2011 NFL Power Rankings – Week 14

NFL Power Rankings 2011 Pre 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Playoffs

Our rankings heading into Week 14:

Rank Team Comment
1 Green Bay Packers Green Bay won again, but for the first time this year they needed a last minute drive to win the game. After seeing Aaron Rodgers throw perfect passes on that final drive, any questions of how he can handle a close game late should be answered.
2 Baltimore Ravens The Ravens were never seriously challenged by the Browns on Sunday. The Ravens rushed for almost 300 yards. Ray Rice appears to be picking a good time to heat up.
3 San Francisco 49ers The 49ers bounced back from their loss to the Ravens with a shutout win over the Rams. They’ll face a big test in two weeks against the Steelers and if they can win out they will have 2nd place (at least) locked for the NFC playoffs.
4 New England Patriots The Patriots nearly let a 31-3 lead turn into a loss in their 31-24 win over the hapless Colts, but they managed to hold on in a rough fourth quarter for their 9th win of the season. New England will travel to Washington next week looking to enter double-digits for wins.
5 New Orleans Saints The Saints handled the Suh-less Lions with relative ease and remain just one game behind the 49ers for the second seed and a first round bye. 3 of their final 4 games will be against teams that probably won’t be in the playoffs.
6 Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh took care of business against the Bengals with a 28-point second quarter. They can clinch a playoff berth this weekend if one of several scenarios takes place.
7 Houston Texans T.J. Yates led the Texans to a win in his first career NFL start, 17-10 over the Atlanta Falcons. Houston is guaranteed to have a winning season now; they look to continue their winning ways at Cincinnati next week.
8 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta dropped a big game to Houston, a game which should have been theirs considering the Texans are down to their 3rd string QB. With a very tight NFC wild card race, those games can come back to haunt a team.
9 Dallas Cowboys What a disaster. They Cowboys shot themselves in the foot one too many times and lost to the Cardinals in overtime. Fortunately for them, every other team in the division lost too.
10 New York Jets New York struggled early but eventually pulled away from the Redskins for a 34-19 road victory. Next week, the Jets host the Chiefs hoping to keep pace in the AFC East.
11 Detroit Lions Detroit dropped their second in a row to the Saints and were not able to separate themselves from the Bears. They need to handle business against the Vikings this week and hope the Bears continue to fall.
12 Denver Broncos All he does is win; another late comeback orchestrated by Tim Tebow resulted in a last-second 35-32 win over the Vikings. Next week, Denver hosts the Bears; a team who would likely rather have Tebow at QB than their current situation.
13 Chicago Bears The past two weeks have been a disaster for the Bears. Back up QB Caleb Hanie threw 3 INTs again, the Bears scored just 3 points, and worst of all lost Matt Forte for possibly the rest of the season. They are still in the running for a wild card bid, but for how long?
14 New York Giants Eli Manning and the Giants gave the Packers everything they had, but it wasn’t quite enough. The MVP-to-be led Green Bay into field goal range in the last minute, and the game-winning kick kept the Pack undefeated.
15 Oakland Raiders Oakland was outplayed by the surprisingly resurgent Dolphins and lost 34-14, hurting their grasp on the AFC West lead. It won’t get much easier for the Raiders next week as they travel to Lambeau Field to play the Packers.
16 Cincinnati Bengals The Bengals have lost to the Ravens or Steelers in 3 of the last 4 weeks, proving that they’re still a year or two away (at least) from contending for an AFC North title.
17 Tennessee Titans Chris Johnson rumbled for 153 yards in a 23-17 win over the Bills to keep the Titans two games back of Houston in the AFC South race. The Titans will need to win at home against the Saints to keep their divisional hopes alive.
18 San Diego Chargers Philip Rivers regained his expected form in a 38-14 Monday Night Football win over the Jaguars. The Chargers still sit two games out of the lead in the AFC West with Buffalo coming to the west coast next week.
19 Buffalo Bills All thoughts of the strong opening to Buffalo’s season have faded away, with the Bills losing 23-17 to the Titans this week. Now 4 games back of the AFC East-leading Patriots, Buffalo travels to San Diego next weekend.
20 Seattle Seahawks Seattle beat up on the Eagles and basically put the nail in the coffin on their season. This is a team that can use the remaining games to get some things figured out for next year.
21 Philadelphia Eagles Andy Reid appears to have totally lost control of this team. I’m not sure how he’s still employed after getting dominated by the Seahawks.
22 Carolina Panthers Carolina notched its 4th win on the year behind Cam Newton’s 3 rushing TD, 1 passing TD (and almost a receiving TD) day. If he can pull out a few more wins, the rookie of the year award will be a lock for him, if it isn’t already.
23 Miami Dolphins After stumbling through the opening of the season, Miami has put together solid victories; the latest, a 34-14 trouncing of the Raiders. Miami hosts the so-called “Dream Team” when Philadelphia comes to Florida next weekend.
24 Arizona Cardinals Arizona provided the upset of the week, taking out the streaking Cowboys in overtime. Can they pull off another this week against the 49ers?
25 Kansas City Chiefs Despite not putting much offense on the board, Kansas City was in front on the scoreboard 10-3 against the Bears when the game was over. The win keeps the Chiefs in the hunt for the AFC West, though two games back of Denver and Oakland, as they prepare to face the Jets.
26 Tampa Bay Bucs The skid continued to 6 losses in a row this week. Jacksonville is up next in a game that may decide which team is the worst football team in Florida.
27 Minnesota Vikings Although QB Christian Ponder threw what ended up being the game deciding interception, it was probably his best game of the year, and it came against a good defense. That’s a good sign for the Vikings moving forward.
28 Jacksonville Jaguars The first game of the post-Jack Del Rio era for Jacksonville didn’t play out much differently; the Jaguars lost at home on the Monday Night Football stage to San Diego. The Jaguars host Tampa Bay next week as they try to salvage anything from a lost season.
29 Washington Redskins The Redskins led for large portions of their game against the Jets but turnovers doomed them as the Jets scored 21 points in the 4th quarter to win.
30 Cleveland Browns The Ravens were never seriously challenged by the Browns on Sunday. The Ravens rushed for almost 300 yards. Ray Rice appears to be picking a good time to heat up.
31 St. Louis Rams The Rams fell to 2-10 and look destined for a top 3 pick in the next draft. Their remaining schedule is tough so they may not see win number 3 this year.
32 Indianapolis Colts In a rivalry game–with Dan Orlovsky at QB–the Colts roared to a 21-point fourth quarter but still came up short in a 31-24 loss to the Patriots. The Colts play Baltimore next weekend, and the opportunities to finally pick up a win are becoming fewer with each passing week.

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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