NFL Power Rankings Week 14: Latest 2016 Standings and Reaction for All 32 Teams

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys carries the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during the game on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Week 13 of the NFL season wrapped up on Monday night with the Indianapolis Colts' domination of the New York Jets.

With a third consecutive loss by the Houston Texans on Sunday, the Colts are now in position to potentially steal the AFC South. A similar situation is going on in the NFC South, where the surging Tampa Bay Buccaneers have at least temporarily overtaken the Atlanta Falcons.

There's still an entire month to go, though, so accurately predicting which teams will be in the postseason is tough—except for the Dallas Cowboys, who locked up a playoff berth over the weekend.

Today, we'll look at all 32 NFL teams and where they currently stand in the pecking order. Our Week 14 power rankings will be based on factors like team performances, divisional competition and team health. We'll also examine some key rankings coming out of Week 13.

       

Week 14 Power Rankings

Week 14 NFL Power Rankings
RankTeamRecord
1Dallas Cowboys11-1
2Oakland Raiders10-2
3New England Patriots10-2
4Kansas City Chiefs9-3
5Seattle Seahawks8-3-1
6Detroit Lions8-4
7Denver Broncos8-4
8New York Giants8-4
9Baltimore Ravens7-5
10Miami Dolphins7-5
11Pittsburgh Steelers7-5
12Tampa Bay Buccaneers7-5
13Atlanta Falcons7-5
14Buffalo Bills6-6
15Washington Redskins6-5-1
16Green Bay Packers6-6
17Indianapolis Colts6-6
18Tennessee Titans6-6
19Minnesota Vikings6-6
20Houston Texans6-6
21New Orleans Saints5-7
22Arizona Cardinals5-6-1
23San Diego Chargers5-7
24Philadelphia Eagles5-7
25Cincinnati Bengals4-7-1
26Carolina Panthers4-8
27Los Angeles Rams4-8
28Chicago Bears3-9
29New York Jets3-9
30Jacksonville Jaguars2-10
31San Francisco 49ers1-11
32Cleveland Browns0-12

Notable Rankings

1. Dallas Cowboys

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The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the biggest NFL surprises of 2016. Not only has the team survived a significant injury to starting quarterback Tony Romo, but it has thrived under the leadership of rookie signal-caller Dak Prescott and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott.

It obviously helps that the Cowboys boast one of the top offensive lines in all of professional football—Pro Football Focus rates Dallas 10th in pass-blocking and second in run-blocking. However, this team is more than just an offensive force.

The Cowboys have repeatedly found ways to win tough matchups. The offense has been good enough to win shootouts with teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the defense has certainly also done its part. As a team, the Cowboys are rated second in pass coverage by Pro Football Focus.

When the offense struggled against the Minnesota Vikings last Thursday, it was the defense that helped bail the team out. Dallas' special teams unit also forced a critical fourth-quarter turnover that helped win the game.

For as much attention given to Prescott and Elliott this season, it's worth noting that the Cowboys are far from a one-dimensional team. The Cowboys haven't lost since the opening week of the season, and their success hasn't been accidental.

This is the only team that has secured a playoff berth after 13 weeks of action, and the Cowboys rightfully deserve to be considered favorites in the NFC as of now. No other team has played with the consistency Dallas has, which is why we have the Cowboys atop our power rankings.

        

5. Seattle Seahawks

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Cowboys are unquestionably good right now, but the 8-3-1 Seattle Seahawks aren't too far behind them. The only reason Seattle isn't rated even higher is the inconsistency shown by the offense on the road this season.

Seattle, which is rated just 27th in overall offense by Pro Football Focus. has struggled to score points away from CenturyLink Field. At home, though, the team has produced some impressive offensive outings.

This past week, the Seahawks absolutely embarrassed the visiting Carolina Panthers. Quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 277 yards and a touchdown, running back Thomas Rawls rushed for 106 yards and two scores of his own. In the end, the Seahawks dropped 40 points on Carolina in a blowout victory.

Unfortunately, the team also lost standout safety Earl Thomas to a broken leg during the game.

“He’s got a serious recovery that he’s going to have to go through, it’s going to take a while,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said of Thomas, via the team's official website. He added that there's "no shot" of the safety returning in 2016.

Obviously, losing Thomas is a big blow, but the Seahawks should still be capable of making a deep postseason run—especially if they can play the majority of their playoff schedule at home.

Seattle's defense, which is rated third overall by Pro Football Focus, is good enough to compete with the best of opponents. This is a team that could easily be making another trip back to the Super Bowl.

        

9. Baltimore Ravens

The 7-5 Baltimore Ravens remain a bit of a question mark among potential playoff contenders. The team has produced few dominant victories this season and holds a very loose grip on the AFC North.

However, it's hard to argue that the Ravens cannot be a legitimate postseason force when the team is clicking on all levels. The Ravens did exactly that this past week against the surging Miami Dolphins, rolling to a 38-6 victory in the process.

Baltimore's main strength is its defense, which is rated fifth overall by Pro Football Focus and allows an average of just 17.2 points per game to opposing teams (second-fewest in the NFL). Yet, the Ravens do have playmakers on offense, which consistently gives the team a chance against quality opponents.

Quarterback Joes Flacco hasn't exactly illuminated scoreboards this season, but he is on pace to top the 4,000-yard mark passing. With weapons like Steve Smith, Mike Wallace and Dennis Pitta at his disposal, Flacco is capable of taking over a game at times.

Flacco did exactly that against the Dolphins on Sunday, throwing for 381 yards and four touchdowns.

When the Ravens offense is rolling, Baltimore is a tough team to beat. We should get a much better feel for just how tough the team is this week, when the Ravens travel to New England to take on the vaunted Patriots.

Don't be too surprised if that game is a playoff preview.

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