NFL Power Rankings Week 15: The NFC Opens Wide

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NFL Power Rankings

Dec 8, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

A week ago, it looked like the playoff situation in the NFC was pretty stable, and NFL power rankings everywhere supported that.

Seattle and Carolina were unstoppable, the Detroit Lions would win the NFC North simply because nobody else could be bothered to, Philadelphia and Dallas would play until one of them choked, and the Saints and 49ers would be the teams nobody wanted to play.

Some of that may remain true, but Seattle and Carolina have been stopped by San Francisco and New Orleans (respectively), the Eagles and Cowboys actually look like a competent fight to the finish, and the Lions refuse to slam the door on their divisional rivals. Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals won’t go away in the wildcard chase.

All told, there are 10 teams still very, very alive in the NFC playoff hunt, and very few sure things. This is when the NFL is at its best.

Also, with Seattle losing and Denver winning, we have an interesting situation with two teams at 11-2 at the top of the rankings. I am fully prepared for you to disagree with their ordering, but you’ll have to click on to do that.

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  • Barry Wood

    Why are you ranking Denver now for what you think they are gonna do later? Last week Denver is 2 and Seattle is 1. Seattle loses to San Francisco and Denver wins, and puts 51 points on the board, 500+ yds total offense, 130+ yds rushing 397 yds passing- in 15 degree weather. The #1 team right now is Denver. No one in their right mind bets against Peyton Manning. The cold weather deal is over. No other Quarterback in over 15 years has thrown 4 TDs with 0 ints in 15 degree weather . 39-59. The man is awesome. If their defense steps up a notch and the team stays relatively healthy, barring a train wreck, they are Superbowl bound.

    • Leslie Nevarez

      Totally agree! I’m very proud of my team, broncos<3

      • Barry Wood

        The bottom line? Against any team I would pick Peyton over anyone, any day. You simply can’t bet against him and a team he leads. How happy those coaches must be having him there.!

    • Dean Holden

      It’s tough to call Denver and Seattle anything but 1a and 1b. They don’t play each other, and they have few common games, so it’s tough to say which is better. The easy way out would be to put Denver in first because they won and Seattle lost. But they’re both 11-2, and as good as Peyton Manning is, Seattle has the more complete team. On a neutral field, I would expect the Seahawks to be a slight favorite (maybe by 1.5 points or so).

      Also, for what it’s worth, the “cold weather” narrative never amounted to anything more than meaningless conjecture. Being a primarily dome QB for most of his career, most of his cold weather games to this point were playoff games. That will skew anybody’s numbers.