NFL's Top 5 Power Teams - Week 14 (SNN/SI)

Dr.C

Week 14 is a weekend of intense showdowns, renewed rivalries, and fierce division battles will determine the complexion of the NFL playoffs.  The pressure will increase, tension will be high, and one mistake can cost a team a post-season call or a coach his job.   Either you win or go home wondering what could have been for your team in 2019.   As the playoff race continues to heat-up, the New Orleans Saints were the first to punch a ticket to the 2019 NFL Playoffs.  New Orleans’ Thanksgiving victory over the Atlanta Falcons secured the team’s postseason.  The Houston Texans upset the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens handed the San Francisco 49ers their second lose. 

Justin Tucker Wins for Ravens
© Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

1.      Ravens (10-2)

The Ravens have earned a spot at the top of the AFC, Power Rankings, and the NFL.   Under the leadership of Lamar Jackson, they are on an eight game-winning streak.  Jackson has proven why he is one of the front runners for the NFL’s Most Valuable Players.  The Ravens has defeated some of the toughest teams in the league; the 49ers, Patriots, Seahawks and Texans, but Sunday will be a challenging test as they face the fierce defense of the Buffalo Bills and quarterback Josh Allen.  

Justin Tucker was a God sent when he kicked a 49-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to defeat the 49ers helping the Ravens to prove that they deserve recognition as the top team in the NFL.   They are preparing to face the 9-3 Bills on the road at 12 noon CST on CBS.  With a victory this Sunday, the Ravens will clinch a playoff spot. 

The Baltimore Ravens have not been to a Super Bowl since 2013.

Drew Brees leads Saints
© Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

2.      Saints (10-2)

Sunday is sure to be a showdown between the top two NFC teams.  The New Orleans Saints will host the San Francisco 49ers in the Mercedes Benz Super Dome for what is sure to be the fiercest showdown of the season.  It is a battle of the NFC giants, and the Saints have had extra time to prepare thanks to the Thanksgiving victory over the Atlanta Falcons.  The 49ers have been dominant all season, but the Baltimore Ravens exploited the chink in their armor on Monday night when they defeated San Francisco on the road 20-17.  Drew Brees said that controlling the tempo will be key.  

He told FOX News 8, “You have got to have a plan. You cannot let those guys ruin the game for you. That is our execution. That’s our awareness. You can’t just drop back and hold the ball forever and let them come get you. You’ve got to do enough things where you control the tempo, you dictate how the game is being played. You try to fend those guys off the best you can with the things you’re doing. Listen, are they going to make some plays? Yeah, they will make some plays. They’re a very good defense. We’ve just got to (have) as many positive plays we can, as many good outcomes as we can to so we can sustain the ball, possess it and score points.”

The New Orleans Saints have not been to a Super Bowl since defeating the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 44 in 2009.

Russell Wilson in a MVP Candidate
© Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

3.     Seahawks (10-2)

The Seattle Seahawks are first in the NFC West and are on a mission to clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Rams on Sunday night.  The playoff race is still unclear and far from settled  The Seahawks added another layer of excitement with their victory on Monday night to cap the NFL with five 10-2  teams with a 10-2 record.   The Seahawks’ rise culminated when they changed the landscape of rankings by dismantling the NFC’s no. 1 seed San Francisco 49ers with a quarter of the season remaining.  Seattle  (No. 2 in the NFC Playoff picture) will answer playoff implications on the road when they faceoff with the Los Angeles Rams at the Coliseum  Sunday night at 7:20 p.m. CST on NBC.  

The Seattle Seahawks have not been to a Super Bowl since 2015.

Niners lose to Ravens
© Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

4.     49ers (10-2)

Week 13 dealt the 49ers their second loss as the Ravens continued to flex their offensive and defensive muscles.  The San Francisco 49ers had the chance to defeat what most are calling the best football team in the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens.  Dan Hanzus credited the Ravens’ win to the 49ers’ inability to make the big play in the second half, “The 49ers showed they were up to the challenge in a showdown with the red-hot Ravens, but their inability to make the big play in the second half -- not to mention, the impossibly accurate leg of Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker -- haunted the visiting team in a 20-17 loss. The defeat, coupled with a Seahawks win on Monday night over the Vikings, drops San Francisco from No. 1 all the way to No. 5 in the NFC playoff picture.” — 

The loss pushed the 49ers to second place in the NFC West.  They remain a threat to the New Orleans Saints as they battle for the NFC title on Sunday in the Mercedes Benz Superdome.   San Francisco will face the New Orleans Saints this Sunday at noon CST on FOX.

The San Francisco 49ers have not been to a Super Bowl since 1995.

Patriots lose to the Texans
© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

 

5.     Patriots (10-2)

New England suffered two baffling road losses and is losing momentum.  Tom Brady appeared visibly frustrated as the Houston Texans dominated his team.  The six-time Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots has been the AFC East Champions since 2008.  The Buffalo Bills are only one game behind the defending Champs and the AFC East may not be clear until week 16.  The Patriots are swimming in unchartered territory only averaging 18 points per game, a number 2 defense that keeps them in the game and facing the possibility of suffering their first home defeat in 10 years.  Is this the beginning of the changing of the guards in the AFC East?  The Kansas City Chiefs will help us answer some of these questions on this Sunday at 3:25 CST broadcast on CBS.  

The New England Patriots were the Super Bowl Champions last year.

Will we see another change at the top of the rankings after Week 14?  The NFL World awaits...

Comments (1)
No. 1-1
Saints09CS
Saints09CS

As long as the team shows up for the remaining games, they’re all but guaranteed a home-field advantage in the post-season.


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