NFL Power Rankings Week 15: 2017 Standings, Reaction for All Teams Post-MNF

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2017

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 10: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers talks to the team in the huddle in the first quarter during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on December 10, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Major quarterback injury updates circulated the newswire after Week 14. There's bad news, some uncertainty and a little optimism for different clubs. 

During Monday's team press conference, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson confirmed the worst possible scenario for quarterback Carson Wentz—an ACL tear.

The Eagles' impressive victory over the Los Angeles Rams ended on a somber note, but there's a quality backup ready to take the reins under center.

The Tennessee Titans may have an explanation for their recent mediocre performances. Quarterback Marcus Mariota played through a knee injury, per head coach Mike Mularkey

Week 15 will feature two of the best teams in the league. What's at stake in that matchup?

Keep track of the division standings with newest power rankings below.


NFL Week 15 Division Standings

AFC East

1. New England Patriots (10-3)

2. Buffalo Bills (7-6)

3. Miami Dolphins (6-7)

4. New York Jets (5-8)


AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)

2. Baltimore Ravens (7-6)

3. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8)

4. Cleveland Browns (0-13)


AFC South

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4)

2. Tennessee Titans (8-5)

3. Houston Texans (4-9)

4. Indianapolis Colts (3-10)


AFC West

1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-6)

2. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6)

3. Oakland Raiders (6-7)

4. Denver Broncos (4-9)


NFC East

1. Philadelphia Eagles (11-2)

2. Dallas Cowboys (7-6)

3. Washington Redskins (5-8)

4. New York Giants (2-11)


NFC North

1. Minnesota Vikings (10-3)

2. Detroit Lions (7-6)

3. Green Bay Packers (7-6)

4. Chicago Bears (4-9)


NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints (9-4)

2. Carolina Panthers (9-4)

3. Atlanta Falcons (8-5)

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)


NFC West

1. Los Angeles Rams (9-4)

2. Seattle Seahawks (8-5)

3. Arizona Cardinals (6-7)

4. San Francisco 49ers (3-10)


Week 15 Power Rankings

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)

2. New England Patriots (10-3)

3. Minnesota Vikings (10-3)

4. Philadelphia Eagles (11-2)

5. Los Angeles Rams (9-4)

6. New Orleans Saints (9-4)

7. Carolina Panthers (9-4)

8. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4)

9. Atlanta Falcons (8-5)

10. Green Bay Packers (7-6)

11. Seattle Seahawks (8-5)

12. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6)

13. Baltimore Ravens (7-6)

14. Tennessee Titans (8-5)

15. Buffalo Bills (7-6)

16. Dallas Cowboys (7-6)

17. Kansas City Chiefs (7-6)

18. Detroit Lions (7-6)

19. Washington Redskins (5-8)

20. Oakland Raiders (6-7)

21. Arizona Cardinals (6-7)

22. Miami Dolphins (6-7)

23. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8)

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)

25. Denver Broncos (4-9)

26. San Francisco 49ers (3-10)

27. Chicago Bears (4-9)

28. New York Jets (5-8)

29. Indianapolis Colts (3-10)

30. Houston Texans (4-9)

31. New York Giants (2-11)

32. Cleveland Browns (0-13)


Notable Rankings

Nos. 1 and 2 Go Head-to-Head in Week 15

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots and  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers speak before the game at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Despite the New England Patriots' 27-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. They're still one of the best teams in the league with tight end Rob Gronkowski returning to action after serving his one-game suspension. It would also help to see their top two pass-rushers, Trey Flowers and Kyle Van Noy, back on the field.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won their last three games by three points or fewer. In Week 14, the AFC North champions erased an early two-possession deficit for a late victory on a field goal. 

Nonetheless, Pittsburgh has won eight consecutive contests. New England rattled off eight straight victories before losing to the Dolphins on Monday. This AFC matchup will likely decide which team takes home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

Though, a loss for either squad opens the door for the Jacksonville Jaguars as a potential No. 2 seed in the AFC. Injuries on the Patriots defense could hurt them down the stretch. Pittsburgh has struggled against lesser competition and lost to the Chicago Bears earlier in the yeardon't mark automatic wins against the Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns in the final two weeks. 

The Jaguars beat the Steelers in Week 5. If they're able to win out, there's a chance for a first-round bye.


No. 4 Philadelphia Eagles Clinch NFC East, Lose Carson Wentz for Season 

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 10: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles is escorted off the field after injuring his knee at the end of the third quarter during the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Decem
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Eagles' 11th win came at a cost. The NFC East champions won't have their starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. Nick Foles will take over in his place.

Still, Philadelphia ranks No. 4 in the power rankings. They've already wrapped up a playoff spot. In the past, Foles has been an average but an efficient signal-caller with a 20-16 record as a starter. Through 56 contests, the former Pro Bowler recorded 56 touchdown passes and 27 interceptions. 

Obviously, it's a drop off between Wentz and Foles. However, it's not doomsday. The Eagles have one the most capable backups in the league. The sixth-year veteran entered the game with the outcome still undecided and moved the ball in the fourth quarter for a victory against a quality opponent in the Los Angeles Rams. 

Philadelphia fields enough collective talent to beat the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders in the next two games to finish with at least 13 wins. Based on how the team rebounds from a devastating loss, the ranking may continue to drop, but it's still a viable squad down the stretch.


Green Bay Packers at No. 10, Pending Aaron Rodgers' Return

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 03:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on in the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lambeau Field on December 3, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Green Packers hope to see quarterback Aaron Rodgers suit up for the game against the Panthers in Week 15. Nonetheless, he must clear some medical hurdles before injecting more life into his team's playoff hopes.

Quarterback Brett Hundley made this scenario possible over the past two games. The Packers finished both contests in overtime with touchdowns. The third-year signal-caller didn't throw particularly well in Week 13. He didn't produce a score through the air but utilized his legs to move the chains. In his previous outing, he lit up the Browns pass defense for 265 yards and three touchdowns.

At 7-6, the Packers await word on Rodgers' status. If he's able to play, Green Bay belongs in the No. 10 spot as a team to watch in the next three games. This club went 4-1 when the two-time NFL MVP started and finished. Despite the formidable challenge ahead, it's a top-10 team with a slim but feasible chance at a playoff spot.