Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Playoff Race Heats Up As Packers, Colts, and Bills All Compete

The NFL power rankings are getting crazy with the insane amount of parity in the AFC. It feels like half the conference is 7-6 and fighting for a Wild Card bid.

It’s an 8-8 league, and the AFC playoff picture is an outstanding representation of that. Every team seems to be meeting at 7-6 in their pursuit of an 18th NFL game. That logjam creates chaos in the NFL power rankings.

NFL Power Rankings In Chaos

32) Carolina Panthers (32)

The Panthers offense is a complete mess. The wide receivers can’t separate, the linemen struggle in pass protection, the quarterback is in over his head (not a height joke), and the offensive structure remains uninspiring. It’s all bad, and it’s likely ruining the young quarterback.

31) Washington Commanders (30)

With new ownership at the helm and likely a new head coach for 2024, it will be fascinating to see how the Washington Commanders handle Sam Howell and the QB position this offseason if they have a chance to draft one of the top passers in the class.

Howell has displayed some impressive talent in his second NFL season, but the growing pains are also quite evident. In the end, this organization knew exactly what they were doing when they traded Montez Sweat and Chase Young.

30) New England Patriots (31)

The Patriots offense looked like it could do no wrong early against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but things stalled out in the second half, managing only three first downs in their five full drives.

The Patriots defense remains tough. They allowed only four yards per play against them and generally made Mitchell Trubisky uncomfortable. While that might not take much, the Patriots defense has proven it’s the only thing keeping them close in games.

29) Arizona Cardinals (28)

A Week 14 bye is a tough go of things, just like those who have byes in Week 4. The Cardinals have been a lot of fun this season, whether it be beating the Dallas Cowboys or competing in multiple other contests. Their roster is less than ideal, but the team has fought valiantly for first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon.

Getting Kyler Murray up to speed in a new offense before next season is the ultimate goal, along with getting him a little more help on the outside at wide receiver.

28) New York Giants (29)

Tommy DeVito’s legend continues to grow. The undrafted rookie free agent is now 3-1 as the Giants’ starter after leading the club to a win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night. After the Packers took a one-point lead with 1:33 remaining, DeVito calmly drove New York into range for a game-winning field goal. Don’t look now, but the Giants are one game out of the NFC’s seventh seed.

27) Tennessee Titans (27)

The Titans pulled off one of the most incredible comebacks of the season on MNF by scoring 15 points in the final three minutes to stun the Miami Dolphins. Will Levis was fired up on the sidelines after Tennessee took the lead, and the Titans have to be pleased with how their young offensive core played in Week 14.

Levis topped 300 passing yards for the first time in his NFL career, RB Tyjae Spears totaled 118 yards, and TE Chig Okonwko got in on the action with five catches for 46 yards. But let’s not forget veteran WR DeAndre Hopkins (7-124-1) or RB Derrick Henry, who scored two touchdowns, including the game-winner.

26) Los Angeles Chargers (24)

The LA offense is a disaster, and the defense remains as underwhelming as ever. But the issues don’t simply come down to coaching malpractice, either. That is unless the offensive coaching staff pounded the table for their most recent draft whiffs.

Justin Herbert hasn’t played to the standard we’ve come to expect from him in 2023, but he’s got Keenan Allen and a lot of mediocrity trying to “help” him on the outside.

25) Las Vegas Raiders (23)

We saw history with the Raiders and Vikings. It’s been a long time since we saw two teams enter the fourth quarter in a scoreless game. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they remained scoreless.

MORE: NFL Fans React to Low-Scoring Vikings 3-0 Win over the Raiders

They’re quite obviously not trying to win football games, or else Aidan O’Connell would have eventually been pulled for Jimmy Garoppolo like Josh Dobbs was pulled for Nick Mullins on the other side.

But the Raiders can take solace in their defensive uptick since around the midway point of the season. They’ve turned things around in a big way without boasting a significant amount of talent.

24) Chicago Bears (26)

The Bears came out of the bye week and thoroughly dominated the Detroit Lions. Justin Fields hasn’t magically turned into Tom Brady in the quick game, but he’s one of the most dangerous players in the NFL because of his unbelievable athleticism and outstanding arm.

But the Bears’ defensive uptick in recent weeks is more impressive than what they’ve done offensively as of late.

23) New York Jets (25)

Zach Wilson has been through a lot since entering the NFL. He’s been horrific. He’s been replaced by Aaron Rodgers and then benched for Tim Boyle. But Wilson had an awesome day against a secondary that has been incredibly opportunistic over the past few weeks intercepting passes.

He finished 27 of 36 for 302 yards and two TDs. His fumble on a third-down scramble took away a squeaky-clean day, but it was a far cry from being his normal reckless self.

But the Jets defense remains the real deal. Every window C.J. Stroud tried testing was the size of a bent nickel. The secondary is incredibly talented, the second level flies to the football, and the defensive front pests opposing quarterbacks.

22) Atlanta Falcons (20)

Desmond Ridder threw for what felt like a million yards, but the throws he doesn’t make and some of the decisions he does are what always seem to shine the brightest. Drake London found his groove today, and Ridder made some nice throws, but the bad misses remain.

Atlanta’s defense actually played a really good game against Tampa Bay, but they faded late, allowing Tampa Bay to score on three of their final four offensive drives, including two touchdowns and a field goal.

21) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (22)

It took everything the Buccaneers had to sneak past the Atlanta Falcons late in the game. Even then, Atlanta was only a few yards away from stealing a win on the final play of the game. It was the perfect NFC South game.

Mayfield struggled all day, and it was almost entirely because the Falcons made it their entire goal to make sure Mike Evans could not beat them. Mayfield has leaned on the big-bodied pass catcher all season, but teams might finally be sick of it.

20) New Orleans Saints (21)

The Saints let the game stay close for a long time. They ran the ball well enough, but they couldn’t find any explosiveness in the run game. The passing attack was completely nonexistent, but that didn’t matter much because they didn’t have to go a long way on any of their touchdown drives, thanks to the Panthers offense.

19) Minnesota Vikings (17)

It’s not often that you get to bench a quarterback and still win a football game, but the Vikings got the job done to remain above .500. Dobbs played well when he first got to Minnesota, but that flame quickly flickered out.

After getting Justin Jefferson back after an extended absence, the superstar wide receiver was quickly knocked out of this game, and the team took him to the hospital for precautionary purposes.

18) Los Angeles Rams (18)

The Rams are a fun, young football team with a bright future if they can add a few more core pieces at important positions this offseason. Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp had a throwback game. The 2021 run felt like today as Kupp went for 115 yards on eight catches. But his performance somehow felt even more significant.

17) Pittsburgh Steelers (12)

The Steelers survived for the first 12 weeks of the season despite clearly being an underwhelming football team. Stop me if you’ve heard this story before.

After losing consecutive games to two-win teams, some fans are calling for Mike Tomlin’s job. The reality is he’s always overachieved relative to the roster Pittsburgh has produced, especially since Ben Roethlisberger began declining.

However, he’s also failed to find his heir apparent. They’ve been through multiple iterations of underwhelming QBs, and unfortunately, Kenny Pickett is more of the same. Yes, Mitchell Trubisky was on the field for this game, but the Steelers have larger issues than this one-game sample.

16) Indianapolis Colts (16)

Sloppy play was the theme for Indianapolis in this one, and they’ll meet what feels like half of the AFC at 7-6. The Bengals dominated the game on their own accord, but mistakes from Indianapolis made the game entirely one-sided.

15) Cincinnati Bengals (19)

The Colts did a lot to let the Bengals take control of this game and run away with it. But the Bengals offense doesn’t look half bad with Jake Browning at the helm. But it was Chase Brown’s explosiveness and another explosive reception from Joe Mixon that propelled the Bengals on offense.

14) Seattle Seahawks (14)

Without Geno Smith available, the Seattle Seahawks had very little chance to pull a Goku and overcome impossible odds. Their bodies cannot reach some Ultra Instinct level when they’re battered and bruised, even if DK Metcalf tried to go Super Saiyan against Fred Warner.

It was a frustrating but expected loss for the Seahawks. But getting Smith back 100 percent healthy should be their main priority.

13) Green Bay Packers (15)

The Packers have completely flipped the script. After starting the season 2-5, they’re 4-1 in their last five games, and they’ve beaten some of the most talented rosters in the league along the way.

MORE: NFL Playoff Picture Week 14

Green Bay surprisingly lost to the Giants on Monday night, but they’re still the seventh seed in the NFC playoff picture. Their young quarterback is playing some outstanding football, and their impossibly young weapons corps has elevated their game over recent weeks. But possibly their greatest improvements have come on the offensive line. Jordan Love has been comfortable, and it’s because Zach Tom and Rasheed Walker are playing well.

12) Houston Texans (9)

The passing attack is about the Texans’ entire identity, and today, they filed charges against New York because the Jets flat-out stole their identity from them. Stroud, who averages nearly three Benjamins a game, completed fewer than half of his passes for only 91 yards.

Tank Dell’s injury certainly doesn’t help their cause, but nobody could find an inch of separation against the Jets.

11) Denver Broncos (13)

The Broncos have been one of the most impressive teams in the NFL over the past seven weeks. In that time, they are 6-1 and have beaten the Packers, Chiefs, Bills, Vikings, and Browns.

They were expected to beat the Chargers, and they could have run away and hid with this game if one of their wide receivers could read the job description.

10) Jacksonville Jaguars (8)

Calvin Ridley is one of the most impressive route runners in the NFL. He couldn’t get open. Zay Jones couldn’t breathe. The only entity on the Jaguars offense that could find some breathing room was Evan Engram, who continues to prove his worth in Jacksonville as a chain-mover.

9) Buffalo Bills (10)

The Bills are back? They joined many of their competitors at 7-6 after beating the Chiefs out of their bye week. Josh Allen didn’t have his best game of all time, and neither did Patrick Mahomes. It certainly wasn’t a re-enactment of their Divisional Round matchup when they each played some of the best quarterback we’ve ever seen.

James Cook has been a revelation for the Bills. However, with the Cowboys and Dolphins remaining on the schedule, Buffalo can’t afford any letdowns.

8) Detroit Lions (7)

The Lions are officially in trouble. They’re still running the ball well, but Jared Goff has been struggling, and their defense has fallen apart in the second half of the season.

Goff’s regression shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Lions have had to play musical chairs with the interior of their offensive line. That’s led to leaks on the interior, and Goff does not possess the athleticism or playmaking ability to create in a collapsing pocket.

7) Cleveland Browns (11)

Congratulations are in order for the Browns, who saw they had an issue at the quarterback position. They needed someone with experience who could just keep the car on the right side of the road while the Browns defense dominated opposing offenses.

A 31-27 game may not feel like defensive dominance, but when you consider the Jaguars offense started with the football on 17 offensive drives, a 31-27 game feels like a low-scoring affair.

It felt like a college game, and it lasted about as long as one, running for nearly four hours. But Cleveland proved that they belong in the AFC conversation with their win against the Jaguars.

6) Kansas City Chiefs (5)

If you watch football and hear that the Chiefs lost, we wouldn’t even have to watch the game to know why it happened. The wide receivers let them down in a critical moment. Kadarius Toney’s inexcusable offside penalty directly cost them the game.

Things are getting ugly in Kansas City for the first time since Patrick Mahomes became the starting quarterback. It seems they have finally gone a step too far in ignoring the wide receiver position.

5) Miami Dolphins (2)

What an absolute disaster.

Miami entered Monday night as a 14-point favorite over the Titans, who appeared to be playing out the string on a lost season. Everything appeared to be going the Dolphins’ way for a while. They averted disaster when wideouts Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle avoided serious injury and held a 14-point lead with fewer than three minutes remaining.

MORE: AFC No. 1 Seed Playoff Scenarios

Miami somehow coughed up that lead to Will Levis and Co., and it’s difficult to overstate how much Monday’s loss will hinder the club’s chances at the AFC’s No. 1 seed. The Dolphins are now a game behind the 10-3 Baltimore Ravens, who they’ll face in Week 17.

4) Baltimore Ravens (6)

The Ravens sure know how to make things interesting. Lamar Jackson’s frenetic pace seems to wash over the entire team.

Jackson was electric against the Rams in a bad-weather Baltimore game. The two-point conversion to Zay Flowers was one of the most impressive single plays we’ve seen all season.

But every dropback feels like a heart attack. Baltimore always finds a way to keep things interesting, and the same was true against the Rams on Sunday.

3) Philadelphia Eagles (3)

The Eagles got embarrassed a week ago against the 49ers and were dominated by the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. While Philadelphia outgained Dallas by nearly a yard per play, the club’s three offensive stars — Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, and DeVonta Smith — all coughed up the ball.

Although the Eagles lost the NFC East lead and the No. 1 seed thanks to their Week 14 loss, they have the easiest remaining schedule among any of the conference’s true contenders. Upcoming games against the Seahawks, Giants, and Cardinals will be far more forgiving.

2) Dallas Cowboys (4)

It was a pretty good Sunday night for the Cowboys. Dak Prescott continued to bolster his MVP case, the running game got going en route to 138 rushing yards, and Dan Quinn’s defense turned Philly over three times.

Dallas overtook the Eagles for first place in the NFC East and still has a shot at a first-round playoff bye. But Prescott and Co. have to face the Bills, Dolphins, and Lions over the next three weeks. While the Cowboys are all but assured of a playoff spot, they might have a tough time competing with San Francisco and Philadelphia for the conference’s No. 1 seed.

1) San Francisco 49ers (1)

The 49ers are seemingly impossible to defend. Even when a few aspects are slow, they have their Deebo Samuel trump card to pull. They don’t even have to drop back traditionally to move the ball up and down the field.

Brock Purdy threw for 368 yards on only 27 attempts, and he didn’t even have a particularly strong game. Between defensive lapses caused by Kyle Shanahan’s play-calling and the talent in San Francisco, it was a bloodbath for Seattle’s defense.

Want to predict the rest of the 2023 season with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor? Looking for the most up-to-date NFL standings? What about a breakdown of team depth charts or the NFL schedule? Pro Football Network has you covered with that and more! 

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