Power Rankings, Week 14

With the eight teams at the top remaining relatively static -- just swapping spots with each other now and then -- the real action is taking place in the next ...

| 2 years ago
power rank 2013 WK14

Power Rankings, Week 14


power rank 2013 WK14With the eight teams at the top remaining relatively static — just swapping spots with each other now and then — the real action is taking place in the next tier.

The Eagles and Cardinals have pushed into the Top 10 and the Bears are also making an upward move while the Lions, Colts, and Cowboys are losing luster.

Looking down the list, the Bucs and Jags continue their second-half surges, giving their old spots in the cellar to a handful of teams that are bottoming out down the stretch.

Here’s how our analysts see the league, and the cumulative rank (below) that comes of their ballots.

  BEN GORDON KHALED NATHAN NEIL RICK SAM STEVE
1 SEA DEN SEA SEA SEA DEN DEN SEA
2 DEN SEA DEN DEN DEN SEA SEA DEN
3 NE NO NO NO NO NO NE NE
4 NO CAR SF CAR NE SF NO SF
5 KC NE CAR SF KC NE KC NO
6 SF SF NE CIN SF CAR CAR KC
7 CAR KC KC NE CIN KC SF CIN
8 CIN CIN CIN PHI CAR CHI CIN CAR
9 PHI PHI PHI KC PHI CIN ARZ PHI
10 DET ARZ DET CHI BAL ARZ PHI DET
11 IND BAL IND ARZ ARZ PHI IND ARZ
12 CHI DET ARZ BAL CHI DET CHI CHI
13 GB CHI MIA MIA DET BAL DAL BAL
14 SD IND BAL STL MIA IND MIA IND
15 DAL GB GB SD IND DAL BAL MIA
16 ARZ MIA SD DET SD MIA DET DAL
17 BAL DAL CHI GB DAL SD SD GB
18 MIA SD DAL DAL PIT GB GB SD
19 TEN PIT NYG TB TB PIT NYJ PIT
20 PIT CLE TEN PIT STL NYG NYG NYJ
21 CLE NYG TB IND TEN TB PIT NYG
22 STL TEN PIT NYG MIN STL STL TEN
23 NYG JAX NYJ ATL GB TEN TEN CLE
24 BUF TB STL TEN ATL NYJ CLE STL
25 NYJ STL JAX BUF NYG BUF BUF TB
26 MIN NYJ BUF MIN NYJ CLE JAX BUF
27 JAX BUF CLE NYJ BUF OAK OAK JAX
28 OAK MIN WAS JAX OAK MIN TB OAK
29 TB OAK OAK CLE JAX JAX ATL ATL
30 ATL ATL MIN OAK CLE WAS MIN MIN
31 WAS WAS ATL HOU WAS ATL WAS HOU
32 HOU HOU HOU WAS HOU HOU HOU WAS

With the votes tallied, here’s how the list looks after Week 14: (last week’s rank and change in rank in parentheses)

The Top 10 

1. Seattle Seahawks (1, 0)
With their QB struggling in a road loss to SF, the Seahawks left the door open for speculation rather than hammering home the idea that they’re the NFC’s clear top dog. Still likely keeping the path to any Super Bowl run going through their town, Seattle holds on to the top spot here with a five-votes-to-three edge over Denver. Refocused: Seattle at San Francisco

2. Denver Broncos (2, 0)
Perhaps going some way toward showing their late-season bad weather abilities, the Broncos rolled up another 50 on the back of a 41-7 run to take down the Titans. They have to keep pushing for home field with New England sitting just a step back and holding the tie-breaking edge. Refocused: Tennessee at Denver

3. New Orleans Saints (3, 0)
Rebounding from their thrashing in Seattle the week before, New Orleans got back to work at home, setting down their challengers in the South and ending Carolina’s eight-game run. They’ll see each other again in a couple weeks, but for now the Saints are alone at the top. Refocused: Carolina at New Orleans (SNF)

4. New England Patriots (3, -1)
Finding a way to avoid a home loss to Cleveland won’t do wonders for your rank, but the Patriots did exit with the win. They fall out of a tie with the Saints at No. 3 but hang on in the Top 5. Refocused: Cleveland at New England

5. San Francisco 49ers (6, 1)
The win over Seattle was a huge one for the 49ers after tripping up against other contenders faced this season. Their hold on the final wild card spot now firmer, they’ll travel to Tampa looking to extend a three-game win streak. Refocused: Seattle at San Francisco

6. Carolina Panthers (5, -1)
After a long run-up to the game they’d pointed to all season, the Panthers fell flat and dropped the division’s showcase game in New Orleans. One more shot at the Saints is on the way but they’ll have to deal with the other Ryan brother first. Refocused: Carolina at New Orleans (SNF)

7. Kansas City Chiefs (7, 0)
Answering back in fine fashion after three straight losses had them falling off, the Chiefs walked past the reeling Redskins and announced themselves back in the running. They hold at No. 7 with a trip to Oakland up next. Refocused: Kansas City at Washington

8. Cincinnati Bengals (8, 0)
With one eye on their Week 17 matchup with Baltimore, Cincinnati marches on, holding their important two-game lead over the Ravens in the North. As they’ve been all season, they rest here just beyond the seven teams seen most dangerous. Refocused: Indianapolis at Cincinnati

9. Philadelphia Eagles (10, 1)
As LeSean McCoy ran wild in the snow, the Eagles slid into sole possession of first place in the NFC East – a one-game edge that still might not be enough if they can’t get past Dallas in the season finale. Until then, though, Philadelphia is in control and moves a step further into the Top 10. Refocused: Detroit at Philadelphia

10. Arizona Cardinals (12, 2)
Making their first appearance in the Top 10, the Cardinals have risen 19 spots from their initial rank and have gone seven weeks without losing ground. Losing Mathieu hurts, but that defense is loaded with talent and can overcome. Refocused: St. Louis at Arizona

The Pack

11. Chicago Bears (15, 4)
More McCown as the Bear backup again made magic with the Marshall-Jeffery combo and Chicago outran their own defense’s running game woes. Back into a tie with Detroit and looking up, the Bears climb four spots to the edge of the Top 10. Refocused: Dallas at Chicago (MNF)

12. Detroit Lions (9, -3)
Their snowbound loss to Philadelphia forced a slide back into a tie atop the North and a fall from the Top 10 into the muddled mess just beyond. With losses in three of four and fellow playoff-hopeful Baltimore visiting next week, the Lions won’t have a let-up. Refocused: Detroit at Philadelphia

13. Baltimore Ravens (14, 1)
In another snow game, the Ravens got one they had to have and kept pace two games back of the Bengals. The two will meet again at season’s end, but Baltimore has to navigate Detroit and New England successfully to have hope for taking the division or at least hanging on to the wild card.  Refocused: Minnesota at Baltimore

14. Indianapolis Colts (11, -3)
As inconsistent as it gets since their 4-1 start, the Colts have wobbled to an 8-5 mark. Their Week 14 loss to Cincinnati was the latest in their up-down way and confidence in them has dropped. The Colts fall for the third week in a row, as a spot in the Top 10 becomes a memory. Refocused: Indianapolis at Cincinnati

15. Miami Dolphins (17, 2)
Refusing to go away, the Dolphins kept the heat on the Ravens for the final AFC wild card spot with their Week 14 win in Pittsburgh. A trip through the AFC East remains for the Miami team that moves up another two spots this week. Refocused: Miami at Pittsburgh

16. Dallas Cowboys (12, -4)
Finishing off the 10-16 range’s dance that saw the shuffle continue this week, the Cowboys fall four spots to the middle of the list. A game back of Philadephia with a head-to-head still to go, hope remains for a division title. Refocused: Dallas at Chicago (MNF)

17. San Diego Chargers (18, 1)
The AFC West’s ‘third’ team has stayed in the hunt and gets one last shot at each division mate to end the year, starting with Denver on Thursday Night in Week 15. One game out of the wild card, the Chargers will need to show well to press for the final playoff spot. Refocused: NY Giants at San Diego

18. Green Bay Packers (16, -2)
What’s that? The Packers are still alive? Managing just a tie to go with four losses in their previous five, Green Bay notched a win to pull within a half game of the North lead and stay a strike short of the division leaders that refused to pull away. Refocused: Atlanta at Green Bay

19. Pittsburgh Steelers (19, 0)
Falling on a cold day at home to Miami didn’t help their hopes as the Steelers find themselves out of the division title race and two games behind Baltimore for the last wild card. They stay put in the ranks, but the light is fading. Refocused: Miami at Pittsburgh

20. New York Giants (20, 0)
After working most of the way back toward .500, the Giants are 1-2 in their last three and have a couple of contenders up next as they take on Seattle and Detroit. A nice rebound to a horrid start, but ultimately looking like not much more than a feel-good run. Refocused: NY Giants at San Diego

21. St. Louis Rams (21, 0)
Perhaps they’ve come as far as can be expected with Clemens at the helm – those two big wins from a few weeks ago having been balanced out with a pair of division losses. The Saints are up next for the Rams who seem set on not rising further. Refocused: St. Louis at Arizona

22. Tennessee Titans (22, 0)
An early lead wasn’t enough to help Tennessee get by the Broncos in Denver as the Titan CB duo had their hands full trying to handle the Bronco receivers. With four losses in their last five, playoff hopes are dim. Refocused: Tennessee at Denver

The Bottom 10

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (24, 1)
Feeling good after finding four wins in five games to get past their 0-8 start, the Bucs are part of a three-team Florida charge up the charts. What remains to be seen is if they can carry the positives into games against San Francisco and New Orleans in the final three outings. Refocused: Buffalo at Tampa Bay

24. New York Jets (23, -1)
Riding out a 20-3 halftime lead, the Jets outplayed Oakland in a match of teams exceeding preseason expectations. A trip to Carolina provides the next test for a team clinging to surprising playoff hopes. Refocused: Oakland at NY Jets

25. Cleveland Browns (26, 1)
So close. A win over New England would have been a nice feather in their cap, but the Browns, in the end, took their fourth consecutive loss. They may get to see Cutler’s return while hosting the Bears in Week 15. Refocused: Cleveland at New England

26. Buffalo Bills (24, -2)
That’s five losses in six tries for the Bills who slip another two spots in the ranks and appear to be settling right near their preseason rank (25). Good news is they’ll escape the cold for another week with the second leg of back-to-back Florida trips. Refocused: Buffalo at Tampa Bay

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (30, 3)
With four wins in five tries, the Jaguars are looking dangerous late in the year and their schedule of beatable foes continues. A 7-9 record at the end is not out of the question and after their 0-8 start, would be quite remarkable. Refocused: Houston at Jacksonville (TNF)

28. Minnesota Vikings (28, 0)
Coming out on the short end of the flurry, Minnesota fell in the Baltimore snow and kept the pressure on the three teams ‘ahead’ of them in the draft order. Refocused: Minnesota at Baltimore

29. Oakland Raiders (27, -2)
Rarely a fun proposition for Oakland, this trip to the East Coast brought familiar results. At 4-9 with all three dangerous division opponents still on the schedule, the Raiders could be looking at their ninth five-wins-or-less season in the last 11. Refocused: Oakland at NY Jets

30. Atlanta Falcons (29, -1)
Unable to follow their overtime win from the week before, Atlanta surrendered the lead in the second half and watched the Packers out-do them by a point. Solidly a part of the Bottom 3, they’ll need a surprise from Houston or Washington to move down further. Refocused: Atlanta at Green Bay

31. Washington Redskins (31, 0)
A team in disarray, the Redskins lost for the fifth straight week and, with three to go, are fully looking toward the offseason and the changes to be made. Refocused: Kansas City at Washington

32. Houston Texans (32, 0)
Saying the wheels have come off would be an understatement. A puzzling tumble has turned into all-out implosion as the Texans have gone from preseason No. 8 to first pick favorites. Refocused: Houston at Jacksonville (TNF)

 

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