2016 NFL Week 14 Powre Rankings
1. Oakland Raiders (10-2).
The Raiders blew a game at home against the Falcons, and lost a rain-soaked slugfest against Kansas City in which Derek Carr had his worst game of the season. Other than that, the Raiders haven’t been exposed like Dallas was in Minneapolis in Week 13.
2. Dallas Cowboys (11-1).
It’s just a matter of time before this team loses and goes one and done. They will face a defense that does not necessarily have to bring a safety into the box and leave single high safety looks with man coverage, which is what Dak Prescott has seen in the great majority of his pass attempts this season (other than Week 1 and 13, and the primetime game against the Eagles, before they ran out of gas late in that game).
3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3).
The Chiefs can win anywhere in any weather. Both their offense and defense are portable. Only two or three other teams can say this.
4. Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1).
What you saw on Sunday Night Football is closer to what Seattle really is, rather than the anomaly that was on display in Tampa. Earl Thomas being out will change the way Seattle plays coverage hereafter, though. Particularly with the amount of Cover 1 that Seattle plays with Thomas.
5. New England Patriots (10-2).
The Giants played a supposedly “soft schedule”, while it is the same schedule Dallas has played, New England has played offensive juggernauts such as Cleveland, Buffalo, the Jets, the Dolphins, a Bengals team without Tyler Eifert, Pittsburgh without Ben Roethlisberger, and statistically, their defense is still barely average as a result of facing these teams.
Yet everyone automatically puts New England in the Super Bowl as if it is a given they will even get to the AFC Championship. Without Rob Gronkowski, things change for them offensively; particularly with no consistent downfield threat off the vintage Tom Brady stretch play action pass against rolled coverage.
6. Detroit Lions (8-4).
The Lions are in good shape, they finally played a game without having to come back and win late.
7. New York Football Giants (8-4).
Ben McAdoo is the primary problem with this team. Teams aren’t as capable of stifling his team’s offense as he has been all season, and no adjustments have been made. The Giants would be 3-9 without the efforts of their defense right now.
8. Denver Broncos (8-4).
Denver needed this win in the worst way, and it was not easy. If Blake Bortles were a competent NFL QB, the B-men may have had to sweat out back to back overtime games.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5).
Tampa is rolling right now, and another reminder: Jameis Winston is in 2013 Mode.
10. Atlanta Falcons (7-5).
The Falcons have some issues on both sides of the ball. Julio Jones reportedly has turf toe, and they are already without Adrian Clayborn and Desmond Trufant, two of their three best defensive players for the rest of the season.
11. Miami Dolphins (7-5).
Miami picked the wrong time to lay an egg: they have now lost a critical tiebreaker (if Baltimore does not win the AFC North) and now have another conference loss, which is an area where Denver will have the tiebreaker advantage should the teams somehow finish tied at the end of the regular season. A crushing and embarrassing defeat at the same time.
12. Baltimore Ravens (7-5).
The Ravens beat the Fins on their own by purely outclassing their opponent in the coaching and execution departments.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5).
Pittsburgh, however, did not. One of the most slanted officiating games this decade, and several knew it was coming with the dubious six-point line on the point spread, coupled with a Ravens loss in the time slot before the Steelers played. Sometimes we need to be reminded of what goes on behind the scenes with professional sports leagues.
14. Buffalo Bills (6-6).
Still have no idea why people thought the Bills could score enough points to beat Oakland.
15. Washington Redskins (6-5-1).
The Redskins can just about forget it, even if the Giants finish 1-3 to conclude the season.
16. Minnesota Vikings (6-6).
Alex Boone spews more gibberish quotes than he blocks defensive linemen. At least the other offensive linemen on Minnesota’s squad don’t talk, because none of them block.
17. Tennessee Titans (6-6).
The Titans can win the AFC South if they can just take care of the ball. This team has holes at cornerback, however, so the expectations are not lofty. Winning the division would be a nice springboard into 2017 at the very least.
18. Indianapolis Colts (6-6).
Andrew Luck and the Colts won a game they needed to win, even if the Jets laid down and quit on their coach.
19. Green Bay Packers (6-6).
False hope. They’re not usurping the Lions for the division.
20. Houston Texans (6-6).
Read Texans’ owner Bob McNair’s comments about Brock Osweiler without laughing.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (4-7-1).
Too little, too late, Marv.
22. Arizona Cardinals (5-6-1).
That tie against Seattle may be the very reason the Cards do not make the playoffs, but they may also have a large hand in the Redskins missing the playoffs, as well, after securing the head to head tiebreaker on Sunday.
23. San Diego Chargers (5-7).
The Chargers played well enough to win for the most part, but Jameis Winston outplayed Philip Rivers.
24. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7).
25. New Orleans Saints (5-7).
The Saints were getting false hope about a playoff berth or even the division, but those hopes were dashed by the Lions.
26. Los Angeles Rams (4-8).
Eric Dickerson won’t be back on the sidelines until Jeff Fisher is gone as head coach of the Rams. He’ll have to wait another year for that.
27. Carolina Panthers (4-8).
It’s amazing to watch Cam Newton when the Panthers are winning versus when they are losing.
28. Chicago Bears (3-9).
At least the Bears didn’t quit on John Fox. They just have no talent.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10).
Imagine of Blake Bortles belonged in the NFL?
30. New York Jets (3-9).
It is a shame to watch this team quit on Todd Bowles. Jets should have called Ryan Fitzpatrick’s bluff and let Bryce Petty play, since a) they had to know Fitzpatrick was not going to replicate 2015, and b) Petty couldn’t have been any worse.
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-11).
This was the year that the 49ers needed all those picks that Trent Baalke procured in the flurry of moves he made three years ago. A putrid record and a five-rounds deep draft. But all bets are off if they end up looking for another head coach, which COULD happen.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-12).
Insert lame “Browns lost their bye week, too” jokes.