Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Denver Broncos reclaim top spot, but NFL clearly a two team race

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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After tying an NFL record this weekend for most games scoring fifty or more points in a season, the Denver Broncos should be in every single conversation for the top spot in NFL power rankings. Since this is a Denver Broncos fan site, obviously we're going to give the nod to our guys. No question.

The Seattle Seahawks are still clearly the best team in the NFC and the San Francisco 49ers escaped with a win - AT HOME. It's funny how the season ends up playing out. Early on in September, it really looked like maybe the AFC was going to be the strong conference overall, but by my count there are the Denver Broncos then four stout NFC squads.

The AFC seems to be fading, but that doesn't make any of those teams in the Top 10 below any less dangerous. With the loss of Rob Gronkowski, the New England Patriots seem less dangerous and the dark horse in my eyes has to be that Cincinnati Bengals squad.

Let's see how things got blown up this week in my NFL Rankings. Check out last week's power rankings here.

RNK
TEAM
INSTANT ANALYSIS
CHG

1

Denver Broncos

Record: 11-2. How many times this year have Peyton Manning and the Broncos started out slow and fallen behind to opponents early? Good opponents, bad opponents, doesn't matter. They just seem to do that. Then somewhere around the 2nd or 3rd quarters, they initiate a scoring onslaught that usually nets at least four touchdowns. The result thus far has been the greatest offensive team in NFL history and the most dangerous team in the NFL. It certainly feels like Broncos Country is a little like this right now...

+1

2

Seattle Seahawks

Record: 11-2. Though the Seahawks lost, I felt it was an impressive loss against a division rival they humiliated earlier in the season. For a team that is looking for revenge, 19-17 doesn't seem like much of a redemption game. The reason the Broncos get the nod at this point in the season though is that they can seem to score on anyone at any time and unless there is severe weather, I'd take the Broncos nine times out of ten over the Seahawks.

-1

3

New Orleans Saints

Record: 10-3. Drew Brees became just the fifth player in NFL history to surpass 50,000 yards passing in his career, joining Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Dan Marino and John Elway. Brees also did it quicker than any of those other guys. Apparently, Peyton Manning isn't the only one breaking records this season. The Saints bounced back from a bad loss in Seattle to take control of the division on Sunday Night Football.

+2

4

Carolina Panthers

Record: 9-4. Like the Saints two weeks ago, Cam Newton and the Panthers had a rough outing on the road against a great home team. It may have cost them a chance at a division title, but this is a scrappy football team that is probably the only NFC team in the playoff hunt that could potentially go into Seattle and win on the road in January.

-1

5

San Francisco 49ers

Record: 9-4. I bumped the 49ers a spot only because I really wanted to rank the Patriots for sucking out a win against the Browns. The 49ers were downright embarrassed on the road in Seattle earlier this season and how does this prideful football team respond? By eeking out a win. What a joke. It certainly looks like the Championship window is closing rapidly on this team and I would be shocked if they make it out of the first round of the playoffs this season.

+1

6

New England Patriots

Record: 10-3. The Patriots won a game on Sunday, but who here thinks they actually earned it? I doubt even Tom Brady thinks that. In fact, the end of that game was so disgustingly slanted to assist the Patriots overcome an insurmountably lead that it can only mean one thing for me... 29 yard pass interference penalty my arse. Win or not, you are getting a Tim Lynch-approved DOWNGRADE this week, Patriots.

-2

7

Cincinnati Bengals

Record: 9-4. The Bengals look like the second best team in the AFC right now. If they hadn't lost Geno Akins, I would be very concerned about them potentially taking down the Broncos. Andy Dalton tends to be streaky, so a playoff matchup would come down to Von Miller and the Broncos front getting pressure on him. With the way the Patriots are sucking out wins, their luck will run out at some point over the final three games of the season, so we could be looking at the eventual second seed in the AFC in the Bengals.

--

8

Kansas City Chiefs

Record: 10-3. Nice win, Kansas City. It's good you have gotten back to beating doormat teams who have quit on their coach and team. It's already been proven that the Chiefs are not much of threat to do much damage in the playoffs. Why? Because they are owned by these two guys, so deal with it Chiefs fans!

--

9

Philadelphia Eagles

Record: 8-5. It's no secret that I am anxious for the Chiefs to lose another game, so I can start putting some of these five loss teams ahead of them. I already think the Eagles deserve to be ahead of Alex Smith and the Chiefs, but it is hard to win in the NFL - even against third string quarterbacks - so I couldn't justify the move. LeSean McCoy didn't suck for a change on Sunday, well he did actually until the fourth quarter when he exploded for 150 yards rushing and led the Eagles to 28 points and a convincing win over the Lions.

+1

10

Arizona Cardinals

Record 8-5. The Cardinals finally won a division game and they will need plenty of help to have a chance at the final playoff spot. It doesn't look good, but this is a good football team here.

+3

11

Baltimore Ravens

Record 7-6. Joe Flacco and the Ravens have to be the luckiest damn team on the planet (except for the Patriots of course). The Vikings dominated that football game from start to about the 57 minute mark, then came the craziest two minutes of football in NFL history - even crazier than a certain game at Mile High Stadium back in January of this year.

+3

12

Indianapolis Colts

Record 8-5. Andrew Luck and the Colts do not look like a playoff caliber team. Keeping them in the Top 10 for so long was mostly to their elite-looking record, but if I can dis the Chiefs regardless of record then I should be able to do the same for a team I think is plenty worse than the Chiefs.

-3

13

Miami Dolphins

Record 7-6. The Dolphins kept pace with the Ravens for that final playoff spot. The only team that I believe even has a chance to make things interesting down the stretch is the Chargers, but they would need to take down the Broncos in two days for that dream to come to fruition.

+2

14

Chicago Bears

Record 7-6. Oh man the Bears looked like a really good football team last night. Josh McCown is actually the difference maker too! He has just one interception to double digit touchdowns on the season. So why, you ask, did I only give them a two spot bump? Easy, as soon as Jay Cutler can play, he will play and the Bears will blow a chance to win the division outright. I'll just laugh. Thanks for the two first rounders, suckers!

+2

15

Dallas Cowboys

Record 7-6. Typical Tony Romo and the Cowboys last night. They can never seem to string together a good run of games. With the Eagles getting hot, I just see this team fading away down the stretch. It must suck being a Cowboys fan! I wouldn't know...

-4

16

Detroit Lions

Record 7-6. Matthew Stafford is a turnover machine and the machine is kicking into high gear as the Lions do everything they can do fumble away any chance they had at winning a division title for the first time in like forever. Dur...

-4

17

San Diego Chargers

Record 6-7. Despite Mike McCoy's guarantee, Philip Rivers and the Chargers are going to have work their asses off to beat the Broncos at Mile High Stadium on Thursday Night Football. That said, I am more afraid of this team than I am of a team like the Chiefs.

+3

18

Green Bay Packers

Record 6-6-1. Finally, the Packers did something to save their season. Aaron Rodgers can now come back to lead his team to the playoffs. The Lions and Bears certainly don't want the division, which makes sense, since the Packers are the team that deserves it based on how great their quarterback is in comparison to theirs.

+4

19

Pittsburgh Steelers

Record 5-8. Ben Roethlisberger did everything he could to lead the Steelers to a victory over the Dolphins and they came within a pinky toe of doing just that in one of the wildest finishes of any football game this year.

-2

20

New York Jets

Record 6-7. The Jets have no business having six wins this season. They are a terrible football team. What the hell is wrong with the NFL? Anyway, Geno Smith is going to be a bust and the Jets should not win another game in 2013. For my mental health, they better not win another game!

+3

21

St. Louis Rams

Record 5-8. The Rams got smothered by the Cardinals this week. Zac Stacy had a pretty rough day and as he goes so do the Rams. They will finish last in the NFC West, but they are probably the best last place team in the NFL right now.

-3

22

Tennessee Titans

Record 5-8. Believe it or not, the Titans were up 21-10 early in the second quarter over the vaunted Denver Broncos on Sunday. Then their 7th ranked pass defense allowed their offense to be outscored 41-7 from that point in the second quarter until the final gun. Ouch! The Broncos obviously unleashed this ultra secret weapon upon them.

-1

23

New York Giants

Record 5-8. Eli Manning and the Giants had a bad day this week. Still, they are 5-8 after starting the season 0-6, so there's that. This team is playing for pride and little else. Tom Coughlin should have preserved his job with the way the Giants fought back towards .500 here late int he season, though.

-4

24

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Record 4-9. The Buccaneers have played better than their record all year long. It would be nice to see this team finish strong and close to .500. After the adversity they have had with their quarterback situation, it would be a well earned victory for a season that was lost weeks ago.

+3

25

Minnesota Vikings

Record 3-9-1. I read an interesting stat yesterday in an email. The Vikings would be 8-5 if games were 59 minutes long instead of 60 minutes long. Ouch! That's the kind of sting that kills a season. This one died a long time ago for the Vikings. Plus Adrian Peterson had a bad ending as well...

-1

26

Jacksonville Jaguars

Record 4-9. The Jaguars are in playoff contention. P-L-A-Y-O-F-F C-O-N-T-E-N-T-I-O-N, people! lol That's like saying the Chiefs could win the Super Bowl this year.

+2

27

Cleveland Browns

Record: 4-9. The Browns got wholly robbed by the referees in New England on Sunday. I hope they all get severely downgraded and publicly flogged today by the NFL. It won't happen, but hey, at least the Browns get a nice big +3 spot reward in my power rankings even though they technically lost the game. It's the little things people!

+3

28

Atlanta Falcons

Record 3-10. I fortuitously switched my pick from the Falcons to the Packers on Sunday, but the game ended up being a nail biter to the very end. The Falcons and Texans have taught us all how quickly your hopes and dreams as a fan can disappear into hopelessness.

+1

29

Buffalo Bills

Record 4-9. My opinion of the Bills is directly tied to how horribly they have screwed over C.J. Spiller and subsequently screwed over my fantasy football teams. I'd hate to admit I hope every single member of their coaching staff gets fired over how badly they screwed over my fantasy football team, but fortunately, that screw job also means they screwed themselves out of quite a few wins this year as well. Doormats.

-4

30

Oakland Raiders

Record 4-9. Unfortunately, I picked the Raiders this week before I heard the stat that they have lost eleven straight games on the East Coast. Then again, I was stupid enough to take the Raiders in the first place, so who is to say I wouldn't have continued to be stupid. I won't be stupid again this year. :P

-4

31

Washington Redskins

Record 3-10. Finally, the Redskins have discovered their new identity. They can now finally shed their supposedly racist mascot as well. In fact, I just found the logo that is going to start being used moving forward. It's pretty awesome, check it out:

--

32

Houston Texans

Record 2-11. The Texans fired Gary Kubiak in what looks like an angry disagreement over who should be starting at quarterback for the rest of this season. Case Keenum was immediately put back into the starting role upon Kubiak's firing. That whole fiasco confused me considering Keenum actually provided a good spark and was about as effective as Matt Schaub was when he wasn't throwing pick sixes.

--

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