NFL Power Rankings: Week 14

Posted: December 15, 2011 by vindanton in Pro Sports

By Vin D’Anton

1. Green Bay Packers (1): Great all around game against the Raiders. They did what they needed to do. Jennings is hurt, but I don’t think that matters when Mr. Rodgers has the ball in his hands. 14-0 after a trip to arrowhead this week after the defense gets another confidence boost.

2. Baltimore Ravens (2): Lovin’ Ray Rice right now, and with the other Ray out, him and Suggs have been fantastic leaders. However, Pittsburgh is still creeping up and that has to bother them as John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco are fighting for their first Division title/home playoff game. Big game at San Diego this week.

3. Houston Texans (4): T.J. YATES!!! That was awesome. Now, they got the lucky bounce with that fumble, but all the credit goes to them. They are a warm weather team and are banged up in vital positions, and they still win a tight one…that’s why we love football. Cam and the Cats are comin’ to Houston this week. Let’s see what that defense can do.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (5): Solid divisional win on a short week, now lets see what they do with Big Ben. The NFL cut them a break with that long rest before a trip out to San Fran on Monday Night. Losing James Harrison hurts, and it is a disgrace how he is treated.

5. New Orleans Saints (6): Close one. Thank God, oh wait this isn’t the Broncos. They should be thankful that Jake Locker was playing because a veteran would have tried to actually throw the ball in the end. They can smell the third seed.

6. San Francisco 49ers (3): You can’t lose that game if you want to prove that you are a first-round bye caliber team. They did what I said with Patrick Willis, guess that didn’t work out. Will they bring him back for the Steelers? They have too. Ben or no Ben, tough game Monday Night. Big test.

7. New England Patriots (7): You know why Bill O’Brien yelled at Tom Brady for throwing that pick? Because that defense stinks. A tipped up pick won them the game at Washington, not acceptable for them. Oh, by the way, Rob Gronkowski is a machine. Guess where they travel this week. Hint: Look down.

8. Denver Broncos (8): Look, we can argue all the luck if you want to say Tebow wins the games, but credit goes to that defense to which John Fox has done a fantastic job with. Also, Matt Prater. Statement game against New England at the “Holy Land” this week.

9. Atlanta Falcons (10): Nice comeback win at Carolina. Great job showing up in the second half on all the sides of the ball. The underrated Matt Ryan continues to shine. The only worry on a short week is if Mike Smith is physically ok to deal with the stress of a game on Thursday Night. Everyone hopes so.

10. New York Jets (12): They’re ready for their run. The running game is going and Mark Sanchez is playing well. If anybody wants to give him crap about not throwing for a lot of yards, than why do we praise Tebow? And oh yeah, Sanchez is more of a winner than Tebow. If that defense gets their act together, they can win on the road this week in Philly.

11. Detroit Lions (11): If a ref does his job, they probably lose that game, but they won. They are in control for that sixth spot, which would mean so much to that franchise. With Suh coming back, that defense should get a boost. They play the other most penalized team in the league this week, the Raiders. Should be a grand old time.

12. New York Giants (17): What a game, what a win. If Manningham catches that ball, they might lose because that defense is awful right now. Eli, Nicks and JPP are big time players that are impacting them tremendously. If Jacobs keeps it up, and Bradshaw gets healthy, watch out. They have to avoid their predictable letdown against a tough Redskins team at the Meadowlands this Sunday.

13. Dallas Cowboys (9): Two games you should have won, you lose in terrible fashion, well heartbreaking too. But they came back strong before this collapse and nearly won the game. While you worry about the December collapse, this team still feels different then the Wade teams. They face a lighter but scarier Brandon Jacobs in LeGarrette Blount this week. Lets see that run defense come alive.

14. Cincinnati Bengals (13): Hold on to that fumble and the game is busted wide open. They are young though, and the future looks bright. They aren’t dead but the Jets aren’t dying out even though their schedule is tough. Does Marvin Lewis deserve an extension?

15. Tennessee Titans (15): Yes they lost, but what a game they played. Everyone is going to be screaming for Jake Locker now. As much as I want to say leave in Hasselbeck if he’s healthy, I really want them to play Locker. Kid can play, even though he made the big mistake in the end. They are still alive.

16. Oakland Raiders (11): Whatever, we all knew they had no shot. Move on and prepare for the Flag Bowl this week against Detroit. They’ll be able to score, but will they be able to stop that offense? Should be a “Black Hole” classic.

17. Chicago Bears (16): No Jay Cutler, no Matt Forte, no playoffs. Simple. You really wonder what they could have been if they were healthy. If they don’t make it, they will come back hungry next year.

18. Seattle Seahawks (21): They are playing really well right now, and Mr. Skittles is a huge part of that. Never thought I’d see the day where it was appropriate to throw something at a player on the field. That loss to Washington has to still hurt, but they are mathematically still alive.

19. Arizona Cardinals (22): I know, three NFC West teams in the top twenty, but I don’t care. Arizona is one of the hottest teams in the game right and they are keeping their slim hopes alive with John Skelton winning games. Having said all that, I still want Kolb out there.

20. Philadelphia Eagles (20): In 2008, they had nearly the same record and a tie, and they got in. In the back of my mind, I can still see them somehow finding a way, but it’s a long shot.  They might be playing for Andy. If the Lions and Falcons both win this week, the division is their only hope.

21. San Diego Chargers (23): Good win, but against a bad team, maybe one of the worst as of late. But, they did win that game the way they were supposed too just like last week. With some help and a win against the Ravens Sunday Night, they are right there. Unbelievable.

22. Kansas City Chiefs (19): One of the biggest kept secrets in the NFL: Todd Haley and Scott Pioli didn’t get along. I had no idea. This whole thing is bizarre and I can only wonder what the future holds for this organization as they get rid of a good coach.

23. Miami Dolphins (18): So now you fire Tony Sparano? Guess they want to lose out to get a pick. You heard it here first; Steve Ross is going to ruin this franchise for years to come.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (29): Great win. They seem to love playing for Mel Tucker so far, and you have to wonder if it will be another Raheem Morris situation with him because of money. Look what happened when they let Gabbert play some ball. Maybe though, Tampa Bay was just that bad?

25. Carolina Panthers (25): Winning that game would have been great for that franchise, and the franchise player single handedly may have put Atlanta back in the game with terrible picks…but he’s just a rook. Jon Beason really has been missed.

26. Washington Redskins (28): Very hard fought game against the Brady Bunch. They are showing something. If they carry a performance like that to the Meadowlands Sunday, they can be a huge spoiler for the NFC East divisional race.

27. Buffalo Bills (20): Shame. They really had everyone fooled, but cut them slack for the injuries. Is Chan Gailey on the hot seat? Shouldn’t be, but who knows.

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26): Yucs? This year they are. You cannot lose to Jacksonville the way you did. If they come in last, they’ll have an easier schedule, which benefited them last year. They will be amped up to play spoiler against the Cowboys Saturday Night.

29. Cleveland Browns (27): Once Peyton Hillis was stopped on the goal line on that first drive, you knew the game was over. Colt McCoy is lovable and maybe the organization will give him one more chance next year, but a lot needs to be done to help him. A QB in the draft is more likely.

30. Minnesota Vikings (30): Unless he really couldn’t play, you have to leave Christian Ponder in there to learn how to take a rough game. Joe Webb can play, so I wouldn’t even put doubt in anybodies mind that Ponder isn’t the definite future. Leslie Frazier has some thinking to do.

31. St. Louis Rams (31): Will Steven Jackson want to play here anymore? Is Spags on the hot seat? Did Josh McDaniels ruin Bradford? Was it the schedule? Do we think about Andrew Luck? Man I wouldn’t want to be a Rams fan right now.

32. Indianapolis Colts (32): I bet Baltimore isn’t upset about losing the Colts anymore. Peyton is back throwing, and Archie is saying that having his son and Luck on the same roster won’t work. Oh boy, this could get ugly.

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