Allen Kim
Author

Cowboys And Lions Continue To Fall In The NFL Power Rankings

Dec 18, 2013 1:14 PM EST

Any given Sunday.

Week 15 was a perfect example of parity in the NFL with a number of major upsets shifting the playoff picture.

Two of the most notable teams to lose were the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions. Dallas choked after holding a comfortable 23-point first-half lead over the Packers, while Detroit fell yet again, paving the way for Chicago to overtake them in the NFC North. Once favored to win their respective divisions, their inconsistency has pushed them to the wayside and has them on the outside looking in at a playoff berth.

The Football.com NFL Power Rankings are based on votes tallied each week by a panel consisting of Football.com editors Evan Grossman, Allen Kim, Brett Spielberg, Christopher Smith, David Seigerman, Doug Orth, Jake Ciely, Josh Grossman, Mike Greger and Zachary Doleiden.

Rank

Team

Record

Last Week

Comments

1

Seattle Seahawks

12-2

1

The Seahawks stifled the Giants at every turn, and they shouldn’t have much trouble locking up homefield advantage throughout the playoffs with the No. 1 seed within reach.

2

Denver Broncos

11-3

2

While unlikely with the Raiders and Texans as their last two opponents, the Broncos are in danger of losing the No. 1 seed in the AFC after losing to the Chargers.

3

San Francisco 49ers

10-4

4

The 49ers keep racking up wins, and while they probably won’t overtake the Seahawks for the NFC West lead, they’re firing on all cylinders right now.

4

New Orleans Saints

10-4

3

The Saints put forth a head-scratching effort against the Rams, and they can’t afford to play like that if they hope to make a deep playoff run.

5

Carolina Panthers

10-4

5

A win over the Saints this weekend would propel them into the driver’s seat for the NFC South title.

6

Kansas City Chiefs

11-3

6

Jamaal Charles singlehandedly changed the landscape of the fantasy football playoffs, and the Chiefs will be very hard to stop if he keeps up his MVP-caliber play.

7

New England Patriots

10-4

7

The impact of Rob Gronkowski’s loss was noticeable in their loss to the Dolphins. Losing Nate Solder along the offensive line only compounded things as Tom Brady was repeatedly knocked down by rushers.

8

Cincinnati Bengals

9-5

8

Cincinnati’s win streak was broken, and they now have a tenuous lead atop the AFC North. They may have to win their last two games in order to secure a playoff berth.

9

Arizona Cardinals

9-5

10

The Cardinals are still in the hunt for one of the wild card spots, but it certainly won’t be easy with the Seahawks and 49ers next up on the schedule.

10

Philadelphia Eagles

8-6

9

The Eagles had an opportunity to lock up the division, but they failed to do so in a blowout loss to the lowly Vikings. LeSean McCoy’s lack of touches clearly affected the outcome of the game, and they need to get back to running the ball. If the Cowboys win this weekend, their playoff hopes will come down to whether or not they can beat Dallas in Week 17.

11

Baltimore Ravens

8-6

12

On a four-game win streak, the Baltimore Ravens continue their hot play. However, they have two tough tests with the Patriots and Bengals as their last two opponents.

12

Indianapolis Colts

9-5

13

The Colts bounced back with a blowout win over the Texans, but there are still plenty of concerns with the team as the playoffs near.

13

San Diego Chargers

7-7

15

The Chargers followed up their win over the Giants with a convincing victory over the mighty Broncos. It’s a tight race for the final wild card spot in the AFC, but the Chargers are right in the thick of things.

14

Detroit Lions

7-7

11

The Lions have now lost four of their last five games, and they’ve lost what was once thought to be a secure lead atop the NFC North. If they don’t get their act together, they could miss the playoffs once again.

15

Chicago Bears

8-6

14

Chicago is now on top of the NFC North, but the quarterback controversy just won’t die down.

16

Miami Dolphins

8-6

16

A win over the Patriots was huge for Miami. They’ve gotten back on track after a midseason slump, and with games against the Bills and Jets left on the schedule, they should be favored to make the playoffs.

17

Green Bay Packers

7-6-1

18

The Packers rallied to hand the Cowboys one of the worst losses in recent memory for the franchise, and their playoff hopes are still alive. If Aaron Rodgers were to return this week, they could very well take the NFC North.

18

Pittsburgh Steelers

6-8

19

After a close loss to the Dolphins, the Steelers crushed the division-rival Bengals. However, while they’re technically still in playoff contention, their chances don’t look good.

19

Dallas Cowboys

7-7

17

Dallas should be embarrassed after that debacle of a performance against Green Bay. If they lose to Washington this weekend, they can kiss the playoffs goodbye.

20

St. Louis Rams

6-8

21

The Rams continued their Jekyll-and-Hyde act with a dominant win over the Saints. They won’t make the playoffs, but they can at least look forward to next season as they hold Washington’s first-round pick.

21

Cleveland Browns

4-10

20

Cleveland has a strong foundation in place, but they need a game-changer at quarterback if they hope to truly turn their fortunes around.

22

Tennessee Titans

5-9

23

The Titans may have lost, but their offense looked great against the Cardinals’ stout defense.

23

Buffalo Bills

5-9

25

The Bills were able to finally break out of their slump, and it was a much-needed win for the team.

24

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

4-10

22

The Bucs didn’t stand much of a chance against the 49ers, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. They’ve played better as of late, but this season won’t amount to much this late in the year.

25

New York Giants

5-9

24

Kevin Gilbride inexplicably still has a job as the team’s offensive coordinator after they were completely shut out by the Seahawks, and they’ve completely lost all momentum from their midseason win streak.

26

Atlanta Falcons

4-10

26

Thanks to a poor decision by Mike Shanahan to go for a two-point conversion instead of attempting to force overtime with a field goal, the Falcons were able to record their fourth win of the year.

27

New York Jets

6-8

28

The Jets were fairly competitive in the first half, and they even pulled within three in the third quarter. However, Geno Smith’s poor performance ultimately doomed them after he threw a pick six in the fourth.

28

Minnesota Vikings

4-9-1

30

Even with Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart sidelined, a Matt Cassel-led team dominated the once-surging Eagles with Matt Asiata in the backfield.

29

Oakland Raiders

4-10

29

The Raiders actually made it a game at one point against the Chiefs, but they could do nothing to stop the Chiefs’ second-half onslaught.

30

Jacksonville Jaguars

4-10

27

Cecil Shorts was placed on injured reserve, and with so many weapons on offense missing, the Jaguars could go right back to their losing ways.

31

Washington Redskins

3-11

31

Kirk Cousins played well enough in his first start of the season, but the game still ended in a loss after Shanahan decided to make a risky call to go for a two-point conversion. The offseason can’t come soon enough for the ‘Skins.

32

Houston Texans

2-12

32

Removing Gary Kubiak did nothing to help change their fortunes. They were dominated by the Colts, and they continue to creep closer and closer to securing the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.