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NFL Power Rankings Week 14: Initial Standings Post Thursday Night Football

Jake RillAnalyst IIIDecember 6, 2019

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) looks to throw during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

Things are looking troublesome for the Dallas Cowboys.

Although they're still in first place in the NFC East, the Cowboys fell to 6-7 with a 31-24 loss to the Chicago Bears on Thursday night. The Philadelphia Eagles will have the same record as Dallas if they notch a win over the New York Giants on Monday night.

It's setting up for a tight race down the stretch, but neither the Cowboys nor Eagles have proved that they're going to be much competition in the playoffs at this point.

Here's a look at the NFL power rankings entering the weekend (with Thursday's result included), followed by a breakdown of how the Bears' win and Cowboys' loss affected the NFC playoff picture.

      

NFL Power Rankings

1. Baltimore Ravens (10-2)

2. San Francisco 49ers (10-2)

3. New England Patriots (10-2)

4. Seattle Seahawks (10-2)

5. New Orleans Saints (10-2)

6. Green Bay Packers (9-3)

7. Houston Texans (8-4)

8. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)

9. Minnesota Vikings (8-4)

10. Buffalo Bills (9-3)

11. Tennessee Titans (7-5)

12. Los Angeles Rams (7-5)

13. Chicago Bears (7-6)

14. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)

15. Indianapolis Colts (6-6)

16. Oakland Raiders (6-6)

17. Dallas Cowboys (6-7)

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7)

19. Carolina Panthers (5-7)

20. Cleveland Browns (5-7)

21. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)

22. Denver Broncos (4-8)

23. Los Angeles Chargers (4-8)

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8)

25. Atlanta Falcons (3-9)

26. Detroit Lions (3-8-1)

27. New York Jets (4-8)

28. Arizona Cardinals (3-8-1)

29. Miami Dolphins (3-9)

30. Washington Redskins (3-9)

31. New York Giants (2-10)

32. Cincinnati Bengals (1-11)

      

After Thursday's game, the Bears and Cowboys are trending in two different directions with only a few weeks remaining in the regular season.

Chicago has won four of its last five games, a needed run after it had previously lost four straight. With this recent surge, the Bears are only one-and-a-half games back of the Vikings for the second NFC wild-card spot. That deficit could be trimmed to one if Minnesota loses to Detroit on Sunday.

The Bears were impressive on Thursday night, matching a season high with 31 points scored as quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had three touchdown passes and a rushing score. Between the second and third quarters, Chicago outscored Dallas 24-0.

"I think it shows we're resilient," Trubisky said, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "We stick together. We believe in each other even when nobody else believes in us. It's a special group in that locker room. We just want to keep this feeling going."

The Cowboys started the season 3-0, but they've now lost seven of their last 10 games. They've also dropped three straight, falling in consecutive weeks to the Patriots, Bills and Bears.

Despite these recent struggles, Dallas is still in control of its own playoff destiny. The Cowboys already beat the Eagles once this season, and they'll play them again in Philadelphia in Week 16. They'll also face the Redskins (who are still mathematically alive in the NFC East race but are longshots) at home in Week 17.

"We have the skill level, we have the players, we have the chemistry at times," Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott said, per AP. "But we're not playing together as a team, complementary enough when we need to, and we need to figure it out."

The Cowboys are running out of time to do that, though. They host the Rams, another NFC playoff contender, next week, which could be another challenging matchup for them.

It's possible the Bears and Cowboys both make the playoffs. It's also possible they both miss the playoffs. But Thursday night proved one thing for sure—Chicago has a lot more momentum and is playing much better football than Dallas right now.