NFL Power Rankings Week 14: Colts capitalize off of Titans’ stumble

Our Week 14 NFL Power Rankings take a look at the best teams, with plenty of movement around the league. This is especially true after a few big wins on Sunday that affects the NFL playoff race heading into Week 14. This includes the Cleveland Browns taking care of business against the Tennessee Titans, which has allowed the Indianapolis Colts to draw back level atop the division. Who else capitalized and took steps to control their destiny in the last quarter of the season? Let’s dive in.

NFL Power Rankings: Week 14

As you read through these NFL Power Rankings, remember that they are not predictions. If a team projects to have an easy or difficult schedule ahead of them, that matters not for this exercise. These are very simply a list of how good each team is right this minute. Here’s how all 32 teams rank in my Week 14 NFL Power Rankings – including the best teams at the bottom – with just a few more weeks remaining in the 2020 NFL regular season.

32) Cincinnati Bengals (2-9-1)

Tyler Boyd got free for a big play touchdown in the first half, but other than that, the Bengals’ offense was just dismal against Miami. Boyd’s touchdown was Cincinnati’s only score, and they produced just 40 rushing yards. The Bengals defense does deserve credit, though. Jessie Bates really stood out and is quickly becoming one of the NFL’s best safeties. On an unrelated note, OL Jonah Williams was taken off on a cart after suffering an injury.

31) New York Jets (0-12)

New York nearly got their first win of the year over the Raiders, but in the end, they are still the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to the race for Trevor Lawrence. Sam Darnold didn’t play a bad game, but it was the Jets’ rushing attack that really stood out, averaging 6.1 yards per carry and totaling 206 yards on the ground.

30) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-11)

Mike Glennon got the start again for Jacksonville and led a drive with just a minute left on the clock to tie the game vs. the Vikings that went into overtime. Jacksonville’s offense showed nice balance in this game, but they turned the ball over four times. Glennon has earned next week’s start, and it looks like he will get it.

Last week, Jacksonville lost by two points to the Browns and was blown out by Pittsburgh the week before. Before that, the Jaguars lost by four points to the Packers and by two points to Houston. That is what we call progress.

29) Dallas Cowboys (3-9)

The Cowboys went to Baltimore on Tuesday night and came away with their ninth loss of the season. With the exception of their abysmal run defense, Dallas didn’t play a terrible game. They have now lost six of their last seven and eight of their last 10. Needless to say, this has not been Dallas’ year.

28) Chicago Bears (5-7)

The Bears had the lead over Detroit for much of this game but lost and are now 5-7. Mitchell Trubisky didn’t play poorly in this game and probably deserves to be Chicago’s starting quarterback the rest of the way. Trubisky completed four or more passes to five different Bears receivers as Chicago held the ball for almost five minutes longer than their opponent. Chicago has lost six in a row.

27) Philadelphia Eagles (3-8-1)

The Eagles’ offense is tough to watch. Midway through the third quarter with just three points on the board, Jalen Hurts entered the game after Carson Wentz could only muster 79 yards through the air. Hurts really wasn’t much better, and this offense has more problems than a simple quarterback change can fix.

Jalen Reagor returned a punt for a touchdown to bring the score to 23-16 midway through the fourth quarter, but this game was never really close.

26) Detroit Lions (5-7)

In Darrell Bevell’s first game as Detroit’s interim head coach, the Bears got up early on in the game. But then Bevell put the ball in Matthew Stafford’s hands, and the veteran quarterback led his team to victory by passing for over 400 yards. The Lions got very little from their run game against a stout Chicago defense but still found a way to get their new head coach a win.

25) Los Angeles Chargers (3-9)

Miami’s defense – a carbon copy of New England’s – dominated and confused Justin Herbert and company three weeks ago. The same happened on Sunday as Los Angeles couldn’t have been more outcoached by Bill Belichick. Special teams were an utter disaster for the Chargers yet again. Changes need to be made after this 45-0 loss.

24) Carolina Panthers (4-8)

Sitting at 4-8, the Panthers had their late bye in Week 13. Carolina beat the Lions two weeks ago, but other than that, they have lost every game in their last seven attempts. Could Christian McCaffrey return after the bye week, or will Carolina just shut him down until next year?

23) Houston Texans (4-8)

It can’t be stated enough as to just how well Deshaun Watson is playing and the degree to which he elevates those around him. This week against the Colts, Watson coaxed 100-yard games out of Keke Coutee and Chad Hansen. The Texans were just under a full yard per play better than Indianapolis but were minus two in the turnover department and struggled to convert on third downs.

22) Denver Broncos (4-8)

This was a very strong showing by the Broncos, and they were up 10-9 at the half. The Broncos defensive front did a great job disrupting throwing lanes, and Denver had no fear of the Chiefs running game. Their red-zone defense was superb, holding Kansas City to field goals. This is a very young offense with a lot of talent and an extremely well-coached defense, but it wasn’t enough to knock off Kansas City.

21) Arizona Cardinals (6-6)

Sean McVay has had the Cardinals’ number over his coaching career. Arizona got little pressure on Jared Goff and was overmatched on defense. The Cardinals held the ball for just slightly over 21 minutes, generated very little on the ground, and could only muster a terrible 3.7 yards per play.

Kyler Murray doesn’t look like himself and only ran for 15 yards. If it weren’t for the “Hail Murray,” Arizona would be on a five-game losing streak.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 14: Teams ranked 20-11

We kick off the top 20 of these Week 14 NFL Power Rankings with the Washington Football Team. Who else falls in the ranks of 20-11? Let’s continue our march as we count down to the best teams in the NFL heading into Week 14.

20) Washington Football Team (5-7)

The Football Team traveled to Pittsburgh and knocked off the undefeated Steelers in the early Monday night game. Washington lost Antonio Gibson very early on and never got a ground game going. The Football Team didn’t convert a third down in the first half, but the second half belonged to Washington on both sides of the ball. Logan Thomas was very impressive, ending the game with just under 100 receiving yards.

As usual, Washington’s defensive line was great and allowed them to blitz very infrequently. This was a huge win for Washington as they advance to 5-7 after winning their last three.

19) New York Giants (5-7)

As this season has gone on, it is obvious that New York is taking on the tough-minded physical persona of Joe Judge, their first-year head coach. New York won at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and Wayne Gallman ran for 135 yards. The Giants asked very little from Colt McCoy, who was filling in for Daniel Jones, as their defense continues to impress. New York is now 5-7 after winning their last four games.

18) New England Patriots (6-6)

Going into halftime, New England had a 28-0 lead over the Chargers, and Cam Newton had thrown for just 42 yards. The Patriots dominated the hidden yardage in this game to get back to .500 after winning three of their last four games. The Patriots are still alive in the AFC playoff battle.

Bill Belichick is doing a remarkable job with a roster that is extremely short on talent. But that should come as no surprise. Just imagine if Belichick had the Chargers roster.

17) San Francisco 49ers (5-7)

Officially the home team, San Francisco hosted the Bills in Glendale, Arizona on the second of two Monday night games and suffered their seventh loss of the season. It was great to see the 49ers’ offensive playmakers healthy and Nick Mullens didn’t play poorly at all, but the Bills were clearly the better team. This was especially true when Buffalo had the football, as the 49ers had no answer for Josh Allen. San Francisco has only won one game in their last five, but they are still a highly competitive team that could play spoiler the rest of the way.

16) Las Vegas Raiders (7-5)

After getting blown out by Atlanta last week, the Raiders could barely squeak by the winless Jets in Week 13. The Jets certainly deserve some credit, but this isn’t a great look for Las Vegas. Darren Waller exploded in this game with 200 receiving yards, but the rest of Vegas’ offense wasn’t very effective. At 7-5, the Raiders are still very much in the mix in the AFC Wild Card race.

15) Atlanta Falcons (4-8)

The Falcons hung with a very good New Orleans team even without anything from their run game and just a little over 23 minutes of possession time. But the combination of Atlanta’s underrated and improving defense along with Matt Ryan and Calvin Ridley gave the Falcons a chance. This team can hang with just about anyone in the league.

14) Minnesota Vikings (6-6)

Jacksonville gave the Vikings a very tough time, and if it wasn’t for the Vikings creating four turnovers, Minnesota very well could have lost this game that ended up going deep into overtime. Kirk Cousins threw a bad interception, but overall, he has played very well of late.

Minnesota might have the NFL’s most underrated offense, which is something we’ll be keeping an eye on as we continue to update our NFL Power Rankings. The Vikings now sit at .500 and have won five of their last six games – even though this one doesn’t look so great on the surface.

13) Miami Dolphins (8-4)

At the half, the Bengals led this game 7-6. Tua Tagovailoa started slow, as did the entire Miami offense. Tagovailoa got better as the game went along and is developing nice chemistry with Mike Gesicki. But as usual, Miami’s defense was their best unit, eliminating the Bengals running game and sacking Brandon Allen six times. Miami is 8-4 and is 7-1 in their last eight.

12) Indianapolis Colts (8-4)

The Colts got a big win against Houston, but this was a pretty evenly played game from start to finish. Philip Rivers was efficient with the football, and the Colts sacked Deshaun Watson five times. Although Indianapolis has won three of their last four games, they don’t exactly look like a powerhouse.

11) Tennessee Titans (8-4)

Baker Mayfield and the Browns jumped all over Tennessee early in this game, and the Titans were losing 38-7 at the half. The Titans did come back to make this game much more interesting than Cleveland would have liked but ultimately lost.

Much of it obviously came when playing from behind, but Ryan Tannehill still threw for 389 yards, with 182 of those going to Corey Davis. The Titans’ run defense held up well, but Mayfield carved this secondary up as Cleveland held the ball for nearly 37 minutes. Tennessee’s defense really has a tough time getting off the field – they are now 8-4 on the season.

Teams ranked 10-6

We’re getting closer to the top five best teams in the NFL heading into Week 14 but first, let’s take a look at the teams ranked 10-6 in my Power Rankings. We begin with the Cleveland Browns.

10) Cleveland Browns (9-3)

This was a statement game by the Browns and Baker Mayfield. Cleveland held the football for almost 37 minutes, but surprisingly, they only ran for 118 yards even though they held a big lead for most of this contest. Believe it or not, the Browns are now 9-3 and have won four games in a row. However, there are some real concerns with this secondary.

9) Baltimore Ravens (7-5)

To wrap up Week 13 on Tuesday night, the Ravens looked more like the team we have become accustomed to as they advanced to 7-5 by knocking off Dallas. Lamar Jackson missed some throws, but Baltimore really didn’t need their passing game and overall, Jackson’s playmaking skills were in full effect. This win snaps Baltimore’s three-game losing streak. They now head to Cleveland in a very big game in Week 14.

8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5)

The Week 13 bye week comes at a great time for Tampa Bay. Hopefully, they take this opportunity to better marry Bruce Arians’ scheme with Tom Brady’s skill set. Plus, a lot of veterans on this squad could surely use a break before the stretch run. The losses came against high-quality teams (Saints, Rams, and Chiefs), but nonetheless, Tampa Bay has dropped three of their last four games.

7) Seattle Seahawks (8-4)

Seattle fell to the Giants in a game where the Seahawks led 5-0 at the half. New York’s defense was the best unit on the field and kept Russell Wilson under wraps. Seattle’s pass rush has really come on of late, and the defense is playing much better now than early in the season. However, their inability to stop the run really hurt their cause in this one. The Seahawks have lost three of their last five games.

6) Los Angeles Rams (8-4)

Jared Goff had time to throw against the Cardinals and delivered. It looks as though Cam Akers is in the process of finally taking control of this backfield. He has an extremely bright future. But it was Los Angeles’ defense that was the star of this show as the Rams advanced to 8-4. When the Rams are at their best, they are as good as just about anyone in the league. But we don’t see it week after week.

The top 5 NFL teams

We kick off the top five of these NFL Week 14 Power Rankings with the Buffalo Bills along with the other four best teams in the league.

5) Buffalo Bills (9-3)

The Bills advanced to 9-3 against San Francisco in Glendale, Arizona on Monday night. Josh Allen threw the ball very well as Buffalo’s offense had their way with San Francisco’s defense. In fact, the Bills’ offense made it look surprisingly easy. Allen and Cole Beasley were really clicking while Stefon Diggs remains a constant star in this passing game. If it weren’t for the “Hail Murray,” the Bills would now be on a six-game winning streak.

4) Green Bay Packers (9-3)

No one is playing better than Aaron Rodgers. The throws he makes, the control of the game and offense, the ability to make everyone around him so much better…it is just unreal. The Packers controlled this game against Philadelphia from the start, but the Eagles did make it slightly interesting late. The Eagles’ offense is a disaster but give Green Bay’s defense some credit. Green Bay has only lost one of their last five games.

3) Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1)

On a short week and playing their third game in 12 days, the Steelers were dominated in the second half against Washington and dropped their first game of the 2020 season. The Steelers still can’t get a ground game going whatsoever and finished the day with just 21 rushing yards on 14 attempts. They’ve missed James Conner. Also, like last week, drops from the Steelers receivers was a real problem. Defensive injuries are also starting to take their toll. This team could use a bye.

2) New Orleans Saints (10-2)

Everyone will want to talk about Taysom Hill, and that makes perfect sense. But it is the Saints defense that is fueling this team right now. New Orleans has won nine games in a row. However, the passing game has been predictably erratic with Hill at quarterback. The silver lining is that Michael Thomas looks to be back to form, which is really encouraging going forward.

1) Kansas City Chiefs (11-1)

Early in the game on Sunday night, Patrick Mahomes missed Tyreek Hill for what could have been a long touchdown. Shortly after, Hill had an amazing touchdown catch, but no one knew it, and Kansas City punted the ball away. Later in the game, these two had a long touchdown brought back by penalty.

But Denver’s red-zone defense was superb, and Kansas City didn’t get into the end zone until very late in the third quarter when Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce, who had another huge game. This team is nearly impossible to hold down for 60 minutes, which is why they are once again number one in my NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 14.

Matt Williamson is a Senior NFL Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @WilliamsonNFL.

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