2010 NFL Power Rankings – Week 15

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

With three weeks go go, things are continuing to shape up. The top 5 remains the same this week, but losses by the Jets, Bears and Packers shake up the bottom half of the top 10.

Rank Team Comment
1 New England Patriots Though the field was barely visible with the conditions in Chicago, one thing is clear after a New England 36-7 victory; the Patriots are back in the playoffs in what was predicted to be a “down” year. Green Bay visits next week.
2 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta rattled off their seventh win in a row to keep their division lead over the Saints. They have two winnable games left plus a big match-up against the Saints in two weeks to lock up home field advantage in the playoffs.
3 Pittsburgh Steelers The Steelers defense took advantage of the lowly Bengals this weekend. However, the offense will have to put more points on the board if they hope to beat the Jets on Sunday.
4 Baltimore Ravens The Ravens escaped Houston with a win after blowing a 28-7 lead. They’re not the first team to be lucky to escape a lesser team this year, but they’ll have to play a complete game to take care of business against New Orleans this weekend.
5 New Orleans Saints Each week the Saints look more and more like last year’s dominant team. After dismantling St. Louis, they now have to face Baltimore on the road in a game that could decide the NFC South title and perhaps home field advantage.
6 Philadelphia Eagles Mike Vick and the Eagles took care of business in Dallas on Sunday night. This weekend’s matchup with the Giants will likely be for the division title.
7 New York Giants The Giants beat the reeling Vikings despite a terrible performance from Eli Manning. He will have to take better care of the football for them to have any chance at a deep playoff run.
8 Chicago Bears The Bears will still likely be a playoff team, but the Patriots showed them that they are several steps below the elite level after they thrashed the Bears in the Snow Bowl of the year. Now they face another outdoor, cold weather game in Minnesota on Monday night.
9 New York Jets In the past two games against division rivals, the Jets have failed to score a touchdown; they’ve managed only three field goals in two straight losses. As a result, the playoffs are no longer assured and a tough road game in Pittsburgh awaits.
10 Green Bay Packers The Packers had a chance to capitalize on the Bears stumble but played an awful game in Detroit. Sure Aaron Rodgers got knocked out of the game with a concussion, but a team that has been one of the better teams in the NFC lately should be able to overcome that against a team like Detroit.
11 Indianapolis Colts After one of the roughest stretches of Peyton Manning’s career, he rebounded with a solid performance in Tennessee on the Thursday Night Football spotlight to stay in the AFC South race. Now the Colts get a long week to prepare to host the Jaguars in a game that may decide the division’s playoff representative.
12 Tampa Bay Bucs Tampa Bay grabbed a much needed win, although without some help from other teams they won’t find themselves in the playoffs. No matter what happens, this has been a surprising year for the Bucs and something they can definitely build off of.
13 Kansas City Chiefs As soon as it was announced that Matt Cassel would be inactive due to an appendectomy, the Chiefs became clear underdogs. With a 31-0 loss to the Chargers, Kansas City’s division lead is cut to a single game. A road game in St. Louis awaits, and may be a must-win if the Chiefs want to keep ahead in the playoff race.
14 Jacksonville Jaguars The Jaguars fell behind early but managed to put a win together in a game they needed to win to maintain a one-game lead over the Colts for the AFC South. Next week is a visit to Lucas Oil Stadium; a win could put the playoffs out of reach for Peyton Manning.
15 San Diego Chargers Last week was a speedbump on the Chargers road to the AFC West title; with a commanding 31-0 win over the Chiefs, San Diego sits only one game back and has a legitimate chance to make the postseason.
16 Miami Dolphins In a very sloppy game, Miami did just enough to pull off a 10-6 victory over the hated rival Jets. The Dolphins scored all of their points in the first quarter but the Jets were held to only two field goals. Miami hosts the Bills next week.
17 Oakland Raiders The see-saw continues in Oakland; one week after handily beating the Chargers, the Raiders blew a sizable lead to the Jaguars and hurt their chances of staying in the AFC West race. Oakland hosts a Broncos team that they beat big time earlier in the season next week; winning is of the utmost importance to keep any hope alive.
18 St. Louis Rams The Rams weren’t expected to beat the Saints, but they really weren’t even competitive. Seattle keeps hanging around so the Rams need to finish strong to win their division.
19 Houston Texans On a night that will be remembered for the end of Brett Favre’s start streak, the Texans had a chance for a memorable night of their own. Unfortunately, after coming back from down 28-7 to send their game with the Ravens to OT, Matt Schaub threw a pick-6 to lose any hope of a repeat 9-7 record. Next week Houston plays Tennessee in a game to decide last place in the AFC South.
20 Cleveland Browns Colt McCoy needs to return soon so that the Browns can continue their rebuilding effort.
21 Minnesota Vikings Perhaps the collapsing of the dome was symbolic of this Vikings season, but calling this season a collapse might be putting it nicely. Moving their final game to TCF Bank Stadium on the U of M campus will provide a brief diversion from the rest of the year.
22 Dallas Cowboys The Cowboys got beat by the Eagles on Sunday night, ending any outside chances of a playoff berth. Their main concern now should be getting Tony Romo healthy and regrouping the team for next year.
23 Tennessee Titans The Titans started the season off with some good wins over quality opponents; somewhere along the way, however, it all went wrong. You could point to the Vince Young situation or Randy Moss acquisition as indicators of a downturn, but the truth of the matter is that the Titans must now win out for the season just to get to .500; likely not enough to make the playoffs this year. The Titans host Houston next week.
24 Seattle Seahawks Seattle has had their opportunities to hurdle past the Rams and take over the division lead, but another loss makes it that much more likely that we will see a sub .500 team in the playoffs.
25 Washington Redskins The Redskins lost yet again this week after a blown hold on a PAT would have taken the game to overtime. They cut their holder/punter Hunter Smith, but this organization’s problems will require more than that to solve.
26 San Francisco 49ers In what was sort of a season saving week, the 49ers beat the Seahawks to stay in the division race in the worst division in football.
27 Arizona Cardinals Arizona snapped their long losing streak by roughing up the Broncos 43-13. They are still just two games out of first place, but with teams ahead of them playing each other coming up, Arizona will have to hope for some ties (and some miracles) to reach the playoffs.
28 Buffalo Bills Playoff hopes have long been gone, but Buffalo can still play a role in who makes the AFC seeding out of the AFC East; after a gutsy home win over Cleveland, the Bills play Miami, New England, and the Jets to end the year.
29 Detroit Lions A seven to three game would almost indicate a game played in awful conditions, but the Lions walked away with a win at home over the Packers in the confines of their indoor stadium. It’s sad to say, but at this point that win does them more harm than good as it impacts their draft position for next year.
30 Denver Broncos In the 2010 NFL, interim coaches have generally been successful; not so in Denver, where the Broncos lost 43-13 to a dreadful Arizona team. The Broncos visit Oakland next weekend.
31 Cincinnati Bengals The Bengals defense played well against Pittsburgh, but Carson Palmer lost the game with two pick sixes. They’ll look to replace him with their top-5 pick come April.
32 Carolina Panthers Carolina fell to Atlanta without much of a fight this week, which has been the story basically all year. They are currently the worst team in the NFL and I would imagine they’ll stay that way to lock up the top draft pick.

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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