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Power Rankings Week 15: Denver needs help

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After flying high for three consecutive weeks, poor coaching and worse line play corralled the Broncos.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

I can't do it anymore, I can't hold the Panthers back a moment longer. They are the rightful #1 team in the NFL right now, and they have done nothing to contradict that simple truth. Give me the Panthers over any team in the NFL today. Oh, this is a Broncos hangout? So where do they land after that disgraceful second half performance against the Raiders? Did they slide to #2? #10? #32? You'll have to stick around to find out, but just know that when you lose to a team that mustered 124 total yards,  you aren't exactly beating down the doors to challenge the Panthers of the NFL.

Here are your week 15 power rankings!

1a.
Carolina Panthers

Record 13-0. The Panthers are clearly the best team in the NFL and they have prove it week in ad week out. What I find funny is that nobody is really talking about an undefeated season (19-0) like the Patriots had in 2007. Why? Because although they are good, they aren't "all-time" great good. Let me get this straight right here and now, the Panthers may very well get the #1 seed, but they aren't winning the trophy!

1b.
New England Patriots

Record 11-2. This is a tough team to rank. Do I automatically put them back at the top, or slightly down now that they have Rob Gronkowski back? It's hard to see these two losses on their record as bonafide losses because Tom Brady wasn't operating with a full set of tools. Then again, no team in the NFL is operating under perfect conditions with perfect health. But as of today, with Gronk back, I'd put them up there against the Panthers as a 1a, 1b type of situation, with the Panthers having the slight advantage because of their defense.

3.
Arizona Cardinals

Record 11-2. This game was pretty close, much closer than many anticipated, but regardless of who the opponent is, the Cardinals seem to just keep chugging along. The Cardinals are the perfect example of what a franchise QB means to a team. With Palmer out, they are horrible and will lose to anybody. With Palmer in, they are great and could beat anybody, and the last time I checked, he's healthy and in there. Their defense isn't too shabby either.

4.
Pittsburgh Steelers

Record 8-5. Scary. That's all I have to say about the Steelers: Scary! Big Ben is lighting it up with his arm, Brown and Miller are shredding defenses, and Deangelo Williams has found his legs again and is a legitimate rushing threat. Oh, and their defense isn't exactly horrible. I pity the team that has to go into Pittsburgh to play them.... oh crap, that's us!

5.
Seattle Seahawks

Record 8-5. Much like the Steelers, the Seahawks are pretty much unbeatable at the moment. They should probably be #4, but my bias towards them won't allow me to do it (at least I admit it). Shout out to Russel Wilson for scoring me mad fantasy points for the third straight week! And like the Steelers, their defense isn't too shabby. Who wins between the Seahawks, Panthers, and Cardinals? Man, that's a great question. We'll find out in January.

6.
Kansas City Chiefs

Record 8-5. Oh hell no, who put the Chiefs ahead of the Broncos?! This will not stand! This aggression will not stand, Man! But regardless of the excuses the Broncos have, the Chiefs are simply playing better ball. Not by much, but by a little. The Chiefs' hubris almost caught them last week. We saw all the snide remarks about the Broncos barely beating the Chargers and how the Chiefs would destroy them by 30 again. Well, you too barely beat the Chargers, so slow your role. You still won't win the AFC West, this is just a pity ranking, so don't go pounding your chest too much.

7.
Denver Broncos

Record 10-3. Here's why the Broncos are #7: Coaching is mediocre at best. They can't seem to make adjustments on the offensive side of the ball, and they seem incapable of changing up the gameplan the second time we play a team. That spells major problems come the playoffs when we will most certainly be playing each playoff team for the second or even third time. It's time to earn your paycheck Kubiak. Creative game planning is the way to do it, and the last time I checked, Brock isn't in diapers, so take the training wheels off of him. He played great in the first half against the Raiders, so why did you muzzle him and the offense in the second half? Step it up Kubes, or you'll find yourself on the coaching hotseat before long.

8.
Cincinnati Bengals

Record 10-3. Not many teams outside of Denver can be relatively unshaken in the standings when their starting quarterback goes down, and the Bengals are one of those teams. Simply put, just like Peyton Manning, Andy Dalton will lose in the playoffs. You can pretty much set your calendar to it. So although they may drop a game or two in the regular season, they will still make the playoffs, and if Dalton is on the bench, they have a legitimate shot at actually winning a game. Addition by subtraction is what it's called. Addition by subtraction.

9.
Green Bay Packers

Record 9-4. Are you back or not? This team is going to make me go grey. One week they look unbeatable, the next they lose to complete idiots. Then the following week they play good, and the next, they suck. C'mon Packers, show me something consistently so I don't need to keep erasing your position in these rankings.

10.
Minnesota Vikings

Record 8-5. There's no shame in dropping a close game to the number three team in the NFL. Yes, you can't fumble with 5 seconds left, but those unlucky bounces are what separate a Top 5 team from a Top 10 or Top 15 team. Sometimes you make your own luck. The sun wasn't shining on you today Teddy, maybe next week.

11.
Indianapolis Colts

Record 6-7. Like last week, the Colts really aren't as good as where I'm putting them, but there simply aren't any teams better below them. Part of me feels like dropping these fools into the 30's for letting the Jags hang a fifty-burger on them, but I have a few Jags on my fantasy team, so I'm too happy with the Colts for sucking to drop them much further. They'll make the playoffs, just like the Broncos did in 2011, through the backdoor.

12.
New York Jets

Record 8-5. Fitzpatrick and his trimmed beard threw three touchdowns. That's winning football right there. Marshall and Decker are earning their paychecks in New York. For a team that was suppose to be one of the scrubs of the NFL this season, they sure are turning heads from time to time. Its good to be a mediocre looking team in an ugly team's city. It turns a 3 to an 8 simply because you are standing next to a 2.

13.
Buffalo Bills

Record 6-7. You barely lost to the team that just upset the Patriots the week before. There's not much to hang your head on, even though it looks strange to see a Rex Ryan defense look so pedestrian.

14.
Houston Texans

Record 6-7. Show me something this week Houston. Lets get fired up JJ. Take it to the Pats and whoop their asses so that you can challenge the Colts for the division and open the door back up for the Broncos to have the #1 seed.

15.
Washington Redskins

Record 6-7. Quick everyone, when I say the name Kirk Cousins, what do you think of? Yeah, Shanahan wanting him is what I thought of too. But your second thought needs to be "That's what Brock will probably look like for years to come." So I ask you, Broncos Country, would you take Kirk Cousins' level of play for the Broncos? Can the Broncos win with that level of play? I contend yes. With our defense? Hell yes! Kirk Cousins is a rich man's Trent Dilfer, and we can win with that. So too can the Redskins, at least sporadically.

16.
Oakland Raiders

Record 6-7. The Broncos straight lost this game, the Raiders didn't win. Disagree with me? Then try reading the transcripts from the actual Raider players when they say the same thing. This team has played most teams tough this year. Something tells me they have another upset in them this year.

17.
Detroit Lions

Record 4-9. The Lions are the Lions. Its a curse, just like being a Cleveland Brown. Can the curse be broken? Sadly, no. No it can't. If Barry Sanders retires with exactly 1 postseason win, so too will Calvin Johnson unless he abandons ship. Maybe an offseason trade for Demaryius Thomas and a 5th round pick? How lethal would the Broncos offense be with a #1 WR who can actually catch something besides the "yips"?

18.
New York Giants

Record 6-7. In one game, Eli has almost half the touchdowns as his older Brother for the entire season. Who's the better Manning now? However, the Giants have to play better as a team. They can't count on Eli to throw 4 TDs week in and week out. He's no 2013 Peyton. He isn't even 2013 Peyton's fingernail clippings.

19.
Jacksonville Jaguars

Record 5-8. 51-16 speaks louder than any words I can type. They still suck, but for one week, they were there with the Panthers and Patriots of the world.

20.
New Orleans Saints

Record 5-8. I thought I was witnessing the 1985 Bears out there on Sunday, what with holding a team to only 17 points. Ok, play time is over, time to get serious. The Saints were suppose to be better this year, but their defense is horrible and their offense is too predictable. With Drew Brees possibly on the outs in the Crescent City, this is a team in turmoil, and they are playing just like it.

21.
Chicago Bears

Record 5-8. Jay Cutler actually had a good day. 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns. They still lost to the Redskins though. You have to be able to pull it all together for 60 minutes to win a game Foxy Bear. You also need to prepare your team for once. Maybe next year.

22.
Baltimore Ravens

Record 4-9. This team flat out stinks this year, so what was their reward? A home game against Seattle. Talk about stepping into a meat grinder. It is nice seeing the Ravens suck though. 2012 will never be forgotten.

23.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Record 6-7. When you can only muster 17 points against the Saints, you know you have issues, and they stem from pits lower and wider than a rookie QB who has played surprisingly decent this year.

24.
St. Louis Rams

Record 5-8. They didn't have a lack of effort in this game, did they Jeff Fisher? A victory over the Lions is just that; A victory over the Lions. Nothing to see here, not when you're ranked in the bottom third of the league. If you can build on victories, you can make noise, so when will you start building on victories? When?

25.
Miami Dolphins

Record 5-8. Their game against the Giants sums their team and season up to a "T." They simply aren't good enough to pull it all together and be an actual threat to win the division. They have their moments and they have talent. They just can't put it all together. This screams of bad coaching or at least mediocre coaching to me. I believe its time for a shakeup. Maybe Stephen Ross should sell to Rick Ross. At least the halftime shows will get better.

26.
San Diego Chargers

Record 3-10. For a team that has nothing to play for, they sure are playing tough, or maybe its just divisional games where teams are suppose to fight hard and outcomes are suppose to be in the balance? I will make no excuses for this team because they are as banged up as teams above them, the difference is that they just complain about it more (unless your'e the Patriots. Nobody whines and complains like the Patriots). The real question is: Rivers said he wouldn't play for the Chargers if they moved out of San Diego.... time to put up or shut up Phil, because you guys are headed up I-5 to Los Angeles.

27.
Philadelphia Eagles

Record 6-7. Two victories in the last two weeks. First the Pats to shock the world, the second, a nail biter against the Bills. I don't trust this team to be anything but inconsistent, which is why they find themselves near the bottom of the league.

28.
Dallas Cowboys

Record 4-9. Thud! Either Green Bay found its mojo or the Cowboys are as bad as they have been all year. Maybe it's a combination of both. One thing is for sure though, I do love seeing Jerry pissy. He rubs his face in disgust so often, he's gonna need another face lift.

29.
Atlanta Falcons

Record 6-7. This team has the ability to lose to absolutely everybody, even the 49ers. Look, there's nothing wrong with losing to an undefeated team, but to not even put a field goal on the board? Shameful. Simply shameful. Matt Ryan needs to give back that signing bonus, because he sure as hell isn't earning his paycheck.

30.
Cleveland Browns

Record 3-10. Not a bad outing. They beat the worst team in football, but when you are previously the worst, anything is a quality win.

31.
Tennessee Titans

Record 3-10. Eight points. Eight! It isn't like you were playing the Panthers. Wait, you're ranked #31. Nevermind. Way to score 8 points. Not too shabby.

32.
San Francisco 49ers

Record 4-9. You lost to a midget. That's all I have to say about this pathetic sad sack of a team. The Browns. You lost to the Browns!