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NFL Power Rankings Week 15

  1. Kansas City Chiefs 12-1  

When you watch the Chiefs recently, they give you the feeling that they’re coasting. Early on, Patrick Mahomes didn’t look like himself with two interceptions and a 30-yard sack which helped Miami gain a 10-0 lead. However, Kansas City started rolling and scored 30 unanswered. With the Steelers loss on Sunday Night, the Chiefs are the number one seed in the AFC.

Next: @ NO

  1. Green Bay Packers 10-3 +2

Green Bay was able to solidify the NFC North while seizing the NFC’s 1 seed in their win over Detroit. Aaron Rodgers threw for 291 yards along with three touchdowns and no interceptions. After Mahomes turnover-laden game, Rodgers may just be the frontrunner for the NFL’s MVP. There are still plenty of question marks surrounding their defense and special teams, but if they can take care of business in the last three, the NFC will have to go through Lambeau.

Next: vs. CAR

  1. Buffalo Bills 10-3 +2 

On Sunday night, Stefon Diggs was the best player on the field. He completely took over the second half against Pittsburgh and the Bills look like the biggest threat to Kansas City in the AFC. Diggs finished with 10 catches for 130 yards and a score; he became the second Bill to ever record 100+ catches in a season. Diggs already has a career-high 1,167 yards on the year with three games to go. After their win last night, they are now a step closer to winning their first AFC East division crown in 25 years.

Next: @ DEN

  1. New Orleans Saints 10-3 -2

The Saints were on the wrong side of the NFL’s most shocking result in week 14. Not only did the Saints have a chance to lock up the NFC South, but they also lost control of the NFC’s 1 seed. A perplexing performance for the league’s number one scoring defense going against a rookie in his first career start. The Saints had no answers for Jalen Hurts who helped propel the Eagles past New Orleans. We’ll see if this one will serve as a wakeup call before a huge test against Kansas City next week.

Next: vs. KC

  1. Los Angeles Rams 9-4 +1

The Rams may just be the best team in the NFL no one is talking about. McVay showed off his genius once again by having a completely run-heavy approach. Cam Akers went berserk with 171 yards rushing and this defense continues to play elite football. The Rams displaying an ability to run or throw depending on the opponent can be critical as we inch closer to the postseason; as long as the offense plays turnover-free football, they will be competitive in every game.

Next: vs. NYJ

  1. Seattle Seahawks 9-4 +1

A perfect bounceback game for Seattle; they destroyed the Jets as Russell Wilson threw for four touchdowns. Wilson has 36 touchdown passes on the year already setting a career-high with three games to go. Jamal Adams finished with a sack in a revenge game against his former team; his 8.5 sacks is the most ever by a DB in NFL history

Next: @ WAS

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers 11-2 -5

After starting 11-0 and the talks of 16-0 were materializing, the Steelers have now dropped their last two. The defense is in shambles in terms of injuries and the offense is broken. Big Ben’s immobility and inability to deliver the football down the field has really limited this offense. Their receivers continue to have dropping issues and the run game is even more nonexistent than it was in the beginning of the year. The Steelers defense had a commendable first half but a Big Ben pick-six at the end of the first half completely changed the course of this game.

Next: @ CIN

  1. Tennessee Titans 9-4 +1

Derrick Henry rushed for 215 yards and two touchdowns. He became the first player in NFL history to have four such games in his career (200+ rushing yards, 2 touchdowns). The Titans are in a prime position to break off their streak of three straight 9-7 seasons as Henry is on pace to becoming the first back-to-back rushing leader in the NFL since LaDainian Tomlinson did it in 2006-2007.

Next: vs. DET

  1. Baltimore Ravens 8-5 +3

The Ravens got a much-needed win in what very well could’ve been the game of the year. This game looked much differently than their romp in week 1. Baltimore has been decimated throughout the year with significant injuries and have been hampered by the league’s last ranked passing attack. However, the Ravens got a huge boost from some players returning off the COVID list including Mark Andrews. Lamar Jackson left in the fourth quarter for cramps and came back just in time to save the day:

Lamar looked like the 2019 version of himself that we’ve been looking for.

Next: vs. JAX

  1. Cleveland Browns 9-4 -2

Kevin Stefanski reiterated that there are no moral victories in the NFL and that this one hurt. Of course, Cleveland would’ve loved to win that one, but without key parts on defense and a 14-point deficit in the second half, the Browns refused to quit. They showed a lot of grit and determination to claw their way back in the game behind QB Baker Mayfield. These games are really encouraging, but especially for a team like Cleveland. They proved that they belong.

Next: @ NYG

  1. Indianapolis Colts 9-4 -1

The Colts saw an offensive explosion crossing midfield or scoring on eight of their nine offensive possessions. Jonathan Taylor ran for a career-best 150 rushing yards:

The Colts offense seems to be peaking at the right time with Taylor and T.Y. Hilton coming along nicely. Philip Rivers continues to play efficient football as the Colts are right on the heels of the Titans for the division lead.

Next: vs. HOU

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-5 -1

The Buccaneers had a nice rebound win over Minnesota. The bye couldn’t have come at a better time for Tampa who had lost three of their last four. In a surprising turn of events, the Bucs elected to scratch Leonard Fournette as Ronald Jones logged 67% of the snaps. Although it wasn’t the electrifying brand of football we’ve been expecting from this offense, this is what the Bucs will have to do if they want to win in the playoffs. Continuing to run the football and playing higher percentage football will be more advantageous at this stage in Brady’s career.

Next: @ ATL

  1. Miami Dolphins 8-5

This game said a lot about the Dolphins defense – three interceptions off Patrick Mahomes just doesn’t happen and it gave them a chance at the end. The Dolphins don’t have enough ammunition on offense just yet but the story of the game was Tua. Head coach Brian Flores has been criticized for his midseason move to bench veteran Ryan Ftizpatrick for his top five pick Tua Tagovailoa. He put those critics to rest for at least another week as Tua had his best start fending off pressure and throwing for over 300 yards with Lynn Bowden Jr. as his best receiving option. The Dolphins enter a pivotal game against New England next week with huge playoff implications. 

Next: vs. NE

  1. Arizona Cardinals 7-6

After the Cards had lost four of their last five, they were more than desperate to get a win on Sunday. It was the defense that delivered in a huge way holding the Giants offense to 159 total yards forcing three turnovers. New Jersey native Haason Reddick had struggled to take off for the first three years in his career. Arizona chose to decline his fifth year option before the season and after they lost premier pass rusher Chandler Jones for the season, Reddick has filled in admirably. He finished with a career-high five sacks on Sunday and now has ten on the season.

Next: vs. PHI

  1. Las Vegas Raiders 7-6

The defense has been a trainwreck this season. Besides a bad-weather game in Cleveland and a turnover bonanza against Drew Lock, this defense has been a tough watch. Indianapolis’s offensive surge cost defensive coordinator Paul Guenther his job. Despite the short turnaround with a Thursday night game versus the Chargers, the Raiders want to see if Rod Marinelli can provide any sort of spark as Vegas will try to make a playoff push in these last three weeks.

Next: vs. LAC

  1. Washington Football Team 6-7 +4

Chase Young just may have locked up the Defensive Rookie of the Year after his stellar performance against the 49ers:

Young was flying all over the field; the combination of Young and Montez Sweat could be franchise-altering the way this tandem has taken off in 2020. Quarterback Alex Smith had to exit the game with a calf-strain and all signs point towards a minor injury. This will be something to monitor as Dwayne Haskins looked unprepared and underwhelming in relief of Smith. Washington is in control of their own destiny to win their first NFC East title since 2015.

Next: vs. SEA

  1. Minnesota Vikings 6-7

The tenure of the Vikings grasping onto the NFC’s 7 seed lasted for one week as they fell short in Tampa. Dan Bailey cost the Vikings 10 points missing three field goals and an extra point in the team’s most important game of the season. Now, two games back of Tampa and losing the tiebreaker with only three games to go, the Vikings only shot at the playoffs is the 7 seed. That means winning their last three against Chicago, New Orleans, and Detroit with Arizona losing one of their last three.

Next: vs. CHI

  1. New England Patriots 6-7 -2

For the first time since 2008, the Patriots will not win the AFC East. It is one of the more impressive accomplishments in the landscape of the modern NFL; the Patriots are holding on for dear life for any hope at returning to the playoffs. The margin for error is gone and will have their hands full at Miami.

Next: @ MIA

  1. New York Giants 5-8

After winning four straight, the Giants fell flat against the Cardinals. Daniel Jones made his return from a one week hiatus and did not look like himself. It’s clear he was very limited mobility from his hamstring strain and it hurt the Giants in a big way. The Giants trail Washington by a game in the division and have the Browns on Sunday night in a huge game for playoff implications. 

Next: vs. CLE

  1. San Francisco 49ers 5-8 -2

It has become glaring how badly the 49ers need a capable quarterback. Washington punted eight times, threw for 95 yards between Alex Smith and Dwayne Haskins, and gained a total of 193 yards. Washington was able to prevail past San Fran 23-15 without scoring an offensive touchdown. San Francisco has gotten relatively healthy the last few weeks but unfortunately lost two of their best players Sunday in Deebo Samuel and Fred Warner. The offensive line did Mullens no favors as they were completely overwhelmed by this Washington front in pass protection. At this point, 49ers fans have to worry about their player’s health and draft position the rest of the way.

Next: @ DAL

  1. Denver Broncos 5-8 +2

Sunday was a promising sign of the future for the Broncos. Drew Lock played arguably the best game of his young career completing 78% of his passes for 280 yards and a career-best four touchdowns. He displayed a poise and confidence that has been sporadic over the course of this season. The next three weeks will be crucial to see if Lock can build off this and prove he should be the QB in Denver moving forward.

Next: vs. BUF

  1. Chicago Bears 6-7 +2

The Bears finally ended their losing streak with a convincing win over the Texans. Trubisky built off his strong performance last week with 267 yards and three touchdowns. Matt Nagy seemed to be playing more to Trubisky’s strengths getting him moving outside the pocket and utilizing his legs. Allen Robinson continued his stellar play with 123 yards a score; but you have to think: is it momentum when both of these guys are free agents this offseason?

Next: @ MINN

  1. Detroit Lions 5-8 -1

This game was a perfect encapsulation of Matthew Stafford’s tenure in Detroit. The Lions showed signs of life jumping out to an early lead. Nevertheless, in a comeback attempt, Stafford gave his body up in a run and was decked to the turf by DT Kenny Clark. Stafford only played one more snap – his status for next week is already in doubt. We may be seeing the last of Stafford in Detroit – time will tell where he ends up in 2021.

Next: @ TENN

  1. Houston Texans 4-9 -3

The Houston Texans played their worst game since Romeo Crennel was hired as the interim coach. From the onset, Houston showed they weren’t ready to play as RB David Montgomery scored on the Bears first offensive play:

Deshaun Watson was pressured constantly absorbing ten hits against this fierce Chicago front. You can only hope that Deshaun makes it out injury-free in these last three games.

Next: @ IND

  1. Philadelphia Eagles 4-8-1 +4

The Eagles held on and beat the NFC’s 1 seeded Saints. Jalen Hurts provided the spark the Eagles were looking for throwing for 167 yards and rushing for another 106. The Eagles have temporarily made things interesting again in the NFC East closing the gap to 1.5 games behind Washington. The Eagles will have their hands full against Kyler Murray next week.

Next: @ ARI

  1. Los Angeles Chargers 4-9 +1

Anthony Lynn somehow did it again:

Lynn’s inability to manage the clock has been apparent in just about every game they’ve played. They managed to pull this out but Lynn continues to make the same mistakes each week.

Next: @ LV

  1. Atlanta Falcons 4-9 -2

The Falcons and the Chargers really deserve each other. Both of these squads make it look so hard to finish out games and this game didn’t disappoint. An exchange of three consecutive interceptions in the fourth quarter, the Chargers came out on top 20-17. The Falcons at 4-9 are in the hunt for a top five pick. Matt Ryan’s decline has been evident for a few years and the Falcons will have to think long and hard if they should consider drafting a QB next spring.

Next: vs. TB

  1. Carolina Panthers 4-9 -1

This was an overall tough performance for Carolina. Their special teams unit gave up an 83-yard touchdown to Diontae Spencer, their defense was picked apart by Drew Lock, and Teddy Bridgewater had a chance to resurrect it with a chance to win in the final drive but fell short. Bridgewater is under contract for two more years; the clock is ticking for Carolina if they want to move forward with Teddy as their QB next year or if they should consider drafting another one come April.

Next: @ GB

  1. Dallas Cowboys 4-9 -1

Thanks to three fumbles on the first three drives, Dallas was able to jump out to a 17-0 lead. Andy Dalton was sharp in his return to Cincinnati throwing for 185 yards and two touchdowns. The Cowboys have already deflecting any talks of the possibility of firing Mike McCarthy. Dallas will try to get their first winning streak of the year against San Francisco next Sunday.

Next: vs. SF

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-12

The Jaguars showed an ability to keep things competitive under Mike Glennon. In his two starts, they lost by a combined 5 points but he seemingly came back down to earth against Tennessee. Glennon was benched for Gardner Minshew who showed some promise and will evidently start next week:

Next: @ BAL

  1. Cincinnati Bengals 2-10-1

The Bengals lost or won depending on your perspective. After losing to Dallas, they have created separation for the third pick in the 2021 draft. The Bengals showed glimpses moving the ball but three fumbles in the first three drives didn’t give them much of a chance.

Next: vs. PITT

  1. New York Jets 0-13 —

The Jets continued to look incompetent in every aspect. The offense was uninspiring, and the defense couldn’t stop anything. Russell Wilson only had to play three quarters before he was relieved for Geno Smith. Sam Darnold continued to look lost only throwing for 132 yards against the league’s worst pass defense. He has failed to eclipse 200 yards in seven of his last nine starts.

Next: @ LAR

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