Week 14 NFL Power Rankings: There’s a new sheriff in the Top 10
Who made the Top 10?
The week started off with the Dallas Cowboys surprising the league with a 13-10 win over the New Orleans Saints. But then there’s another team in Texas riding a nine-game win-streak: Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans. Three false starts later, and the Los Angeles Chargers picked up a huge win in Pittsburgh on a game-winning field goal. And Lamar Jackson proving his worth after being selected last in the first round of the NFL draft last year.
Much has occurred through 14 weeks of NFL action, so let’s dive into our NFL Top 10 Power Rankings.
1. Los Angeles Rams (11-1). Last week: 2
The Los Angeles Rams move into the driver's seat once again. Coming off a 30-16 win over the Detroit Lions (4-8), the Rams have clinched the NFC West division and are the only team remaining with a one-loss record. Los Angeles can hit you on both sides of the ball with freight train Todd Gurley (the NFL leading rusher with 1,175 yards) and defensive nightmare Aaron Donald (the NFL leader in sacks with 16.5 on the season). Remaining for the Rams this season are the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, and then division opponents Arizona and San Francisco.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (10-2): Last week: 3
The Chiefs are coming off a whirlwind week followed by a 40-33 win over the Oakland Raiders. K.C. quarterback and potential MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdowns to join other QB greats Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks to reach 40 touchdowns through 12 games. The biggest challenge for the Chiefs moving forward, in addition to holding off the red hot, division rival Los Angeles Chargers (9-3), will be taking care of business with their remaining schedule: hosting the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers, at Seattle, and then their final game at home against Oakland.
3. New Orleans Saints (10-2): Last week: 1
The Saints fall two spots after a questionable loss to the Dallas Cowboys (7-5) on Thursday Night Football. While the Cowboys are indeed on a win-streak and playing in front of their own fans, the Saints struggled to move the ball offensively even with that dynamic run game of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, and the sure-handed Michael Thomas. Up next for the Saints are at the Bucs and Panthers before returning home to face the Steelers and Panthers again.
4. Houston Texans (9-3): Last week: 4
Houston is currently riding a nine-game win-streak and carries a lot of momentum in the AFC. With a remaining schedule of hosting Indianapolis, on the road at the Jets and Eagles, and then hosting the Jaguars, the Texans are in a good spot. Quarterback Deshaun Watson and receiver Deandre Hopkins are near impossible to slow down and backed up by that intimidating defensive line lead by J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.
5. New England Patriots (9-3): Last week: 5
The Patriots are coming off a 24-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings. What was key to this victory? Containing the Vikings air raid that includes receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. The Patriots defense did just that limiting Diggs to 49 yards and Thielen to 28 yards (but one touchdown). With Pats rookie running back Sony Michel and Gronk back in the lineup, things are good for Tom Brady in Foxborough.
6. Los Angeles Chargers (9-3): Last week: 7
Well, it took three attempts off three false starts, but a game-winning field goal last week at the Pittsburgh Steelers sealed the victory for the Chargers. This is a very interesting division and one to definitely keep an eye on with the Chargers sandwiched in-between Kansas City (10-2) and Denver (6-6) perhaps the dark horse in the AFC West. The Chargers have Cincinnati, at Kansas City, Baltimore, and at Denver remaining on their schedule. Tough.
7. Chicago Bears (8-4): Last week: 6
Chicago drops one spot after taking a loss at the New York Giants. It took a 40-yard Odell Beckham Jr. touchdown pass to do it, but the Bears dropped one in New York. Chicago quarterback Chase Daniel, who is starting after Mitchell Trubisky is out with a shoulder injury, went 26-for-39 for 285 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Latest reports on Trubisky indicate that he is progressing but his status for the Los Angeles Rams this week is still unknown. That could be a big loss with that stellar Rams defense lead by DL Aaron Donald.
8. Dallas Cowboys (7-5): Last week: 11.
Yeah, a 13-10 defensive battle over the New Orleans Saints will definitely get you in the top 10. Not only does Dallas make the top 10, but the Cowboys now are on top of the NFC East, a division that is still wide open with Philadelphia (6-6) and Washington (6-6) lurking close behind. QB Dak Prescott has these Boys rolling on a four-game win-streak with Philadelphia, at Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, and at the New York Giants remaining.
9. Seattle Seahawks (7-5): Last week: 10.
When you talk about momentum, the Seattle Seahawks got it. A huge Thursday Night Football win three weeks ago over the Green Bay Packers, going on the road cross country to steal a win in Carolina, and then dismantling San Francisco last Sunday, and Seattle has found a spot towards the top of the NFC Wildcard race. The Seahawks need to keep the momentum going with games against Minnesota, S.F., Kansas City, and Arizona remaining, but have a huge advantage playing three of these games at home in Seattle.
10. Baltimore Ravens (7-5): Last week: 13.
A star has been born in Baltimore. This is Lamar Jackson’s team now. The first-round (last pick) in last year’s NFL draft is playing like he has a chip on his shoulder and has Baltimore riding a three-game win-streak. It is a race for first place in this AFC North division between Baltimore and the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4-1), and while the Steelers make a good case for No. 10 on this list, Pittsburgh hasn’t cut it the past two games with losses at Denver and to the Chargers at home. Next up for the Ravens are Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles (Chargers), and Cleveland.