There’s three weeks left in the 2020-21 NFL regular season, but no shortage of new, emerging, and continuing storylines as the league completed it’s 14th week of the season. The […]
There’s three weeks left in the 2020-21 NFL regular season, but no shortage of new, emerging, and continuing storylines as the league completed it’s 14th week of the season.
The biggest outcome of the week had to be the Buffalo Bills upsetting the Pittsburgh Steelers. Suddenly, Pittsburgh has just one more win than Buffalo. Are the Steelers the elite team that started 11-0, or did the Bills prove they’re just as good if not better?
The NFC East will come down to the wire, and this week, Washington Football Team grabbed a one-game lead over the New York Giants. The Philadelphia Eagles finally found a win, by switching to rookie Jalen Hurts at quarterback. And with the New Orleans Saints losing, the Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, and Seattle Seahawks all have a potential path to the NFC’s top seed and a first round bye.
While no new teams entered the Top Ten this week, there was plenty of movement across the board.
Eight Straight Weeks at the Top: If you only counted the first and fourth quarter of the Chiefs game against the Dolphins last week, Miami would have won the game 24-3. Luckily, the second and third quarters also count, where Kansas City put up 30 points to Miami’s 3. A wacky game for sure, but the Chiefs are still the league’s best team.
Buffalo Bills (10-3) [Last Week: 5]
The Bills earned their signature win of the season in Week 14, dispatching the 11-1 Steelers by a score of 26-15 on Sunday Night Football. While losses to the Titans and Chiefs made me hesitant to crown Buffalo an elite team, they’re right there with the best of them after taking down Pittsburgh.
Green Bay Packers (10-3) [Last Week: 4]
Green Bay is bumped up a spot after the Steelers second straight loss. The Packers beat the Lions 31-24 last week: not the widest of margins, not the toughest of opponents, but it’s okay as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers improved to 10-3.
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2) [Last Week: 2]
While the Steelers are still easily one of the league’s best teams, concerns have been raised after back-to-back losses to Washington Football Team and the Buffalo Bills. Thanks to the Ravens win over the Browns, Pittsburgh doesn’t need to worry much about relinquishing the AFC North lead. But if the Steelers can’t get back to mid-season form by playoff time, it might be a short stay in the postseason.
New Orleans Saints (10-3) [Last Week: 3]
Despite a late comeback attempt, the Saints were dropped by the Eagles 24-21 to snap New Orleans’ nine-game winning streak. Still, 3-1 with Taysom Hill at quarterback isn’t horrible. While their upcoming matchup with the Chiefs could potentially be a second straight loss, the Saints will still be a dangerous team in the playoffs.
Los Angeles Rams (9-4) [Last Week: 6]
While I didn’t have the room to move the Rams up any spots, their stock continued to rise in Week 14 with a 24-3 win over the Patriots last Thursday night.
Seattle Seahawks (9-4) [Last Week: 7]
Seattle bounced back from an ugly 17-12 to a backup quarterback on the Giants by defeating New York’s other team 40-3 in a confidence-building victory.
Tennessee Titans (9-4) [Last Week: 10]
I may have rated the Titans a little low at #10 last week: their rise to #8 is less a reflection of their 31-10 win over the Jaguars and more of a correction on my part.
Arizona Cardinals (7-6) [Last Week: 8]
Arizona got back on track with a win over the Giants, but still need to show more to prove they can be a contender.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5) [Last Week: 9]
Likewise, while the Buccaneers 26-14 win over the Vikings was encouraging, Tampa Bay actually loses a spot while remaining in the Top Ten this week.
Indianapolis Colts (9-4) [Last Week: 11]
I’m not sure exactly what to make of this Colts team, but in the playoffs, I wouldn’t want to take my chances. I’m sure the Raiders weren’t expecting to be blown out 44-27 at home by this Indianapolis team.
Baltimore Ravens (8-5) [Last Week: 13]
Giving up 22 points in the fourth quarter of a 47-42 win might not be the cleanest of victories, but Baltimore took care of business, beating the Browns for the second time this season. The Ravens will have a chance in the final three weeks to leapfrog the Browns in the AFC North, hopefully making the playoffs in the process.
Miami Dolphins (8-5) [Last Week: 14]
The Dolphins may have lost, but showed potential in Week 14 against a dominant Chiefs team. 17 fourth quarter points were an especially encouraging sign for a Miami team that doesn’t rely too heavily on its offense.
Cleveland Browns (9-4) [Last Week: 12]
The Browns have a great 9-4 record, and nearly beat the Ravens in a Game of the Year candidate so far. But they didn’t, and that’s exactly what I would expect from Cleveland against any of the thirteen teams ahead of them.
Washington Football Team (6-7) [Last Week: 19]
After upsetting the previously undefeated Steelers, and then grinding out a nice 23-15 win over the 49ers, Washington’s stock is at a season-high. They have a one-game lead in the NFC East, and could be a gritty team come playoff time.
Minnesota Vikings (6-7) [Last Week: 17]
San Francisco 49ers (5-8) [Last Week: 15]
New York Giants (5-8) [Last Week: 16]
I didn’t really expect the Giants to beat Arizona, but their 26-7 home loss was hardly inspiring. New York’s grip on the NFC East is gone with three weeks to play, and the Giants will have to rely on Washington losing in order to make the playoffs.
New England Patriots (6-7) [Last Week: 18]
I’m not sure what happened to the Patriots inbetween their 45-0 win over the Chargers in Week 13 and 24-3 loss to the Rams in Week 14. Whatever it was, it appears to have ended any realistic chance at the playoffs for New England, ending a historically dominant string of success.
Las Vegas Raiders (7-6) [Last Week: 20]
Denver Broncos (5-8) [Last Week: 24]
Drew Lock had a career-high four passing touchdowns in a 32-27 win over the Panthers. If the Broncos offense finds consistency, Denver could be a solid team.
Detroit Lions (5-8) [Last Week: 25]
Philadelphia Eagles (4-8-1) [Last Week: 28]
Biggest Winner of Week 14: The switch to Jalen Hurts at quarterback paid off in a major way, as the Eagles upset the 10-2 Saints by a score of 24-21. Over the next three weeks, it will be interesting to see if Hurts can continue to play well.
Chicago Bears (6-7) [Last Week: 27]
Of course, the week I finally decide to pick against the Bears, they play their best game of the season. The 2020 Chicago Bears had all the makings of a 10-6 playoff team, and if anything, their 36-7 win hurts Chicago fans as a brutal reminder of what could have been.
Carolina Panthers (4-9) [Last Week: 21]
Los Angeles Chargers (4-9) [Last Week: 26]
Atlanta Falcons (4-9) [Last Week: 22]
Dallas Cowboys (4-9) [Last Week: 29]
Dallas is playing better lately, but it’s too little, too late.
Houston Texans (4-9) [Last Week: 23]
Biggest Loser of Week 14: The Texans didn’t have a chance to make the playoffs, but based on how they’ve been playing in the season’s second half, I thought we would see a stronger effort against the Bears. Instead, an embarrassing 36-7 beatdown drops the Texans to 4-9.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-12) [Last Week: 30]
Cincinnati Bengals (2-10-10) [Last Week: 31]
New York Jets (0-13) [Last Week: 32]
Twelve Straight Weeks at the Bottom: Another edition of Power Rankings, another week with the Jets at the bottom. The Jets played the Raiders to a one-score game in Week 13, and if they did the same against the Seahawks in Week 14, they could have rose a spot. But they lost 40-3 against the Seahawks, appearing to be playing a team from a completely different league.
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