2010 NFL Power Rankings – Week 14

NFL Power Rankings 2010 Pre 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Playoffs

It’s now Week 14 and the playoff picture is starting to take shape. The Patriots and Steelers have a leg up in the AFC after big division wins, but things are still close in those divisions and the others. Not a lot of big movements in the rankings this week:

Rank Team Comment
1 New England Patriots After all the time for hype and build-up, the Patriots and Jets actually played; well, the Patriots did anyway. A 45-3 home victory vaults New England to a one-game lead in the AFC East and the conference’s best record. A tough road test awaits in Chicago, however.
2 Atlanta Falcons Considering the difficulty of the upcoming schedule for the Bears and Packers, the Falcons face the Panthers twice along with Seattle and New Orleans. Any slip up by the Saints all but guarantees they Falcons will be playing at home for as long as they are alive in the playoffs.
3 Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh became the favorite in the AFC North with a hard-fought win over the Ravens on Sunday night. While injuries are still a concern, this team finds ways to win and has managed to maintain contender status in the AFC.
4 Baltimore Ravens The Ravens lost another tough game on Sunday night. Closing out games has been a problem for them, as they’ve led late in all 4 losses this year. If they can get a few of their issues worked out, they’ll be a dangerous team come playoff time.
5 New Orleans Saints The Saints have had close games the past two weeks, but come out on the good side of the win-loss column both times. The way this year is going, teams can’t ask for much more than that.
6 New York Jets The Jets may own a 9-3 record and sit only one game behind the Patriots for the AFC East, but they have built that record by beating teams at or below .500 (save for Week 2 versus New England). They will have to regroup after a 45-3 embarrassment at home hosting division rival Miami.
7 Chicago Bears The Bears, winners of five straight, aren’t putting up spectacular offensive numbers but when you allow just 84 rushing yards per game on D, that helps make up the difference. Their last four games is probably the toughest four game stretch that any team has to end with, but the do have a one game cushion over Green Bay.
8 Green Bay Packers The Packers notched a win after the previous weeks’ loss to Atlanta but they had better not look past Detroit to their game against the Patriots, they only beat the Lions by two last time they squared off.
9 Philadelphia Eagles Philly bounced back a week after their loss to the Bears and took out the Texans at home. Their remaining schedule is less than easy and there isn’t much room for error if they hope to have a shot at some home playoff games.
10 New York Giants The Giants blew out the Redskins to keep pace with the Eagles, and in two weeks the G-Men will have their chance to even the season series against the Eagles. They also have tough games at Minnesota and at Green Bay left on their dockett.
11 Kansas City Chiefs After suffering a bad loss to the Broncos earlier this season, the Chiefs rebounded with a 10-6 victory to take a surprise two-game lead in the AFC West. Next week is a huge game against the Chargers in San Diego which could put Kansas City in control of the division.
12 Tampa Bay Bucs Tampa Bay had a shot at taking the lead late in the game, but Josh Freeman threw an untimely interception on their final drive of the game and the Bucs now find themselves three games behind division leader Atlanta.
13 Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning is in the midst of the worst streak of his career concerning interceptions, and a three-game losing streak punctuated by a 38-35 OT loss at home to Dallas is tough to swallow. The Colts travel to Tennessee to play on a short week; no starters will be resting in late games this season.
14 Jacksonville Jaguars Everybody had money on the Jaguars holding a one-game lead in the AFC South after Week 13, right? Good, because Jacksonville is in that situation after a 17-6 drubbing of the Titans. The Jaguars host a rejuvenated Raiders team next week.
15 San Diego Chargers The traditional Chargers comeback might be on-hold after a 28-13 loss to the Raiders which results in a season sweep for Oakland. Next week’s match-up with the Chiefs may decide whether or not San Diego gets invited to the postseason.
16 Oakland Raiders For a few weeks, the Raiders looked quite listless; after a huge 28-13 win to take the season series over San Diego, Oakland is all of a sudden back in the picture for the AFC West. A visit to the AFC South-leading Jaguars awaits.
17 St. Louis Rams Saint Louis came out of the Arizona game with an ugly win, but a win that kept them in first place. For a team written off at the beginning of the year, just having playoff talk this late into the season is impressive in itself.
18 Miami Dolphins Inconsistency returned to Miami as the Dolphins lost an ugly home game 13-10 to the Browns; at 6-6, every game might be their last for playoff eligibility this season. A tough game awaits against the Jets next week.
19 Cleveland Browns Cleveland came out victorious once again on Sunday, improving their record to 5-7. With remaining games against Buffalo and Cincinnati, its conceivable that they could finish at or above .500 for just the third time since the football returned to Cleveland in 1999.
20 Houston Texans One year after their first winning season of 9-7, the Texans find themselves needing to win out the season to match that mark after a 34-24 loss to the Eagles. The season has not gone as planned for Houston, and while still in the AFC South race they may be playing more for pride than anything else at this point.
21 Seattle Seahawks Seattle is tied for first place but will need to either have the Rams drop a few games or they’ll have to settle the score agains them in week 17. A wildcard from the NFC West isn’t happening, so it’s division title or bust.
22 Minnesota Vikings Favre took a shot early and was out for the game. It didn’t matter much as Adrian Peterson ran amok as his campaign to remind everyone that he’s the best running back in the league continues. Why he has 6 games, not including the Washington game, with under 20 carries is beyond me.
23 Dallas Cowboys The Cowboys racked up another win in their post-Phillips era, this time via an overtime thriller against the Colts. The Cowboys forced Peyton Manning into throwing four interceptions and the D also scored two TDs.
24 Washington Redskins To say this Redskins team is a mess is an understatement. The problems go beyond the Albert Haynesworth debacle and it’s hard to imagine these guys putting up much of a fight over the next four weeks.
25 Tennessee Titans Tennessee’s decline has been surprising in past weeks, to say the least; a 17-6 loss to Jacksonville is just the latest in a string of disappointments for the Titans. A premier Thursday night game hosting the Colts awaits.
26 San Francisco 49ers San Francisco managed to take a lead against the Packers into the second quarter, and that was the end of that lead. Alas, they still have a shot at the playoffs despite their 4-8 records.
27 Denver Broncos Denver didn’t get to run up the score for a second time against the Chiefs, falling 10-6 in Kansas City and dropping further in the AFC West race. Luckily for the Broncos, a winnable game against the Cardinals awaits; unfortunately for Josh McDaniels, futility has lost him his chance to continue as head coach.
28 Buffalo Bills Despite Brett Favre dropping out due to injury, the Bills were unable to take advantage and were torched by Tarvaris Jackson to the tune of a 38-14 result. Buffalo hosts the Browns next week as they try to salvage some positives from a lost season.
29 Detroit Lions At least the Lions fans can enjoy watching Calvin Johnson tear it up. They are, for the most part, competitive week in and week out and you can tell the pieces are starting to fall into place…but how long until they can approach a winning season?
30 Arizona Cardinals Arizona is looking like they’ll finish last in the laughably bad NFC West. Does Larry Fitzgerald have his bags packed and house on the market yet?
31 Cincinnati Bengals The Bengals dreadful run continued Sunday with a last-minute loss to Saints. They’ll be lucky to win any more games this season and are on the fast-track to a top-5 draft pick.
32 Carolina Panthers Carolina isn’t getting any better as the weeks go on, losing again, and badly, to the Seahawks. The big question now is, assuming they land the number one pick in the draft, who do they take in a QB heavy year after drafting Clausen?

Commentary breakdown: Alex (AFC North, NFC East), Brian (AFC East/South/West), Pat (NFC North/South/West).

Alex Chalupka - Originally from the Baltimore-Washington area, Alex is a huge Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Terrapins fan who currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s also an Orioles fan and follows the NBA and other sports as objectively as possible. He enjoys writing about all sports and is the founder/editor of theSportsGeeks.com. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Brian Parker - Born in Maine, a state with no professional sports team, Brian Parker is nonetheless a huge statistics nerd and fan of the NFL and NHL, with some passing interest in the MLB. Regional ties see him as a Patriots and Red Sox fan, though a childhood of watching Patrick Roy tend the net as a Montreal Canadien puts him on the opposite side of his fellow New Englanders for that NHL rivalry. Brian has both an M.A. and a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Maine. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Pat Lussenhop - Pat was born and raised in rural Minnesota and is currently living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He graduated from St. John's University (MN) with a degree in psychology and went on to get his masters in school psychology at the University of Northern Iowa. He's a lifetime sports fan and follows basketball and football the most. His favorite teams include any team that has "Minnesota" in it's name and he enjoys sports statistics and any good sporting debates. - Follow him on Twitter here

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