NFL Power Rankings Week 14

Wednesday December 11th, 2013

The Seahawks (11-2) are the first team to lose and stay No. 1 in the weekly Power Rankings.
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Hard to believe there are but three weeks left in the NFL's regular season. Yet, here we are ... with the same teams in the top five that were there after Week 1. The order for the first SI Power Rankings of the season went like this: Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, New Orleans, New England.

There has been a lot of movement elsewhere -- Carolina kicked off at No. 26 and Houston at No. 6, for example -- but the teams that looked to be the main title contenders in September are still there three months later.

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Can any of the teams currently situated at six through about 18 rock the boat?

NFL Power Rankings
1Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 1
And with that, the Seahawks become the first team to lose and stay No. 1 in our Power Rankings. Hard to knock 'em too much for a two-point loss to a desperate 49ers team in San Francisco. If anything, that game just reiterated how tightly compacted the NFC's best teams are, talent-wise.
2Denver Broncos
Last Week: 4
Sure, the Broncos have lost twice on the road, but they're 7-0 at home and averaging 42.3 points in those games. Having a kicker who can bomb 64-yard field goals certainly helps.
3San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 5
For as up-and-down as the 49ers have been this season, it might surprise some to see that they're a 3-0 finish away from besting their 2012 record. Two more wins and they're back as a dangerous postseason threat.
4New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 6
Hey, the Saints won a prime-time home game! That's about as surprising as finding Elf somewhere on TV in December. Their trips outside the Big Easy remain a potential bugaboo.
5New England Patriots
Last Week: 3
The Patriots fall to five on this math: Minus three spots for the Rob Gronkowski knee injury, plus one spot for being able to play poorly for 58 minutes and still win.
6Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 2
Assuming the Panthers can hold onto a playoff spot, they have three weeks to rediscover their pass defense. Would you trust the secondary we saw Sunday in New Orleans to shut down the passing attack of Philadelphia, Dallas or any of the top three NFC North teams come Round 1?
7Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 7
The Lincoln Financial Field crew had a harder time moving shovels through the snow Sunday than LeSean McCoy did dancing around the Lions.
8Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 8
Cincinnati has allowed 24 or more points five times this season ... and has won four of those games, including every one since a 24-21 Week 1 setback. Whether you're buying this team as a contender or not, it has shown the ability to win pretty much any style of game.
9Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 9
The Chiefs displayed Sunday one of the biggest reasons they might be dangerous come January: special teams. Quintin Demps ranks No. 2 in yards per kick return; Dexter McCluster is eighth on punts.
10Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 15
Peyton Manning may have a suggestion for where folks who don't believe Miami can win in cold weather can shove that opinion. The Dolphins now have wins over Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and San Diego. If they make the playoffs, they'll have earned it.
11Chicago Bears
Last Week: 18
Forget about breaking the bank for Jay Cutler or Josh McCown. With Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte on that offense, quarterbacks should be paying Chicago for the chance to start there.
12Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 12
The Colts clinched the underachieving AFC South Sunday, while at the same time all but locking themselves into the No. 4 seed by losing to Cincinnati. They ought to spend the next three weeks continuing to see what rookie WR Da'Rick Rogers can do to help their offense.
13Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 11
A fortuitously-timed homestand bolstered the Ravens' cause -- with their sweep of the Jets, Steelers and Vikings, the Ravens are now 6-1 at home. but they close with two of three away, and they're just 1-5 outside the Charm City.
14Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 15
The Cardinals registered a safety in the third quarter versus St. Louis Sunday. That it was pretty shocking that they didn't get another one on the Rams' next possession, which started at the 5, is a pretty decent indication of just how well this defense is playing.
15San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 20
Proud to say that Keenan Allen never slipped out of a Round 1 ranking on our pre-draft Big Boards last offseason, despite dealing with a knee injury. He's proving unequivocally why he deserved more attention from teams than he got once the draft actually rolled around.
16Detroit Lions
Last Week: 13
The Lions keep yo-yoing all over the Power Rankings, so it feels fitting to drop them right in the middle of the pack. They're in the playoffs as division champs with a 3-0 finish, but they haven't won three straight since Weeks 14-16 of 2011.
17Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 10
Like the Lions, predictably unpredictable. Dallas forced a grand total of zero punts in a painful Monday loss at Chicago. The defense has slipped from bad to comically awful.
18Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 23
Honestly, this feels too high for a Packers team that needed some key Atlanta dropped passes to get its first win in six games. There just aren't many teams aggressively climbing the ladder.
19New York Jets
Last Week: 30
Geno Smith's 88.6 QB rating in Sunday's win over Oakland was his best since a Week 5 victory at Atlanta. Better yet, Smith broke a rather absurd five-game touchdown pass-less skid.
20Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 25
It's too bad that the Jaguars' late schedule is mostly devoid of teams feeling playoff desperation. Jacksonville's playing well enough that it would break some hearts given the chance.
21Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 24
With another rushing touchdown Sunday, Bobby Rainey's up to four on the year. That's 80 percent of the Buccaneers' team total (five) and more than the number posted by guys like Reggie Bush, Steven Jackson, C.J. Spiller or Trent Richardson.
22Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 19
You know it's been a weird year in Pittsburgh when fans can walk out of Heinz Field thinking, "Man, I wish the Steelers had as much of a killer instinct as the Pirates."
23Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 28
Why is Cleveland up five spots after a brutal loss to the Patriots? Because this is a 7-9 or 8-8 team trapped in the Browns' uniforms.
24Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 22
Pretty sure it's against NFL rules, but the Vikings might want to at least ask if it's OK to turn Adrian Peterson into a bubble boy for the final three weeks, just to be safe.
25New York Giants
Last Week: 16
The Giants have had at least one turnover in every game this season; Sunday marked the eighth time they've had at least three TOs in a game. New York's 1-7 in those games.
26Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 26
When Tony Gonzalez is dropping passes in huge moments, as he did on a fourth quarter 4th-and-5 Sunday, then it's probably time to shut it down for the season.
27St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 17
Remember when Jared Cook caught seven passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns back in Week 1? He's topped 50 yards receiving in just one game since.
28Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 21
Tennessee's position in the AFC South (second, behind the Colts) says more about the struggles Houston and Jacksonville have endured than anything else. The Titans' 5-8 record would have them in third place or lower in six of the other seven divisions.
29Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 29
The Raiders of the last six weeks resemble more closely the team many expected all season. The most encouraging news throughout this slump has been that Oakland, now fourth in the league in rushing yards, has moved the ball on the ground no matter who's at running back.
30Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 27
An NFL-record 104 touchdowns were scored in Week 14. The Bills contributed nothing to that total, as they were the lone team of 32 unable to find the end zone last weekend.
31Houston Texans
Last Week: 32
The Texans are up out of the basement despite an 11-game losing streak because they at least appear to be trying. Granted, that effort has resembled T-ballers trying to turn a 4-6-3 double play -- and it led to Gary Kubiak's firing -- but it's still effort.
32Washington Redskins
Last Week: 31
On the other hand ... Washington has thrown in the towel completely. The only team with a worse point differential than Washington's minus-128 is Jacksonville at minus-171 -- and the Jaguars have won four of their past five games.

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