NFL Power Rankings Week 14: Are the Patriots Super Bowl Bound?

Ross ColemanAnalyst IDecember 7, 2010

NFL Power Rankings Week 14: Are the Patriots Super Bowl Bound?

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    After Week 13's slate of games, it's power ranking time again.

    Is New England the best team in the NFL after their Monday night slaughter of the Jets?

    What about Indianapolis? Could they drop out of the top-20 after three straight losses?

    Is a quarterback controversy brewing in Minnesota after their big win? How high do the Vikings rise after the win?

    Who do we have too high? What about too low?

    Read on.

32-21: Brining Up The Rear

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    These are the teams at the bottom of the barrel this week.

    32 (27) Denver Broncos: Bye Josh McDaniels, hello Eric Studesville? Yikes. More like hello cellar.  

    31 (32) Carolina Panthers: Carolina looks like they are headed to the top overall pick in the draft. Will that help them? We'll see. 

    30 (31) Cincinnati Bengals: Stop me if you've heard this before... Bengals miscues lead to another loss. Shockingly bad season from a division winner last year.


    29 (29) Arizona Cardinals: Derek Anderson: 7-20 for 93 yards with an interception. But hey, at least he isn't laughing about it.


    28 (28) Buffalo Bills: The Bills may have ended the only streak more amazing than their seasons of futility—Brett Favre's starts streak.


    27 (30) Detroit Lions: The Lions played well against the Bears. Good enough to win. But Ndamukong Suh forgot that breathing on the quarterback is a flag. 

    26 (26) San Francisco 49ers: 49ers got unlucky facing Packers on a week where the Packers decided to play the game.


    25 (22) Washington Redskins: Redskins threw in the towel, Giants intercepted that too.


    24 (21) Tennessee Titans: How long before Jeff Fisher says he wants Vince Young back? Mid week?


    23 (23) Seattle Seahawks: Seahawks win another at home against a bad opponent. Congrats, I guess.


    22 (25) Dallas Cowboys: Isn't it a miracle that Jason Garrett found his real play calling sheet once he got the head coaching job?


    21 (24) Minnesota Vikings: Quarterback controversy in Minnesota? I mean, Tarvaris matched Brett's usual two interceptions, so it is possible.

20. Indianapolis Colts

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    Last Week's Rank: 14

    Why They Drop: Who is that man impersonating Peyton Manning? Is that Brett Favre? He certainly is throwing the ball that way. And by that I mean he is doing a great job at throwing costly interceptions that are killing his team.

    I don't think it's too late for the Colts to turn their season around, but they need to figure out a way to put the ball in their endzone, not the opponents.

19. Houston Texans

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    Last Week's Rank: 17

    Why They Drop: The Texans started this season 5-2 before their bye. They looked like they would finally make the leap to a playoff team.

    Since their bye week, they have gone 1-5 and look like a team destined to lose 10 games again this year.

    It is time to say goodbye to Gary Kubiak and maybe even goodbye to Matt Schaub.

18. Cleveland Browns

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    Last Week's Rank: 20

    Why They Climb: The Browns might be the best team not to make the playoffs this year. How good does that Colt McCoy draft pick look now?

    The Browns raise this week because of a quality win over a pretty good Miami team.

    I am interested to see what the Browns do in the offseason to improve.

17. St. Louis Rams

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    Last Week's Rank: 19

    Why They Climb: How surprising are the Rams this year? The defense isn't that good, the offense isn't that good, the wide receivers are bad, the running game is pretty good, but not fantastic; yet Sam Bradford has turned the Rams into a playoff contender.

    If the Rams add a consistently good receiver this offseason, Bradford will be a top-10 NFL quarterback next year.

16. Miami Dolphins

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    Last Week's Rank: 15

    Why They Drop: Miami lost this week to Cleveland. Not a terrible loss, but it pretty much closes the door on the Dolphins' playoff chances.

    The Fins have a chance to get better this offseason, they have some good pieces to build on, but they need to decide if Chad Henne is the quarterback of the future.

15. San Diego Chargers

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    Last Week's Rank: 10

    Why They Drop: Under Norv Turner, the Chargers had been undefeated in the month of December—until their loss to Oakland this week.

    The reason they drop so much is really because of how bad the Bolts looked against the Raiders and how good the Chiefs have been so far this year.

    Now they could win next week and jump up again, but this is probably about where they will end up at the end of the season.

14. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Last Week's Rank: 18

    Why They Climb: The Jag have won seven games this year, are in first place in their division, and have a possible MVP candidate in Maurice Jones-Drew.

    Throw in a fairly easy remaining schedule and I think the Jags do win the AFC South.

    Another team with a lot of holes that could improve a lot this offseason.

13. Oakland Raiders

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    Last Week's Rank: 16

    Why They Climb: The Raiders looked fantastic this week in a win over the Chargers.

    Tom Cable deserves to be mentioned in the Coach of the Year conversation.

    The downside is they have a tough remaining schedule and no first round pick so they probably wont make the playoffs and they are missing out on first round talent to help them to get better.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Last Week's Rank: 13

    Why They Climb: Tampa Bay actually might take the title of Best Team Not in the Playoffs from the Browns, but they have a better than decent chance to still get in.

    Josh Freeman is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league and Raheem Morris has been a great hire for the Bucs.

    I am excited to see where the Bucs head the rest of this season.

11. Kansas City Chiefs

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    Last Week's Rank: 12

    Why They Climb: The Chiefs are another surprise this season. They have secured a sizable lead in the AFC West and they are almost guaranteed a playoff spot this year. 

    Matt Cassel has reverted back to his great year in New England and with really everyone coming back, all the success they have the rest of this year is going to be great going forward.

10. NY Giants

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    Last Week's Rank: 11

    Why They Climb: The Giants put a hurting on the Redskins this week. Not bad for a team that has been struggling with a ton of injuries over the past few weeks.

    The good news is that the Giants have been able to really break in some young weapons because of the injuries.

    Now if they can pass the Eagles, they could be an NFC juggernaut.

9. Chicago Bears

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    Last Week's Rank: 8

    Why They Drop: I am still not a Bear believer. I don't think they are the best team in their division and I think they have over performed because of a great defense.

    Jay Cutler is still super shaky and the running game isn't that great.

    They drop because they needed a ref's help to beat the Lions.

8. New Orleans Saints

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    Last Week's Rank: 7

    Why They Climb: The Saints have had the target on their back for this season because of the Super Bowl crown last year. However, they have been really getting better this year after starting slow.

    The Saints dropped because they struggled to get passed the Bengals.

    They still have a great offense and an opportunistic defense. I wouldn't be surprised to see them make another playoff run.

7. Green Bay Packers

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    Last Week's Rank: 9

    Why They Climb: I know the Packers are in second place in their division and have been battling all sorts of injuries this year, but they still are extremely talented.

    Green Bay killed this 49ers this week and look poised to make a run into the playoffs.

    If they weren't so banged up, they would probably be a top-3 ranked team.

6. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Last Week's Rank: 6

    Why They Stay the Same: Philadelphia took care of business this week with a win over Houston. The Eagles are probably the second best NFC team and depending on how Atlanta finishes this season, they could move up to the top seed in the NFC playoffs.

    Mike Vick is a legit MVP candidate, and the Eagles running game is vastly improved.

    They stay the same because they did what they were expected to do, nothing more, nothing less.

5. Baltimore Ravens

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    Last Week's Rank: 5

    Why They Stay the Same: Baltimore dropped a tough game against Pittsburgh this week. The loss was a close one, and the reason for the loss was because of a bad coaching decision by John Harbaugh to throw a pass with the lead late in the game.

    The ensuing play was a fumble recovered by the Steelers to set up the game winning score.

    They don't drop because they are still one of the best teams in the NFL, win or lose.

4. NY Jets

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    Last Week's Rank: 2

    Why They Drop: The Jets got embarrassed on Monday Night Football against their division rival, New England. 

    Giving up 45 points to the Pats is never a good thing, let alone on national television.

    Mark Sanchez looked like a second year quarterback and the Jets played like a second tier team.

    Therefore, they are placed with the second tier teams.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Last Week's Rank: 4

    Why They Climb: The Steelers had an impressive win over division rival Baltimore. They played winning football and showed that they can win really any kind of game.

    Women everywhere were thrilled to see Ben Roethlisberger break his nose, but break or no break, Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a win.

2. Atlanta Falcons

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    Last Week's Rank: 1

    Why They Drop: Atlanta dropping is less of an indictment against the Falcons, and more of a celebration of New England.

    Atlanta did exactly what it needed to do, beating a good Tampa Bay team. The Falcons will likely lock up the top seed in the NFC and are a good bet to play in the Super Bowl.

1. New England Patriots

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    Last Week's Rank: 3

    Why They Climb: The Patriots looked like Super Bowl favorites on Monday night against the Jets.

    After watching the game, you would have never guess that these were the two AFC teams with the best record.

    Scoring 45 points against a good defensive team really showed that New England is for real.