NFL Power Rankings: Rams Fall Apart, Browns Earn a Spot
1. Kansas City Chiefs (-)
More of the same for the Chiefs in week 15, they play average but still beat a tough New Orleans Saints team. When this team finally clicks, it will be scary for the rest of the NFL. Patrick Mahomes only completed 50% of his passes but still ended up with three touchdown tosses. A big positive for the Chiefs this week is how well they ran the ball. The team had over 150 yards on the ground, but did lose starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire to a high ankle sprain. Kansas City looks like a lock for the #1 seed in the AFC, with the Falcons and Chargers remaining on the schedule.
2. Green Bay Packers (-)
The Packers had a picture perfect trap game against the Panthers on Saturday night. Not only was the game played on an unusual day, the Packers have a big matchup against the Titans next week followed by a tough divisional matchup against the Chicago Bears. The Packers could have easily overlooked the 4-9 Panthers and they nearly did. Aaron Rodgers had an off game only throwing for 143 pass yards and one touchdown. Nonetheless, Green Bay got the job done and look on too next week and trying to secure the #1 seed in the NFC.
3. Buffalo Bills (-)
Josh Allen is the real deal! The Bills looked like Super Bowl contenders Saturday night against the Broncos. Buffalo could do anything they wanted offensively against Denver, throwing for over 350 yards and rushing for nearly 200 yards. I was so close to pushing the Bills past the Packers for second in this weeks rankings, but with a big matchup upcoming for Green Bay, I will let them prove it to me against the Titans. I've said all season that the Chiefs would run away with the Super Bowl this year, this is the first time a team is making me second guess myself. If the Bills and Allen continue playing the way they have recently, they could be representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. And remember, nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.
4. Baltimore Ravens (+3)
The Ravens seem to finally be putting the pieces together on offense. The last few weeks Lamar Jackson has returned to his MVP form and has looked unstoppable through the air and on the ground. Jackson threw for 3 touchdowns and 250 yards in three quarters of work Sunday while rushing for his 7th touchdown of the season. I know its only the Jaguars but the Ravens seem to be hitting their stride at the right time. I will continue to say, if the Ravens make it into the postseason, nobody wants to see them.
5. Seattle Seahawks (+3)
The Seattle Seahawks had a very underrated victory on Sunday afternoon beating a tough Washington team 20-15. The Seattle defense is finally playing up to the Seahawks standard, allowing less than 17 points in each of the last four weeks. The Washington Football Team defense is a top unit in the league and the Seahawks should gain some confidence from the big win. These are games Seattle has to prove they can win, even when Russell Wilson does not play his best.
6. New Orleans Saints (-1)
I can't knock the Saints too hard after losing to the best team in the league on Sunday. They kept the Chiefs within reach for most of the game but couldn't seal the deal late. The real worry I have with the Saints is the growing injury list. The loss of Michael Thomas is huge and I'm still worried about the health of Drew Brees. For this team to be successful, they need Brees pushing the ball down the field and I fear he's one hit away from being knocked out for the season. It doesn't get much easier for New Orleans next week as they take on a tricky Minnesota Vikings team that can put up a lot of points.
7. Tennessee Titans (+2)
The Titans are another team that seem to be starting to play their best football at the right time. The real surprise for me has been the play of Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions Sunday, and now has 10 total touchdowns over the last three weeks. The veteran quarterback is not only managing the game but becoming a problem for defenses to game plan against. Derrick Henry continued his superb season, rushing for 150 yards and scoring a touchdown. The matchup against the Green Bay Packers next week will be the real test for this team before going into the playoffs.
8. Cleveland Browns (NR)
The Browns are playing great, and if it wasn't for a miraculous Lamar Jackson comeback two weeks ago, the Browns might of even been higher on the rankings. Baker Mayfield seems to be building confidence every week and has continued his great form, throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns against the Giants. Mayfield also completed 85% of his passes Sunday and led the league in quarterback rating. The Browns shouldn't have too much trouble against the 1-win New York Jets next week before what could be a AFC North clinching battle against the Steelers in week 17.
9.Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1)
I don't know what to say about the Bucs. Last week I said that if the Buccaneers didn't show me something against the Falcons I would take them out of my top ten. Well, they're still here somehow. Tampa Bay played probably their worst half of the season on Sunday to then follow it up by playing one of their best half's of football. I just don't know what to think about Tom Brady and the Bucs. The real reason they are still in the top 10 is because there is nobody pushing them out. I mean c'mon, the Rams just lost to the Jets.
10 Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)
Man oh man. What happened last night to the Steelers? After losing to the Bengals 27-17, Pittsburgh has now lost three games in a row and are in jeopardy of losing the division lead to the Cleveland Browns. Ben Roethlisberger had no excuses this week, he flat out played awful. His receivers didn't drop any passes and the offense had one of their stronger rushing games of the season. Ben had a fumble and somehow only threw one interception after countless drops by the Cincinnati defense. Juju Smith-Schuster had an embarrassing 3 catches for 15 yards and a fumble. His pregame antics seem to be fueling the opposing teams defense in the recent weeks. You aren't going to win many games when you score less than 17 points, and the Steelers haven't accomplished that in 4 week now. The Steelers have two tough games remaining against the Indianapolis Colts and a matchup against the Browns in week 17 that could be for the AFC North crown. The Steelers need to figure it out and they need to do it ASAP or the season could be getting very close the end.