NFL Sports

NFL Power Rankings: Week 15

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

There is only one certainty in the NFL. It does not disappoint.

The Miami Dolphins absolutely stunned the New England Patriots with an absurd play with seven seconds left involving multiple handoffs before Kenyan Drake ran it past safety…Rob Gronkowski. The Chicago Bears made Jared Goff look like a Pop Warner quarterback forcing four interceptions.

One big surprise, the Cleveland Browns are not in last place. It was predicted they would improve, but after a hot start from the Cincinnati Bengals those hopes were dashed, yet here they are in third place.

With three games left the NFC division winners seem certain with the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys. Even the wildcard seems like it might be decided with the Seattle Seahawks and most likely the Minnesota Vikings.

The AFC is wide open however. Three weeks left. Buckle up!

1. New Orleans Saints – 219 (High: 1. Low: 3. LW: 3)

The Saints started shakily against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but after some adjustments, New Orleans took the game 28-14. As the Saints continue their bid for the number one seed, they now have the NFC South all for themselves. They did look a little sloppy in their most recent outings, but Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and the rest of the gang will polish up and prepare for the playoff run yet to come.

– Manny Finale

2. Kansas City Chiefs – 218 (High: 1. Low: 3. LW: 2)

The Chiefs just pulled off a key overtime victory against the Ravens to move to 11-2 and stay one game ahead of the Chargers for the division lead. Patrick Mahomes played well against the NFL’s top defense and Spencer Ware looks to be a solid replacement for Kareem Hunt. This was a huge win – now, even if they lose to LA next week, they hold the tiebreaker for the division and number one seed. If the road to the Super Bowl goes through Arrowhead Stadium, it will be difficult to see any AFC team beating KC.

– Pranay Malempati

3. Los Angeles Rams – 210 (High: 1. Low: 7. LW: 1)

For the first time all season the Rams played absolutely terrible. The defense held their own allowing just 15 points, but Goff, Gurley and company couldn’t overcome even that. Goff threw for four interceptions and the team also allowed a safety. The Bears are a solid team so there is not too much reason to worry, but perhaps the team should fly out at the start of a week for cold-weather games, something the people in Los Angeles are not used to.

– Zac Stone

4. Los Angeles Chargers – 204 (High: 3. Low: 4. LW: 4)

Just like the Chiefs, the Chargers won again, beating the Bengals in a closer than expected encounter on Sunday. While their offense was solid, they look like they definitely need Melvin Gordon back if they are to make a playoff run. The defense has been a lot better and Kansas City’s win makes taking the division title a difficult task, but they do have a chance to tie things up against KC this week.

– Pranay Malempati

5. Chicago Bears – 195 (High: 4. Low: 7. LW: 7)

What a statement win for the Bears. At the start of the season everyone raved about the Vikings and Packers, while questioning why the Bears would trade a first-rounder for Khalil Mack. It is obvious the Bears knew what they were doing, as they now have a 2 1/2 game lead with just three games to go. Do not be surprised if the Bears make some noise in January, despite potentially facing the Saints and Rams.

– Zac Stone

6. Houston Texans – 182 (High: 6. Low: 10. LW: 6)

In their AFC South showdown against the Indianapolis Colts, the Houston Texans saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end in their 24-21 loss. Both teams struggled out of the gate, though by halftime the Colts had a 17-7 lead. Houston could never get the game tied back up as they were down 24-14 late in the fourth quarter until Deshaun Watson hit DeAndre Hopkins to cut the lead to three with 2:30 left in the game. However, the Texans got a chance to get the ball back to try for the tie or win the game, but Jadeveon Clowney was called offsides on third down and short that gave the Colts a new set of downs to run out the clock. The loss keeps Houston at a two-game lead in the AFC South as they prepare to take on the 4-9 New York Jets next week.

– Michael Packard

7. New England Patriots – 181 (High: 5. Low: 11. LW: 5)

New England always drops games to teams they aren’t really supposed to lose to. This week though it happened in a surprising fashion with Kenyan Drake running in a touchdown on a lateral play after time expired. They’ll right the ship like they always do and make a run in the playoffs, but if the Dolphins can beat them, a run to the Super Bowl is far from a guarantee.

-Joe DiTullio

NFL Power Rankings Week 15
Amari Cooper (Photo by nwcable.net)

8. Dallas Cowboys – 174 (High: 5. Low: 11. LW: 10)

This week’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles goes a long way in solidifying Dallas as not only a potential division winner, but a threat in the postseason, as well. Most importantly, they increased their lead in the division. But, not far behind that in importance is seeing Dak Prescott deliver during pressure situations. The game came down to overtime, where Amari Cooper, who continues to look like he was worth the first pick the Cowboys gave up for him, hauled in a touchdown to seal the win. The defense wasn’t as strong as they have been during this winning streak, but still were stout enough to let Dak prove himself.

– Ben Hendricks

9. Seattle Seahawks – 173 (High: 6. Low: 10. LW: 9)

What a comeback season for Seattle. A fantastic win hosting a strong Minnesota Vikings team on Monday night looks like it might be the clincher for a playoff berth barring a late-season meltdown. Russell Wilson has once again become a game-changer. The Seahawks will be playing playoff football. If they do not make the playoffs I am open to as much criticism as possible. They are in. Book it.

– Zac Stone

10. Indianapolis Colts – 154 (High: 8. Low: 15. LW: T13)

Facing off against the AFC South-leading Houston Texans, the Indianapolis Colts secured a much-needed win in their 24-21 victory. Quarterback Andrew Luck threw for 399 yards and two touchdowns although the Colts offense struggled to do anything until halfway through the second quarter while the Colts’ defense forced the Texans to punt on eight of their 11 drives, and many of those were three-and-outs. The win keeps the Colts tied with Tennessee for second place in the AFC South as the season draws to an end. The Colts get the 8-5 Dallas Cowboys at home next week.

– Michael Packard

11. Baltimore Ravens – 149 (High: 9. Low: 14. LW: 11)

They put up a fight against the Chiefs. They had the game in their hands in regulation but let it slip away on the fourth down. Overtime looked good until Lamar Jackson went down. Unable to convert on a fourth down, the team just barely gave away the win. This team is strong and one to look out for. Luckily for them, the Steelers loss and they stay half a game behind.

– Savannah Dean

12. Pittsburgh Steelers – 144 (High: 8. Low: 16. LW: 8)

This team has now lost three in a row. The two win Oakland Raiders were able to get the best of them. This team is in desperate need of James Conner to return but he might even be out for Week 15. They are letting the division and their chances at making the playoffs slip away each week.

– Savannah Dean

13. Minnesota Vikings – 142 (High: 9. Low: 15. LW: 12)

Yikes. If you are a Viking fan that missed the game, do not watch the highlights. They are still no doubt in playoff contention, as most NFC teams have underperformed this year, but they have to figure things out. This team looks lost. Firing offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is a start. The refusal to utilize Dalvin Cook, despite an elite receiving core, made him too predictable. Usually, a firing of a coordinator means a team has given up and wants to start over. This firing, however, might propel the Vikings to the level they need to be at to compete in the NFC.

– Zac Stone

14. Tennessee Titans – 137 (High: 12. Low: 15. LW: 18)

NFL Power Rankings week 15
Derrick Henry (Photo by washingtonpost.com)

The Titans 30-9 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars couldn’t have been any easier. Not much was asked of the Titans’ offense because it was all about running back Derrick Henry, who gouged the Jaguars’ defense for 238 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Meanwhile, the Titans’ defense held the struggling Jaguars offense to 255 yards and held star running back Leonard Fournette to 36 yards. The win keeps Tennessee in the race for the AFC South after the Texans lost to the Colts in their match-up. Tennessee travels to the Meadowlands to take on the 5-8 New York Giants.

– Michael Packard

15. Miami Dolphins – 135 (High: 12. Low: 15. LW: 19)

Miami has been battling the notion that they aren’t as good as their record all season long. On Sunday they proved that they can beat quality teams (again) and that they are a threat to make the playoffs. It may have taken a miracle play, but the Dolphins have put themselves in a good position for the homestretch.

-Joe DiTullio

16. Carolina Panthers – 113 (High: 16. Low: 19. LW: T13)

Things are turning ugly for the Carolina Panthers, and their 20-26 defeat to the Cleveland Browns proves this. Christian McCaffery was once again Carolina’s brightest spot on offense. However, McCaffery’s touchdowns were not enough to give the Panthers the W. The defense fell victim to Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb, which extends Carolina’s losing streak to five games straight. Now, the Panthers stand at 6-7.

– Manny Finale

17. Philadelphia Eagles – 107 (High: 16. Low: 19. LW: 16)

Close doesn’t count. Philadelphia’s regression and Super Bowl hangover are all but written in stone as they dropped a game they desperately needed to win. Not only that, but the overtime score that sealed their fate was a tip-drill touchdown. The Eagles are just too banged up and playing with little to no confidence. Good luck next week against a Rams team that wants to shake off an embarrassing showing on Sunday Night Football.

– Ben Hendricks

18. Denver Broncos – 103 (High: 16. Low: 21. LW: 15)

Denver missed a huge opportunity to take advantage of a soft opponent in the 49ers as their offense could barely come alive all day. Most of the teams ahead of them in the wild card race won, so Denver is now behind four different 7-6 teams for the six seed. The defense is great, but wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders’ injury has hurt an offense that already traded Demaryius Thomas. Denver needs to win out to have a realistic chance at the playoffs.

– Pranay Malempati

19. Green Bay Packers – 97 (High: 17. Low: 21. LW: 21)

I do not encourage tanking as much as I would want my team to tank when they are not going to win the Super Bowl. The Packers are done this season, then went out and dominated the Falcons to move ahead of them in draft position. The bright side their win was Aaron Jones producing a solid performance. The Packers have not had a good running back since the short-lived glory of Eddie Lacy. Hopefully Jones can turn this into something special.

– Zac Stone

20. Cleveland Browns – 91 (High: 18. Low: 24. LW: 22)

NFL power rankings week 15
Baker Mayfield (Photo by nypost.com)

The Browns are beginning to shock to world. One win to two wins, ok. They are now up to five wins on the season. They were able to hold off Newton, Mccaffrey and the rest of the Panthers to get the win. They are only two games behind first place in the division and their rivals schedules heavily favor the Browns. Three weeks is a lot of football for this team.

– Savannah Dean

21. New York Giants – 76 (High: 21. Low: 25. LW: 26)

Well it’s time for me to stop beating the tanking drum. The Giants are now 5-8 and sit at just one game behind the Redskins and Eagles. Good for New York for trying to win games, really. But it’s not going to earn them anything more than a worse draft pick. Their playoff hopes are next to non-existent, and bringing Lauletta in to throw an interception and take some knees didn’t do anything in the way of hope for the post-Eli era. But, hey, enjoy the meaningless win.

– Ben Hendricks

22. Washington Redskins – 74 (High: 16. Low: 26. LW: 17)

Good lord this was embarrassing. Remember when we were talking about Washington maybe being a surprise division winner/playoff contender? Yeah, I don’t either. The Giants put up 40 on Washington, as Mark Sanchez regressed into the walking meme he was when he left the league last. Josh Johnson had to come in to wipe the goose egg off of the board. The only good thing about this game is that they have the same record as the defending Super Bowl champions. Silver lining?

– Ben Hendricks

23. Detroit Lions – 72 (High: 19. Low: 26. LW: 27)

It might be time to hang up the cleats for Matthew Stafford, or at least move out of Detroit. He has had a great career that was severely overlooked due to the incompetence of the Detroit organization, but throwing for just over 100 yards against an awful Cardinals team is not a good look. I would love to see Stafford with weapons, but if Detroit wants to compete without upgrading their skill players, they will need someone that makes Tom Brady look average.

– Zac Stone

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 61 (High: 22. Low: 28. LW: 23)

At first, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the New Orleans Saints on the ropes. Jameis Winston tallied two touchdowns finding Cameron Brate, giving Tampa Bay a 14-3 lead at the half. But then, the Bucs were reminded why the Saints were the Saints, as New Orleans piled on 25 unanswered points on them. The road ahead will only get tougher from here on out.

– Manny Finale

25. Atlanta Falcons – 59 (High: 22. Low: 28. LW: 20)

Falcons fans do not have a whole lot to cheer this season, and this past Sunday did not make things any better. As Atlanta visited the Packers, they were another statistic in Green Bay’s homestand success. Matt Ryan scored himself three touchdowns through the air, but the Falcons’ defense was no match for Aaron Rodgers and Adam Jones. As the Falcons’ season continues to get sour, the off-season might be even worse.

– Manny Finale

26. Cincinnati Bengals – 53 (High: 23. Low: 29. LW: 24)

Another loss on the season. This team has shown they aren’t a very put together team without Andy Dalton or A.J. Green. They fall to 5-8 as well as last place in the division. They still have multiple division games left in the season, it’ll be a tough road ahead.

– Savannah Dean

27. Jacksonville Jaguars – 38 (High: 25. Low: 30. LW: 25)

One week after snapping their seven-game losing streak, the Jacksonville Jaguars were demolished in their 30-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football. The Jaguars were abysmal in this game, and that was mostly on the defense, as Tennessee was able to march up and down the field primarily with their running game. There were several missed tackles and eventually it looked like the Jaguars mailed it in after Derrick Henry’s third touchdown of the game. Easily put, it was not a good showing for Jacksonville and many questions about this team are going to start popping up these last few weeks of the season. The Jaguars are at home to take on the 6-7 Washington Redskins next week.

– Michael Packard

28. New York Jets – 35 (High: 27. Low: 30. LW: 30)

NFL power rankings week 15
Sam Darnold (Photo by nypost.com)

With Sam Darnold back in the lineup, the Jets were able to outlast the Bills. Darnold and the team still have loads of issues that need to be addressed, but New York has some young promising players to look forward to if they can add good players around them.

-Joe DiTullio

29. Oakland Raiders – 31 (High: 22. Low: 31. LW: 31)

What do the Raiders want? They were in prime position to take the number 1 draft pick and decided to beat the Steelers on two stunning plays. First, they converted on 4th and goal with under 30 seconds left and turned around by blocking Pitt’s game-tying FG attempt. Since the Niners also won, they’re still tied for the worst record, but better not win another game if they really want that top draft pick.

– Pranay Malempati

30. Buffalo Bills – 26 (High: 27. Low: 32. LW: 28)

Buffalo has gotten rid of so much talent over the last year and it showed on Sunday. Losing to the Jets is tough, but they should be encouraged by Josh Allen’s play. With a higher pick, they can get him some help and hopefully build something for the future.

-Joe DiTullio

31. San Francisco 49ers – 23 (High: 25. Low: 31. LW: 32)

The 49ers were handed a gift from a miracle win by the Raiders over Pittsburgh, then they go out and beat the Broncos. It sucks watching your team lose, no doubt about it, but what is the point of winning if it potentially means you miss out on a franchise player. Are you willing to trade an afternoon of happiness to potentially hurt your team’s future? Like recently stated, I hate watching teams intentionally tanks, but sometimes winning is worse than losing, like last Sunday in the Bay Area.

– Zac Stone

32. Arizona Cardinals – 8 (High: 31. Low: 32. LW: 29)

It is hard to blame rookie quarterback Josh Rosen for performing so poorly in his first year, but following a promising win Cardinals fans were hoping to see the Cardinals to continue to improve. Although the loss will be better for the Cardinals in the long run, 149 yards is not a number you want to see your hopeful franchise quarterback throw for in a home game against a weak Lions team.

– Zac Stone

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