards perfection this week, as they host Dallas in another NFL Network game that many won't see. New Orleans, at least, has the incentive to hold off the Vikings in the quest for home field advantage in the NFC.

 

3. (5) Minnesota Vikings (11-2)

After Adrian Peterson's 19 yards in the loss at Arizona last week, the star back rebounded with a 97-yard, two-touchdown effort on the ground in the win over Cincy.

 

4. (3) Cincinnati Bengals (9-4)

Carson Palmer's 94 pass yards at Minnesota were his lowest since 2005.

 

5. (6) Green Bay Packers (9-4)

In what continues to be one of the most telling stats in the NFL, the Packers improved to 9-0 when they give up fewer than 30 points. They are 0-4 when they don't.

 

6. (7) San Diego Chargers (10-3)

The Chargers' streak of 21 straight quarters with a score was snapped in the third quarter at Dallas, but San Diego rebounded to put up 10 in the fourth to beat the Cowboys.

 

7. (8) Denver Broncos (8-5)

Despite an NFL record 21 catches by Brandon Marshall, the Broncos lost their fourth straight meeting with the Colts.

 

8. (9) Philadelphia Eagles (9-4)

After 1,071 days without a touchdown, Michael Vick has scored three in the past two weeks as the Eagles are slowly figuring out a way to use him effectively.

 

9. (4) Arizona Cardinals (8-5)

Seven turnovers.  Yikes.

 

10. (10) New York Giants (7-6)

In an extremely sloppy game, the G-Men managed to lose despite putting up 38 points and 512 yards of offense, thanks to seven penalties, four turnovers and terrible defense.

 

11. (11) Dallas Cowboys (8-5)

Dallas is 1-5 vs. teams with winning records. I don't like their chances at New Orleans.

 

12. (12) New England Patriots (8-5)

Wes Welker's league leading 105 receptions are 18 more than second place.

 

13. (13) Baltimore Ravens (7-6)

After committing four turnovers and 12 penalties at Green Bay last week, the Ravens responded nicely with a 48-3 romp of the Lions. They have another very winnable game at home against Chicago coming up as they attempt to get back into playoff position. 

 

14. (15) Miami Dolphins (7-6)

The Dolphins are 7-3 with Chad Henne starting at quarterback.

 

15. (16) Atlanta Falcons (6-7)

Applaud the Falcons for hanging in there against the Saints without the injured Ryan and Turner.

 

16. (17) Jacksonville Jaguars (7-6)

The Jags are 1-3 vs. teams with winning records.  They better hope the Colts sit their starters because they stand little chance of coming away victorious at New England the following week.

 

17. (18) New York Jets (7-6)

Another utterly unwatchable Jets game with nothing else on at 1 p.m. in the New York market.

 

18. (14) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-7)

The Steelers offensive line is terrible and Ben Roethlisberger refuses to throw the football.

 

19. (19) Tennessee Titans (6-7)

Eight straight games with at least 113 rushing yards for next year's No. 1 fantasy pick Chris Johnson.

 

20. (21) Houston Texans (6-7)

Andre Johnson's 193 yards and two touchdowns knocked me out of the fantasy playoffs.

 

21. (24) San Francisco 49ers (6-7)

Frank Gore's 167 rush yards were more than his previous three games combined.

 

22. (23) Buffalo Bills (5-8)

If the Bills didn't lose at home to the Browns, 6-3, on Oct. 11, I'd think Buffalo was actually quite a mediocre team. But instead, the Bills are just "not terrible."

 

23. (20) Carolina Panthers (5-8)

Matt Moore did not throw an interception at New England, but he completed just 15 of 30 passes in the 20-10 loss.

 

24. (25) Chicago Bears (5-8)

Matt Forte (3.4 yards per attempt) is one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL this season.

 

25. (26) Seattle Seahawks (5-8)

The Seahawks fall to 2-12 at AFC teams since 2003.

 

26. (27) Kansas City Chiefs (3-10)

Remember when Arrowhead used to be a tough place to play in December?

 

27. (28) Washington Redskins (4-9)

The Redskins are playing a lot better over the past five weeks. They've beaten Denver, crushed an improved Oakland team on the road, and lost to three potential playoff teams by a combined seven points. I'd watch out if I were the Giants and Cowboys coming to town the next two weeks.

 

28. (22) Oakland Raiders (4-9)

If the Raiders beat Washington at home for Oakland's third win in four games with Bruce Gradkowski under center, the silver and black could've built some momentum heading into 2010. But in true Raiders fashion, they lost by 21.

 

29. (32) Cleveland Browns (2-11)

The Browns' eight sacks of Big Ben jump them to eighth in the league in that category with 32.

 

30. (30) St. Louis Rams (1-12)

The Rams lowered their scoring average from 11.8 to 11.2.

 

31. (31) Detroit Lions (2-11)

From last week: "Daunte Culpepper vs. an angry Ravens defense won't be pretty if you're a Lions fan." It wasn't as Culpepper threw two picks in a 48-3 beat down.

 

32. (29) Tampa Bay Bucs (1-12)

The Bucs entered their game with the Jets ranked 28th in scoring, yet managed to drop a spot after putting up only a field goal.

 

Follow me on Twitter at JordanHarrison.

Jordan Schwartz is Bleacher Report's New York Yankees Community Leader. His book "Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man" is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.

Jordan can be reached at jordanschwartz2003@yahoo.com

 

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