NFL Power Rankings Week 15: The NFC Opens Wide

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SLR’s Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: 32-25

NFL Power Rankings

Dec 5, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Houston Texans defensive back Kareem Jackson (25) nearly intercepts a pass after pushing off of Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Mike Brown (12) in the fourth quarter at EverBank Field. Brown was penalized for pass interference. The Jacksonville Jaguars best the Houston Texans 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

32. Houston Texans (2-11) NC

Just like everyone predicted, the Texans are the worst team in the NFL by a wide margin, and Gary Kubiak was the first coach to be fired. This team is talented, though. Give them a new head coach and a No. 1 overall quarterback, and watch them be a contender in 2014.

31. Atlanta Falcons (3-10) NC

Where do they even start the rebuild? This team is bad from top to bottom, but they have so many apparently talented pieces. Probably a good idea to start with the lines and build out from there, but that’s assuming they keep the head coach and quarterback. Tony Gonzalez deserves better than this for his final season.

30. Washington Redskins (3-10) NC

Congratulations to the Washington Redskins for dethroning the Tampa Bay Bucs as the most dysfunctional team in the NFL. The quarterback hates the coach, the coach hates the owner, the owner hates everyone, and everyone hates the team name. Okay, maybe “hate” (or “everyone”) is too strong a word, but regardless, to say it’s time for some changes is a massive understatement.

29. Minnesota Vikings (3-9-1) ▼4

They did just about everything they could to win in the final two minutes against Baltimore. Everything except get a defensive stop, anyway. Adrian Peterson is now the biggest question for the Vikings, both in terms of his current health and his long-term plans.

28. Buffalo Bills (4-9) ▼1

It’s impossible to stick up for the Bills this week, although like the Jaguars, they’re been playing for next season for most of this season. Such is the life of the rookie head coach/QB combo. They’ll need better play from their secondary and quarterback next year, but the emergence of Kiko Alonso is a huge boom for them.

27. Oakland Raiders  (4-9) ▼1

The Raiders are bad. In other news, water is wet, and Al Davis really wanted to hire Matt Millen after the Lions fired him. So yeah, business as usual in the Black Hole.

26. Cleveland Browns (4-9) ▲2

You need only see the first 59 minutes of their game against New England to see that there is talent on this team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. You need only see the last minute of that game to see why the Browns have only won four games this year.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9) ▲4

Like the Jaguars, this season might have turned out differently if not for the 0-8 first half. The weird thing is, Greg Schiano may have actually known what he was doing with Josh Freeman. Mike Glennon is playing well, and Freeman is irrelevant in Minnesota.

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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.