2020 Week 14 Power Rankings
Well it took until December but there are no unbeaten teams left in the league. It took some time but it makes the closing few weeks even more interesting. The AFC North is heating up and could be won by either the Browns or the Steelers. The NFC East is extremely interesting and has two teams who have found some form and are surging at just the right time. All the divisions, bar the AFC West and those Chiefs are interesting and are still up for grabs. December is heating up and I’m all for it.
Bring on the rankings.
32. New York Jets - 0-12
They almost did it, the New York Jets ALMOST got the win. In typical Jets fashion though they managed to blow the game with about 13 seconds left on the clock. All they had to do was play prevent defense and stop Derek Carr from completing a 46 yard touchdown pass. That was it. Instead the Jets dialled up the blitz and Henry Ruggs ran by the corner and hauled in the 46 yard Touchdown pass.
It can only be explained by a total disastrous call or the inevitable succumbing to the tanking for Trevor game plan. Either way the Jets blew a great chance to get rid of that 0.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars - 1-11
Mike Glennon came agonisingly close to getting the Jaguars their second win off the season only to see it disappear in an interception and then a field goal. Despite the four turnovers Jacksonville managed to stay in this game and force it into overtime. Jacksonville continued to just allow teams to rack up points (haven’t held a team to under 21 points since Week one) but it was their defense that kept them in this one. Well that and Dan Bailey missing some kicks.
The Jags forced two turnovers, held Cook in line and scored a defensive touchdown to give them a fighting chance. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough and the Jags kept the race for the number one pick in the draft alive.
30. Cincinnati Bengals - 2-9-1
Joe Burrow’s loss has completely derailed this offense. The only real grit we saw from them in this one was when Tyler Boyd ended up fighting with Xavien Howard and got ejected from the game. It wasn’t going to get much better from here on in. Another fight ensued later in the game and the Bengals offensive line did what they have been doing all season and protected no-one. Everyone seemed to clear the benches to help their teammates except the Bengals offensive linemen.
A sign of things to come as the Bengals went on to surrender six sacks and Brandon Allen was forced to exit the game. A lot of improvements are needed in Cincy.
29. Chicago Bears - 5 - 7
Six losses on the bounce and this one was down to their own mistakes. Leading for the majority of the game Mitchell Trubisky fumbled the ball on his own 17 yard line and set up Detroit for the game winning score. Chicago’s defense finally gave in and failed to keep up their stellar work from earlier in the season. Matt Nagy could be the next coach to go as he has watched his team go from leading their division at 5-1 to being as good as out of the playoffs at 5-7. Time for a change in Chicago with both the head coach and the quarterback.
28. Philadelphia Eagles - 3-8-1
Well Jalen Hurts got more than just the one snap at Quarterback in this one and he may have done enough to earn the starting spot. Carson Wentz was replaced in the third quarter after watching his team go down 20-3. Wentz finished with six completed passes from fifteen attempts for 79 yards and a colossal four sacks. In came Jalen Hurts and although he didn’t look like the next Patrick Mahomes he still did better than Wentz. Hurts finished with 109 yards on five attempts with one score and one interception. Could be just enough to earn a start in their next outing.
27. Dallas Cowboys - 3-9
Even with Dak Prescott missing this Cowboys team should be able to run the table in the NFC East. Andy Dalton is one of the best back-ups out there and he has three great wide receivers and a great running back to his disposal. For some reason it’s not working and the fingers need to be pointed at the coaches and management. With Washington and New York playing well now the season looks done for Dallas.
26. Los Angeles Chargers - 3-9
45-0. The worst loss in Los Angeles Chargers history. As good as Justin Herbert has been, this is not a record that he wanted. Herbert finished with rookie numbers which is not what we have come to expect at all. His first outing where he couldn’t score a touchdown or post a passer rating above 75.0 was by far his worst display yet. New England’s defense dominated the Chargers and they had no answers whatsoever. Plenty of time to rebuild and come back stronger next year and challenge those Kansas City Chiefs.
25. Detroit Lions - 5-7
Well the Matt Patricia era is over and how did the Lions celebrate? By doing something that the former head coach only managed once during his tenure. Scoring 34 points. Matthew Stafford had his first game throwing the ball for over 400 yards this year as he led his team back from ten points down in the fourth. To top things off the defense forced a crucial fumble on Bears Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to force the game winning touchdown. No playoff football this year but a chance to rebuild with a new head coach awaits.
24. Denver Broncos - 4-8
Denver is done for the year and the rebuild continues into 2021. Drew Lock has shown flashes of how good he can be but most of the time he has looked young and dangerous when throwing the ball. Not exactly a feature you want a starting Quarterback to have. Denver does have some great wide receivers, two quality running backs and a strong defense (when they aren’t injured). Denver needs a strong offseason if they hope to compete in 2021.
23. Carolina Panthers - 4-8
It’s never good sitting at home on your bye and seeing a team from your division secure their spot in the playoffs. Carolina have been hampered by injury but ultimately they just haven’t been good enough. With four weeks to go the Panthers are all but done for the season and will have to watch on as possibly two teams from their division do battle in the playoffs. Bring on 2021.
22. Atlanta Falcons - 4-8
Atlanta is doing okay with Raheem Morris at the helm as he plays out the season. It is unlikely that he will be there come 2021 but he has at least given Falcons fans something to be excited about this year. It’s not a lot but it’s something. Up next is another very winnable game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
21. Houston Texans - 4-8
Despite everything else going wrong in Houston, Deshaun Watson continues to light up teams and play his best football. He is doing all of this in his first season without Deandre Hopkins. On Sunday there very faint playoff chances were extinguished as they fumbled the ball away on the two yard line. A rebuild is needed and it won’t be easy without a top pick in the draft.
20. San Francisco 49ers - 5-7
With the return of George Kittle and Jimmy Garoppolo expected at any moment, it might be just in time for the 49ers. They are one game out the playoffs and given the season they have had that should be commended. To finish the year San Francisco has Washington, Dallas, Arizona and Seattle. All of which are very winnable games and could let the 49ers sneak into the playoffs.
19. Minnesota Vikings - 6-6
A huge game awaits in Week 14 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With both teams chasing a spot in the playoffs via the wild card this game has monumental implications. If the Vikings get the win they will have won six out of the last seven and boast a record of 7-6. Momentum is hge and the Vikings seem to have it and the Buccaneers are lacking in it. A big game for Kirk Cousins, but if Justn Jefferson continues to play as well as he has been then they are more than capable of getting the win.
18. Washington Football Team - 5-7
Washington is playing great football on defense and Alex Smith is playing well enough on the offensive side of the ball. Montez Sweat and Chase Young are getting pressure and the rest of the defense is aggressive in all areas. A huge win against the last undefeated team in the league is a statement to the rest of the league, this team should not be forgotten about and if they do make the playoffs I wouldn’t want to play them.
17. New York Giants - 5-7
In their longest win streak since 2016 the New York Giants won their fourth on the bounce and have taken a big step to winning the NFC East. Last week I said that anything other than two losses would be huge for the Giants. Now they are on track for two wins and no-one thought they could do it. New York are still in a race for the NFC East but a win when you are expected to lose can do wonders for team morale for you and also to your rivals morale. New York took a big step in this one.
16. Las Vegas Raiders - 7-5
Well the Raiders best player from Week 13 came in the form of a coach. That coach was the defensive coordinator of the winless New York Jets. Greg Williams got the Raiders to 3rd and long and then called out the all out Blitz in perhaps the most boneheaded move of the season. Anything but the Blitz and the Jets would have their first win of the season. Instead he sent EVERYONE after the quarterback and Derek Carr was able to find Henry Ruggs for the game winning touchdown. Still in the hunt after avoiding a catastrophic loss.
15. Arizona Cardinals - 6-6
Three straight losses on the bounce for the Cardinals and they now find themselves sitting out of the playoff race. Up next is a tough trip to play Big Blue in New York followed by the Eagles before finishing the season with two divisional matches. Cardinals most likely have to win two of these games to make the playoffs and the only one that looks a guarantee is the struggling Eagles. A tough December for the Cardinals awaits but with Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins in the mix who knows what they can do.
14. New England Patriots - 6-6
It’s a tough ask but the patriots are showing that they are more than capable of getting back to the playoffs. A 45-0 shellacking of the Los Angeles Chargers showed that Bill Belichick is still more than capable. If New England can get there, which won’t be easy, they should be feared and no one will go into this game feeling confident.
13. Baltimore Ravens - 7-5
With the roster this Ravens team has they should be dominating the league. For some reason they find themselves with five losses when in reality they should have done much better. Last year they broke just about every offensive record and this year they have failed to capitalise on it. Lamar Jackson can’t win the big game and he may not get a chance in the playoffs to prove the doubters wrong. A big game against the Cleveland Browns awaits.
12. Miami Dolphins - 8-4
Brian Flores is making a run at Coach of the Year and he absolutely deserves it. He has the Miami Dolphins playing at an extremely high level and his defense is one of the best in the league. Tua Tagovailoa has come in and is playing well but a real test awaits in Week 14. Miami takes on the Kansas City Chiefs in what will be a measuring stick for where the Dolphins really are.
11. Tennessee Titans - 8-4
A big loss to a playoff rival is not what the Titans needed going down the stretch. Luckily for them the next four weeks consists of Jacksonville, Detroit, Green Bay and Houston. Three teams with a losing record that Derrick Henry is capable of running all over. It’s Henry’s time of the season and everyone else should be worried.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 7-5
Tampa are coming off a loss to the Chiefs where they were battered in the first quarter. Up next is four games that they will be the heavy favourites in. First of all is a big matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota currently sits in the playoffs just and will more than likely need a win against the Buccaneers. Luckily for Tampa they have a run defense that can stop Dalvin Cook. Just a matter of stopping Justin Jefferson as well.
9. Indianapolis Colts - 8-4
Coming off a big win against divisional rivals the Houston Texans the Colts now have a trip to Las Vegas to take on a playoff contender. After Vegas the Colts take on the Texans again before facing the 11-1 Pittsburgh Steelers. A tough few games await but the Colts could fight their way back to the top of the division.
8. Seattle Seahawks - 8-4
A loss to the 4-7 New York Giants could be disastrous for the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle has surrendered the lead in the division and now their fate lies in other teams losses. Up next for the Seahawks is a visit from the winless Jets. A get right game for Russell Wilson that can hopefully propel him back into his MVP calibre form from earlier in the season.
7. Los Angeles Rams - 8-4
Los Angeles are hitting their prime at the right time of the season. A big divisional win against the Cardinals leaves the Rams sitting at the top of the NFC West. Up next Sean McVay has to do battle with Bill Belichick. If the Rams want to stay at the top of the West they will need to win against the Patriots.
6. Cleveland Browns - 9-3
Something is happening in Cleveland. It’s December, they are in the playoff hunt and there are no coaching changes. Has the ship steadied itself in Cleveland? If Baker Mayfield can get one over on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14 then Cleveland will find itself in a race for the AFC North division title. Whatever happens the Browns will finish the season without a losing record. That in itself is a great achievement for this franchise.
5. Buffalo Bills - 9-3
Josh Allen had his fourth game of the season with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns. Josh Allen tore apart the 49ers secondary on Monday night as he marched the Bills closer to the AFC East title. Josh Allen has improved vastly since his rookie year and he has dropped his bad throw percentage to half of what it was during the rookie season. Josh Allen could be the man to bring a Super Bowl to Buffalo.
4. Green Bay Packers - 9-3
Aaron Rodgers threw another three touchdowns and became the fastest ever to reach 400 career touchdowns. Davante Adams is the best wide receiver in the league and Aaron Jones finished the game with a 77 yard score. This offense is more than capable of hanging with the best of them and the defense is getting better and better. Green Bay could be coming together at just the right time.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers - 11-1
Pittsburgh has been struggling recently and it all came to a head against the Washington Football Team. Dropped passes, poor offensive play calling, injuries piling up and three difficult games in 12 short days made it near impossible for the Steelers to remain undefeated. If Pittsburgh wants to continue on the hunt for their seventh Lombardi then they need to get right and quick.
This offense has some of the best weapons in the league and all they need is to find a way to put it all together. If they can do that, coupled with the best defense in the league then they will find themselves in Tampa Bay come February.
2. New Orleans Saints - 10-2
Taysom Hill finally had his first touchdown pass in the NFL as a starting Quarterback. He threw for two and added a further 83 yards on the ground as he led his Saints by the Falcons for the second time this season. New Orleans leaned more on the pass in this outing which was important as they need to have a balanced offense. Hill has filled in for Drew Brees admirably and most importantly he hasn’t lost. Drew Brees could be back for their game against the Eagles this week but Taysom Hill is more than capable of beating this Eagles team.
Let Drew Brees rest and get ready for the playoffs. Oh yeah they are in them again.
1. Kansas City Chiefs - 11-1
Kansas City haven’t lit the league up as much as year and have looked beatable at times but they are still not being beaten. Kansas has secured another trip to the postseason and they are very close to securing yet another AFC West division. Kansas is showing that they can win the close gritty games and still have the ability to blow teams away with the flick of a switch. Kansas are good but not in the same dominating way they have been. Should be an interesting postseason.