NFL Sports

NFL Power Rankings: Week 14

Each week members of The Game Haus will collaborate to determine our NFL Power Rankings. We rate teams from 1-32 and add the points received to give us our final answer.

Our voters: Zac Stone, Joe DiTullio, Michael Packard, Savannah Dean, Ben Hendricks, Manny Finale, Pranay Malempati

How about those Dallas Cowboys? An impressive win mixed with the Redskins losing not one, but two quarterbacks give them the best odds now in the NFC East. The Saints should not be too worried since the Cowboys have been improving each week, but having the road to the Super Bowl travel through New Orleans would be huge.

The Chargers proved themselves as legitimate contenders in the AFC with an impressive win in Pittsburgh, ignore the false start, they still would be impressive even without it. The Texans have their longest winning streak in franchise history, with nine straight wins since starting off 0-3.

The NFL also has their first official playoff team. With a 30-16 win over the Detroit Lions, the Los Angeles Rams not only clinched a playoff birth, but the division as well.

If you live in California and love football, I genuinely hope you live in Southern California and not Northern California, because one side is sitting pretty, while the other is well, sitting at the bottom. With that said, here are our week 14 rankings.

 

1. Los Angeles Rams – 224 (High: 1. Low: 1. LW: 2)

The Rams regained the top spot in our power rankings this week after a solid win in Detroit. They are now the first team to clinch their division with an 11-1 record. Between the trio of Todd Gurley, Jared Goff and Brandin Cooks, and the rest of the Rams offense, this team could possibly top The Greatest Show on Turf. The Rams will look to get one step closer to home-field advantage with a tough game in Chicago next week.

– Zac Stone

2. Kansas City Chiefs – 214 (High: 2. Low: 3. LW: 3)

While the Chiefs beat the Raiders in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score, their biggest story this week was off the field. Hours after a video came out on Friday of Kareem Hunt shoving and kicking a woman, the Chiefs released their star running back. While the offense is still great because of Patrick Mahomes, it no longer seems unstoppable. Hunt provided an extra big-play dimension in both the running and receiving game. However, KC is still a great team with a great quarterback and coach.

– Pranay Malempati

3. New Orleans Saints – 212 (High: 2. Low: 4. LW: 1)

It was bound to happen sometime. It was better that the New Orleans Saints got a loss now than later. The defense showed their prowess against the Dallas Cowboys, despite the loss. As the guys enter the film room, they will regroup, recollect themselves, and the offense will be back to fighting form in no time. Yes, having a home-field advantage will be harder to get. But what the Saints accomplished so far will continue to equate to victory.

– Manny Finale

4. Los Angeles Chargers – 200 (High: 4. Low: 5. LW: 6)

Before this week, the Chargers were 8-3 but only two of their wins were against teams with a .500 or better. They put all questions to bed against the Steelers by coming back from 16 point halftime deficit and winning on a last-second field goal. Still, only one game behind the Chiefs, LA’s goal of capturing the division title (and potentially the number one seed) became a lot more possible with the Kareem Hunt incident in KC. Third string running back Justin Jackson broke through in the second half and looks like he can hold it down until Melvin Gordon returns.

– Pranay Malempati

5. New England Patriots – 199 (High: 3. Low: 6. LW: 4)

With a solid win against a tough Vikings team, the Patriots have essentially locked up the AFC East with four weeks left and a three-game lead. The win against Minnesota showed that this team can score even when the offense is not at its best. Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen and company have been hard to stop, but the Patriots’ defense was able to hold them to just 10 points. The Patriots should be able to coast through their last few games, with an exception of traveling to Pittsburgh.

– Zac Stone

6. Houston Texans – 190 (High: 5. Low: 6. LW: 7)

Widely considered a trap game, the Houston Texans took care of business on Sunday in their 29-13 win over the Cleveland Browns. Houston got out to a 10-0 lead early, but the second quarter is where the Texans put the game away with their defense. On three consecutive Cleveland drives, the Texans’ defense forced three interceptions (one of those was returned for a touchdown) that led to 16 straight points that put the game away going into halftime. The game is Houston’s ninth-straight win, and they will host a 6-6 Indianapolis Colts team that is looking to get back into the win column after seeing their five-game winning streak snapped by Jacksonville.

– Michael Packard

7. Chicago Bears – 178 (High: 7. Low: 9. LW: 5)

With an opportunity to take a 2.5 game lead with just four games remaining, the Bears dropped a winnable game in overtime against a below average Giants team. Luckily for the Bears, the only team that has a real shot to catch them lost as well. Tarik Cohen is a force to be reckoned with, throwing for a touchdown and totaling 186 yards in 20 touches (12 receptions, eight carries). Despite the loss, this team still is poised for the postseason.

– Zac Stone

8. Pittsburgh Steelers – 170 (High: 7. Low: 11. LW: 8)

This team seems to be unstoppable at home- in the first half. They were 220-0-2 at home when leading by 14 or more points. Yet they blew a 16 point lead against the Chargers. This team seems like a huge threat some weeks. Then other weeks it looks like they are going downhill. You never know what Big Ben you will get. The schedule ahead is not totally in their favor. They need to step it up or else they will lose their division.

– Savannah Dean

9. Seattle Seahawks – 167 (High: 7. Low: 12. LW: 10)

After a somewhat slow start, the Seahawks now hold the top wild-card spot in the NFC. After their best offensive performance, putting up 43 points against the 49ers, they have a schedule that should help them reach the playoffs. They play two more winning teams, the Vikings and Chiefs, but will be at home for both contests. The team is looking their best at the right time. Their biggest issue going forward is their record vs. teams with a record above .500, which is 1-4.

– Zac Stone

10. Dallas Cowboys – 162 (High: 8. Low: 12. LW: 13)

What. A. Win. Dallas’ defense stepped up big time against one of the hottest teams in the league; a team that features a legitimately historic offense. Holding the Saints to 10 points is without a doubt as close to shutting them out as anyone is going to get this year. Dak continues to hold this team back, however, once again throwing for a respectable amount of yards (248), but only one touchdown. Zeke Elliott did his job, and the defense definitely did theirs, even picking off the immortal Brees once in the red zone. This win could spur The Cowboys’ confidence, and catapult them to an NFC East crown if they keep playing like this.

– Ben Hendricks

11. Baltimore Ravens – 154 (High: 10. Low: 13. LW: 14)

Lamar Jackson has now helped the Ravens win three straight. They are heavily in the hunt for the wild card as well as winning the division. With the Steelers blowing their loss to the Chargers Sunday night, their lead is only half of a game. This team’s defense is mostly back to how it looked in in the beginning. Even with their back up in, they have found a way to win.

– Savannah Dean

12. Minnesota Vikings – 152 (High: 9. Low: 13. LW: 9)

A tough loss with a chance to close the gap from the Bears. The Vikings had trouble finding the end zone, with their worst offensive output of the season, besides the head scratcher in week three against Buffalo. If the Vikings want to compete, they need to mix up their offense going forward. Having 44 passing attempts to 13 total carries is a huge cause for concern. Minnesota had plenty of time to rush, yet played like they had no time left to run. Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray are good running backs and the passing game will be tougher to cover if they figure out how to get them more involved.

– Zac Stone

T13. Carolina Panthers – 129 (High: 13. Low: 16. LW: 12)

The Carolina Panthers’ latest game was a tough one to swallow. Cam Newton threw four picks in their 24-17 defeat…to Tampa Bay. The offense needs to kick it up a notch to repeat playoff appearances. Head coach, Ron Rivera, will have to create new winning formulas to help propel the team upward.

– Manny Finale

T13. Indianapolis Colts – 129 (High: 10. Low: 17. LW: 11)

A game that the Colts should have probably won, they instead got shut out in a 6-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Indianapolis could have easily won this game, but a few fourth down calls on the Jaguars side of midfield came back to hurt head coach Frank Reich. Three times the Colts were within field goal range, but instead of taking the points, Reich gambled by going for it on fourth down and didn’t convert, one of those times was with 2:38 left in the game at the Jacksonville 19-yard line. Outside of those gambles, the Colts had a hard time moving the ball all game long against the Jaguars both on the ground and in the air. The Colts can ill afford to lose another game if they plan on making the playoffs, as this loss knocks them out of a wild-card spot. They take on the 9-3 AFC South Divisional leader Houston Texans next week.

– Michael Packard

15. Denver Broncos – 128 (High: 12. Low: 17. LW: 16)

Just three weeks ago at 3-6, the Broncos looked like they were falling out of the playoff mix. Now all of a sudden they sit at 6-6, only one game behind the six seed. Denver’s defense, which has been playing great all season, shut down the struggling Bengals. They travel to San Francisco to begin a three-game stretch against teams with four or fewer wins. Denver simply needs to keep playing defense and running their offense through breakout rookie Philip Lindsay.

– Pranay Malempati

16. Philadelphia Eagles – 120 (High 13. Low: 18. LW: 17)

Well, good for the Eagles. They won a division game, and did well on both sides of the ball. The defending champs control their own destiny moving forward, and, at 6-6, could still feasibly win the division. Odds are, they will need to earn a spot in the playoffs, as the NFC is loaded. But, lest we forget, they’ve been underdogs before.

– Ben Hendricks

17. Washington Redskins – 119 (High: 14. Low: 19. LW: 15)

Ouch. Literally. Two weeks after Alex Smith went down with a broken leg, backup Colt McCoy also suffered a broken bone in his leg. This forced none other than Mark Sanchez to take the reins. The QB, acquired only two weeks earlier, threw for 100 yards, one interception, and no scores. To be fair, he is not exactly familiar with the playbook. Expect him to be better next week, but don’t expect the Redskins to make any more noise in the NFC East. Their injuries are piling up, and their personnel is less impressive than that of Dallas and Philadelphia.

– Ben Hendricks

18. Tennessee Titans – 112 (High: 15. Low: 19. LW: 18)

In what was supposed to be an easy game for the Titans, they had to sweat it out in their 26-22 win over the New York Jets. Tennessee found themselves in a hole early in the first quarter when the Jets kicked a field goal and three plays later returned a Marcus Mariota interception for a touchdown, and would be down 16-6 at halftime. However, the script would be flipped as the Titans outscored the Jets 20-6 in the second half with the Titans scoring on four of their seven drives. That said, it came down to the Titans’ defense to make a play, securing the win with an interception as the Jets were driving in Titans’ territory with 20 seconds remaining in the game. Tennessee kept themselves alive in the AFC South race as they prepare to take on a 4-8 Jacksonville Jaguars team that just shutout the red-hot Indianapolis Colts.

– Michael Packard

19. Miami Dolphins – 94 (High: 17. Low: 25. LW: 23)

With a win against the Bills, the Dolphins remain in the hunt, but it is not looking good with how well the Chargers and Ravens are playing. With games against the Patriots and in Minnesota, they will have to give it everything they got. This team’s biggest issue is lacking a true playmaker. Ryan Tannehill threw for three touchdowns, but was only able to produce 137 yards.

– Zac Stone

20. Atlanta Falcons – 76 (High: 19. Low: 25. LW: 20)

Atlanta was in for a rough one against the Baltimore Ravens. On one side, they had to deal with Terrell Suggs. On the other hand, they had to handle Lamar Jackson, who is 3-0 in his starting gig. Atlanta’s defense got exposed but a rookie quarterback who rarely throws, and their offense hit a massive roadblock as they fell to the Ravens 26-16. Do not expect the offseason to be kind for the Falcons.

– Manny FInale

21. Green Bay Packers – 75 (High: 20. Low: 24. LW: 19)

It’s not the best week to be wearing a cheese head. The Packers essentially eliminated themselves from the playoffs with a home loss against an awful Cardinals team. The team made the right move and fired head coach Mike McCarthy, but it does not help the hurt from this loss. At this point, the Packers should be shooting for a higher draft pick.

– Zac Stone

22. Cleveland Browns – 73 (High: 20. Low: 26. LW: 21)

The Browns seemed to be on the right track, but facing a team that was on an eight-game winning streak is always hard. Baker Mayfield must not have woke up feeling dangerous. He threw three interceptions, one was a pick-6. Myles Garret now has 11.5 sacks on the season moving up to fourth in the NFL. That was about the only good thing that came out of the game against the Texans.

– Savannah Dean

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 71 (High: 19. Low: 27. LW: 25)

Tampa Bay may not everything going for them, as they sit 5-7 currently. But a victory over a formidable Carolina Panthers team should boost their spirits. Jameis Winston was razor sharp, completing 66.7% of his passes and throwing two touchdowns. The defense forced four interceptions and somehow kept the Panthers under 20 points. That being said, the Bucs still have ways to go in turning around their season.

– Manny Finale

24. Cincinnati Bengals – 69 (High: 20. Low: 27. LW: 22)

This team has just completely fallen apart. They are really missing Andy Dalton right now. Then A.J. Green went down again re-injuring his foot. In a week this team’s playoffs hopes were completely shattered. A four-game losing streak puts them a game and half ahead of the Browns. This injury prone team could end up dead last in the AFC North.

– Savannah Dean

25. Jacksonville Jaguars – (High: 20. Low: 28. LW: 27)

In Week 13’s lowest-scoring game, the Jacksonville Jaguars held on to a 6-0 win over the Indianapolis Colts, snapping the Jaguars’ seven-game losing streak and the Colts’ five-game winning streak. It wasn’t a pretty game to watch, seeing as how the game was decided by two Josh Lambo field goals. Cody Kessler, starting in place of benched quarterback Blake Bortles, didn’t have an outstanding day (18/24, 150 yards) but he did the most important part of a quarterback and that is not turning the ball over. However, this game was all about the defense for the Jaguars, who finally looked like a Super Bowl type of defense. They had the Colts’ offense flustered all afternoon and when the Colts moved the ball down the field, they stood tall and held them to no points. The Jaguars are playing the role of spoilers now, and they face the 6-6 Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football.

– Michael Packard

26. New York Giants – 57 (High: 21. Low: 28. LW: 28)

When is a win a loss? When you’re supposed to be in competition for the number one overall pick. I’ve been banging this drum for weeks, and I’ll continue to do it until the Giants realize they shouldn’t be beating good teams. But to give credit where it’s due, the Giants put up a good overtime win against the likely NFC North champions, and a great defense. OBJ threw another touchdown, and Eli was the definition of serviceable. They caught the bears off guard in New Jersey, and it was a well-deserved victory. Even if it shouldn’t have been.

– Ben Hendricks

27. Detroit Lions – 51 (High: 20. Low: 28. LW: 24)

A favorable schedule will not mean much, as 8-8 will not be enough to get them in the playoffs. Like I said for the Packers, draft picks are where the focus should be at this point. Matthew Stafford has had one of the most under-appreciated careers in the NFL due to the lack of weapons he has had. Perhaps a top pick can help them compete, but the rise of the Bears and Vikings and Aaron Rodgers still existing makes puts them in a tough spot.

– Zac Stone

28. Buffalo Bills – 37 (High: 27. Low: 29. LW: 26)

For a quarterback with absolutely no weapons, Josh Allen has held his own. His accuracy is still an issue, but with LeSean McCoy not being remotely close to his old self and no receivers, he has looked better than expected. If the Bills had a receiver that could keep up with his strong arm, a la John Ross, it could be fun to watch.

– Zac Stone

29. Arizona Cardinals – 30 (High: 27. Low: 29. LW: 32)

Getting another team’s coach fired usually means you did something right, right? The Cardinals stunned the world-beating an, albeit, not so great Packers team. If you had told me, or anyone for that matter, that Josh Rosen would beat Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau before the season started, 100 out of 100 people would have laughed. A nice coming out party for Chase Edmonds as well who scored his first two career touchdowns on 53 yards on five attempts.

– Zac Stone

30. New York Jets – 20 (High: 30. Low: 31. LW: 29)

Well Jason Myers played well. The former arena football kicker and four-year veteran nailed all five of his kicks in the Jets 26-22 loss to the Titans. Outside of Myers’ performance, there is not much to talk about of this Jets team. They will head to Buffalo next week to perhaps pick up a fourth win this season.

– Zac Stone

T31. Oakland Raiders – 11 (High: 30. Low: 32. LW: 31)

The only team in this division eliminated from playoff contention, Oakland lost again in a game where their fate was never really in doubt. They jumped Arizona in the race for the number one overall pick after the Cardinals win this week, and are still tied with the Niners at 2-10. The Raiders just keep losing.

– Pranay Malempati

T31. San Francisco 49ers – 11 (High: 31. Low: 32. LW: 30)

Nick Mullens played well throwing for 414 yards, but unfortunately Matt Breida forgot how to run. Breida was only able to muster up six yards in five attempts in their blowout loss to the Seahawks. It will be a battle in the Bay Area for the number one overall pick in the 2019 draft.

– Zac Stone

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