The Stance

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Week 14 NFL Power Rankings

 Rank  Last Week  Team   Record

 1  1   New England   10-2

The Patriots played a near flawless game Monday night as they destroyed the Jets. New England now faces the top two teams in the NFC North when they travel to Chicago and then host Green Bay. I’m intrigued.

 2  3   Atlanta   10-2

I’m not sure how they came back to beat Tampa Bay, but we’ll just go with the Bucs blew it. Atlanta needs home field advantage in the playoffs or else they will be in trouble. (Unless they play whoever comes out of the NFC West)

 3  5   Pittsburgh   9-3

Pittsburgh pulled out a win over the Ravens after trailing for pretty much the entire game. I’m glad I was right about picking the Steelers, but I can’t help but think Baltimore blew the game. Why was Joe Flacco passing in that situation?

 4  4   Baltimore   8-4

No shame in falling to the Steelers. However, I have found a disturbing trend. The Ravens have played four teams that I would describe as “good” or “top of the league”, compiling a record of 2-3 in those games. They beat the Jets in Week 1 and topped Pittsburgh without Ben Roethlisberger in Week 4, but since then they have lost to New England, Atlanta, and now Pittsburgh. Beating the Saints in two weeks would be a huge confidence boost.

 5  2   New York Jets   9-3

The Jets finally played a quality opponent after four weeks of awful to mediocre competition. Instead of making a statement in New England they allowed the Patriots to make said statement and then some. I’m not very high on this team right now. We should learn a lot about this club in two weeks when they travel to Pittsburgh.

 6  6   New Orleans   9-3

New Orleans has narrowly won the past two games over bad competition. Still, they keep winning as the NFC West leading Rams come to town.

 7  8   Green Bay   8-4

The Packers jump the Bears just because it is clear to me the Packers are just a better team than Chicago. I know the Bears have scoreboard on the Pack right now, but my eyeballs tell me Green Bay is playing much better than when they met up in Week 3. They go to Detroit before playing three brutal games to close out the season. (New England, NY Giants, Chicago)

 8  7   Chicago   9-3

In a game the Bears needed to win easily they allowed Drew Stanton and the Lions to lead the game into the 4th quarter. The Patriots went into Ford Field and beat the Lions by like 100 points a week earlier. Games like this show the Bears really aren’t a team threatening anyone for a Championship.

 9  10   Philadelphia   8-4

I can’t say enough about Mike Vick. The dude is just playing lights out. What really impresses me is how consistent he is performing. He gets an interesting match-up this week against Dallas.

 10  12   New York Giants   8-4

The Giants are kind of just hanging around in the NFC. Yes, they’re 8-4, but I don’t think anyone is really taking them seriously. New York is fresh off a dominant win over pathetic Washington and now heads to Minnesota to take on the rejuvenated Vikings.

 11  14   Kansas City   8-4

Kansas City is beating the teams they are supposed to beat. Next up is round two against the Chargers. We were all shocked when the Chiefs beat the Bolts in Week 1. Now, based on each team’s record, the Chiefs are supposed to win in Week 14. Bad news for Kansas City: They have only two wins on the road this year.

 12  13   Tampa Bay   7-5

Tampa Bay found a way to lose the game against the Falcons. It isn’t a good sign when the Bucs can’t finish at home in a must win game against a division rival. Good news for Tampa Bay is their next three games are very winnable.

 13  15   Jacksonville   7-5

Jacksonville has crawled back into contention by beating average teams. That is great for them, but doesn’t say anything about how good they really are. A win over the suddenly relevant again Raiders in the Black Hole could turn some heads.

 14  9   San Diego   6-6

Wow. What an embarrassing and random loss to the Raiders. I had left Oakland for dead after two really bad losses to Pittsburgh and Miami. The Chargers took a huge step back at the worst possible time. Now they host Kansas City in a win or season’s over situation.

 15  11   Indianapolis   6-6

Peyton Manning continues his puzzling play. Reports out of Indianapolis say that he is having trouble trusting all of his new young targets. I think that is a fair assessment. I also want to point out the past three games haven’t been against the Bills, Panthers, and Cardinals. If Manning and the Colts struggle against suddenly awful Tennessee, it will finally be panic time.

 16  19   Oakland   6-6

Excellent win over San Diego on Sunday. Just when you think the Raiders have tanked they bounce right back up. I hope they can continue playing well. Unfortunately, their inconsistent play leads me to believe they won’t.

 17  21   St. Louis   6-6

The Rams finally jump into the top-20 and may have quietly become the best team in the NFC West. Sam Bradford has been really good for a rookie quarterback, but admittedly he hasn’t been as good as I thought he would be. Obviously my expectations were probably a little too high. That being said, I’m absolutely thrilled that through 13 weeks Bradford has a better quarterback rating than Mark Sanchez.

 18  20   Minnesota   5-7

With Leslie Frazier in charge now, the Vikings are finally what they should have been all season long: A competitive club that isn’t an easy W for good NFL teams. That theory will be tested the next three weeks as Minnesota plays Chicago, NY Giants, and Philadelphia.

On another note, who is the better choice at quarterback right now for the Vikings? Favre is beat up and has played awful all year. Tarvaris Jackson is Tarvaris Jackson. Personally I can’t believe they cut ties with John David-Booty.

 19  16   Miami   6-6

Hey Miami, I know you are out of the division race because New England and the Jets have dominated. I know you have had injury problems with Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall. And I know you haven’t played well at home for some reason this year. But if you want me and anybody else to take you seriously, you have to beat teams like the Browns. What happened to all of that offense you displayed last week against Oakland? Which Miami team will show up against the Jets this week?

 20  17   Houston   5-7

Houston has one win in their last six games. They had a nice effort last Thursday against the Eagles but it still wasn’t enough. I think it is safe to assume week in and week out the Texans will provide an above average offense and a pitiful defense. If this club played in the NFC maybe they would have a shot at the playoffs.

 21  23   Cleveland   5-7

The Browns beat Miami in what was possibly the most boring NFL game up to this point. The first touchdown wasn’t scored until late in the 3rd quarter. I have to give Cleveland a lot of credit, however. They have faced a very difficult schedule and could easily by 7-5 right now instead of 5-7. The Browns have two easy games before they finish the season against Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

 22  24   Seattle   6-6

Great job scoring 31 unanswered points to beat the Panthers (I guess). The Seahawks are so incredibly average in every possible way. I suppose it makes sense they are 6-6.

 23  25   Dallas   4-8

In my opinion, Dallas should be 5-7 and undefeated since Jason Garrett took over. I think they have a realistic shot at topping the Eagles this weekend. The Cowboys have a defensive line capable of stopping Vick. The question is will their secondary come to play.

 24  22   Washington   5-7

I thought Mike Shanahan was supposed to turn this team around. I realize it is still year one, but I don’t think things could have gone any worse for the former Denver head coach. Shanahan’s Denver teams could always run the ball, but Washington is one of the worst teams in the NFL on the ground. What is even more confusing is Donovan McNabb’s contract extension after he was benched weeks before. Throw in another Albert Haynewsorth incident and it is a complete mess in Washington.

 25  18   Tennessee   5-7

All of sudden one of the worst teams in the league. Surprise! Kerry Collins didn’t really help them at all. By the way, great job all of you who drafted Chris Johnson over Adrian Peterson. That was a great idea. No really.

 26  26   San Francisco   4-8

I can’t believe they’re still in the playoff race.

 27  28   Denver   3-9

I just want Tim Tebow to play the rest of the year.

 28  27   Buffalo   2-10

Ugly loss to Minnesota. Worst game they’ve played since October.

 29  29   Detroit   2-10

Drew Stanton should be flagged every time he scores a TD from now on.

 30  32   Cincinnati   2-10

They aren’t quitting, but they still blew it against the Saints in the end.

 31  30   Arizona   3-9

Insert Derek Anderson joke here.

 32  31   Carolina   1-11

Looked really nice for a quarter against Seattle. Then they remembered they were the Panthers.

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