Week 14 NFL Power Rankings: Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are best

Jonathan Ferrey

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The Denver Broncos got back in the saddle with a furious beat down of division rival and every present nemesis, the Kansas City Chiefs. After falling down early, the Broncos showed everyone why they are the clear favorite to win the Super Bowl this year. The only other team that might have the edge happens to top this list.

With each passing week, we learn more about which teams are clearly the best in the league. As the only two teams with ten or more wins, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are now the clear favorites in both of their respective conferences.

Other teams, like the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints are obvious picks to round out the top 5. Then you have the regular run of the mill playoff teams like the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs. Of those outside-looking-in teams in the Top 10, I think the most dangerous would be the Bengals given their penchant for hot and cold streaks.

And yes, the Broncos did, in fact, sweep the Chiefs for the second straight year.

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

Seattle Seahawks

Record: 11-1. The Seahawks looked like the clear favorite of the NFC last night. Russell Wilson had a fantastic game, but more importantly that Seahawks defense played about as well as a defense could play against a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees. It will take a special effort for any team to top the Seahawks in Seattle on the road to the Super Bowl.

--

2

Denver Broncos

Record: 10-2. Peyton Manning and the Broncos leapfrogged a few other elite contenders based on record and how they won on Sunday. Going into a stadium where the Broncos are historically bad during the month of December, against a playoff contender in the Chiefs and putting it on them offensively is far more deserving than a dominating win over a doormat and a close win over another doormat. It is clear the Broncos are the best team in the AFC on a neutral field and the Colts and Patriots will find that out in January. Plus we have Knowshon Moreno's combat skills.

+3

3

Carolina Panthers

Record: 9-3. Which team has the longest winning streak in the NFL? Yes, that would be Cam Newton and these Panthers. The biggest test for this young upstart football team comes in quick succession with two games against the Saints in the next three. The NFC South could very well end up with two 12-4 football teams when its all said and done. Right now, the Panthers are playing lights out and maintain their #3 spot.

--

4

New England Patriots

Record: 9-3. Without Tom Brady, is this team even a .500 football club? The Broncos were a .500 football club with Tim Tebow, just to give you an idea of how bad the Patriots are everywhere else on the roster. The squeaked by the Texans on Sunday, but they also squeaked by the Broncos the week before. This team is winning on the good graces of Brady's competitive will to win. Plain and simple. This fact also makes them the most dangerous postseason opponent the Broncos could potentially face.

--

5

New Orleans Saints

Record: 9-3. I guaranteed you, most Saints players were like, "Whelp, that sucked!" after last nights obliteration in front of a national audience. Drew Brees will pick up the pieces and should bounce back to guide the Saints to an exciting final fight for the NFC South. The #2 Seed will be at stake, which is always good football.

-3

6

San Francisco 49ers

Record: 8-4. The 49ers have rediscovered their mojo and have been waiting a very long time for their next game. Revenge can be sweet and Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers defense has a chance to do just that next week against hated division rival Seattle. The 49ers schedule is fairly easily the rest of the way out, so they should easily hold onto a playoff spot, but the division is likely lost at this point.

+1

7

Cincinnati Bengals

Record: 8-4. The Bengals have a two game lead in their division with three home games out of the final four. However, they play both the Ravens and Steelers who the Bengals cannot seem to find a way to beat consistently and another playoff contender comes to down in the Colts. Andy Dalton and this team has their work cut out for them and if they are ever going to turn the corner and become relevant in their own division, the time is now.

+1

8

Kansas City Chiefs

Record: 9-3. Well, the books been closed on this feel good story. The Chiefs are on the verge of having the wheels come completely off, but all they need is to win one more. With a 1-3 record in the division and only one home game left (Andrew Luck and the Colts), I could see a scenario where this team ends up 10-6. Of course, that's probably the Bronco fan in me talking. Being realistic, this team finishes 11-5 and the #5 seed in the AFC. It was fun while it lasted. It's never fun being this guy...

-2

9

Indianapolis Colts

Record: 8-4. The Colts seem to be hanging on by a thinner thread than even the Chiefs at this point in the season. Here is a brief synopsis of their last four games: blowout loss, barely won, blowout loss, barely win. It appears they are due for a blowout loss, which is made worse that their next opponent is fighting them for a playoff position in the Bengals. The Colts should get to 10 wins, but there is nothing I trust about this team since Reggie Wayne went down.

+1

10

Philadelphia Eagles

Record 7-5. The Eagles deserved to jump ahead of the Cowboys based on their wins last week. The Cowboys, at home on the national stage, was barely able to keep the inferior Raiders at arms length. While Nick Foles and the Eagles put it on early and often against a pretty stout defense in the Cardinals. The division could come down to the final matchup in Dallas in Week 17.

+2

11

Dallas Cowboys

Record 7-5. Tony Romo and the Cowboys are in position to win the division, but very few non-Cowboys fans trust this team to take care of business. All to often, they crumble in the face of adversity or necessity. Jerry Jones is one of the most beloved owners(not my words), but his meddling hurts his franchise more than it helps.

--

12

Detroit Lions

Record 7-5. The Lions finally had a dominating win, but with the way Matthew Stafford turns the ball over I cannot trust this team to go far in the playoffs. The NFC North is so bad though, that they may get a home playoff game anyway.

+1

13

Arizona Cardinals

Record 7-5. I bought Cardinals stock last week and picked them for the big upset over the Eagles. Naturally, the team turned out to be exactly who I thought they were and they hooked me bad. Carson Palmer is a bum.

-4

14

Baltimore Ravens

Record 6-6. Joe Flacco and the Ravens are suddenly in control of that #6 seed. I could actually see a scenario where the Broncos somehow slip to the #3 seed and must face the Ravens at home in the playoffs again this year. If it happens, the Broncos could also conceivably have to go through both Indianapolis and New England in order to advance to the Super Bowl. Uhg, please football gods... don't do this to me again.

+3

15

Miami Dolphins

Record 6-6. The Dolphins are playing some good defense. I would love for them to steal a game from the Patriots in two weeks, just to be safe. Cameron Wake and that defense is about as underrated as it can get and the only reason this team is anywhere near .500 is because of them.

+3

16

Chicago Bears

Record 6-6. Well, looks like Jay Cutler isn't quite as bad as the backup quarterback. How do you let a 2-8 football team come back to win the game like that? Just terrible! The Bears have no business making the playoffs this year and they won't.

-2

17

Pittsburgh Steelers

Record 5-7. Mike Tomlin is pure awesomeness. His antics didn't help his Steelers win the game, but the hilarity of it all and the butthurtedness of Ravens fans made it even better. The Steelers are playing excellent football and even with this road loss to a division rival, the Steelers are 5-3 since starting the season 0-4.

-1

18

St. Louis Rams

Record 5-7. I think it is safe to say that Sam Bradford at this point in his career is a first round bust and not deserving to be a starting quarterback in the league. If Kellen Clemons can go out there and do a better job at winning football games and staying competitive than a guy with a $60 million contract, then there's something wrong. The Rams need to address that if there are ever going to compete with the top two teams in their division.

-3

19

New York Giants

Record 5-7. Eli Manning and the Giants looked like they were going to choke a big one again on Sunday Night Football, but they found a way to fight their way back into the game and eventually took control of it. As impressive as the Steelers turnaround as been, the Giants have one-upped them. The team is 5-1 since starting the season 0-6.

+4

20

San Diego Chargers

Record 5-7. I knew Philip Rivers and the Chargers would flop a week after an impressive road win against the Chiefs. It fits how this team has been for at least half a decade now. I have no problem bragging about how I was one of maybe four or five people out of a 45 person pick'em league to win on that kneejerk reaction. Now next week, the Chargers will probably win. haha

-1

21

Tennessee Titans

Record 5-7. The Titans are playing tough football, but they simply don't have the talent to match up well with most teams. The loss of Jake Locker really hurt their chances this year. This fact makes the Titans an interesting storyline for next season.

-1

22

Green Bay Packers

Record 5-6-1. So yeah, the Packers have one less loss than most of the teams above them. However, the caveat is all of their wins have come while Aaron Rodgers has been in the lineup. Since he was injured, total failure everywhere. Their season is done.

-1

23

New York Jets

Record 5-7. Geno Smith is horrifyingly bad. His early success has faded away into pure atrociousness. Hey Jets, you dissed Tim Tebow for this crap? Anyway, at the rate this team is going they should finish around 5-11, which is actually two games more than I predicted in the preseason.

-1

24

Minnesota Vikings

Record 3-8-1. The Vikings finally won a close game! Out of five games decided by four points or less, the Vikings are now 1-3-1. Adrian Peterson needs to just take it easy the rest of the year and save himself for another beastly run in 2014.

+5

25

Buffalo Bills

Record 4-8. Thank you for losing at home, Buffalo. The Bills suck, but are just good enough to stay where they have been for like a month now. At least the coaching staff finally used C.J. Spiller the way he was meant to be used.

--

26

Oakland Raiders

Record 4-8. Until the Raiders get a quarterback, they will be mired in the bottom half of the league. It's tough to change a culture, especially when the owner is not really all that great of a manager.

--

27

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Record: 3-9. Well, that was a nice little run the Buccaneers had, wasn't it? Reality hit hard once a real football team came knocking at the door. Mike Glennon had a day one would expect against an elite defense.

-3

28

Jacksonville Jaguars

Record 3-9. Who said the Jaguars were the worst football team in NFL history? Oh, that was me. Well clearly, I was wrong. This team is 3-1 since their Bye week and is beating up on some of the other bottom feeders down below.

+2

29

Atlanta Falcons

Record 3-9. Matt Ryan and the Falcons didn't fold! They did. not. fold. They fought, they clawed, THEY WON A GAME! And I picked against them...

+2

30

Cleveland Browns

Record 4-8. The Browns brief flirtation with relevance has long since vanished. All that exists now is the cellar, which is where the Browns always seem to be. Good job, guys! That's amazing considering how big tourism is in Cleveland.

-2

31

Washington Redskins

Record 3-9. The Redskins have not won a football game in a month and the death spiral just keeps getting deeper. Robert Griffin III has severely regressed as a passer as he is holding onto the football forever and taking serious punishment for it. If Mike Shanahan is unable to coach him up, then that is saying something. Shanny is supposed to be a quarterback guru after all. Teddy Bridgewater anyone?

-4

32

Houston Texans

Record 2-10. Case Keenum almost pulled off the upset against the powerhouse Patriots on Sunday. The Texans, however, decided that playing defense is for winners and they are not winners. They are losers. It was fun to see the Patriots sweat it out, but I think most of us knew Tom Brady would find a way to win that game.

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