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NFL power rankings: Bills, Cowboys jump Chiefs with Bengals closing in; Dolphins sink for Week 14

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Week 13 in the NFL provided some interesting developments with familiar contenders flexing and other Super Bowl hopefuls hitting some snags. On the lower level, some lesser teams continued to get off the mat while others also-rans kept getting flattened.

With Week 14 here, that means there are only five weeks left in the 2022 regular season. Playoff seeding and positions are on the line. On flip side, some teams are getting to closer to think more about 2023 free agency and the draft.

Here’s how all 32 teams stack up against each other in Sporting News’ latest weekly look at the best, the average and the worst:

MORE: Updated NFL playoff picture for Week 13

NFL power rankings Week 14

1. Philadelphia Eagles 11-1 (previous week: 1)

The Eagles went back to their early-season dominance at home by ripping the Titans with plenty of Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. They can win offensively in so many ways and adjust week to week, with the defense always being a strong all-around backbone.

2. Buffalo Bills 9-3 (4)

The Bills also enjoyed a dominant get-right game on the road in New England to open Week 13 on Thursday night. Josh Allen looks more like himself and the running game and defense are finding their late 2021 form again.

3. Dallas Cowboys 9-3 (5)

The Cowboys started slowly against the Colts offensively and defensively but then took over with another dominant scoring performance backed by big plays to close things out and make it a rout. Dak Prescott is zoned in, his receivers are rolling and the running game is explosive. Dallas is the second-best team in its division and conference.

4. Kansas City Chiefs 9-3 (2)

The Chiefs couldn’t figure out the Bengals in crunch time in another close game, making more critical mistakes. Their defense still can struggle with diverse attacks and the offense isn’t so automatic at times with Patrick Mahomes. They slipped as Super Bowl favorites, but not by much.

5. Minnesota Vikings 10-2 (6)

The Vikings continue to be disrespected because they do have defensive issues with an inconsistent yet sometimes explosive offense. It’s true they tend to win a lot of close games, home or away, including the Jets’ contest, but that’s a testament to their tougher and more confident mental makeup under rookie coach Kevin O’Connell.

6. San Francisco 49ers 8-4 (7)

The 49ers made a statement against the Dolphins with new weapon Christian McCaffrey and the defense paving the way, giving them a big lift after venerable team leader and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down. They are still in strong shape for the playoffs via the NFC West title with rookie Brock Purdy, but another Super Bowl run is in a bit of a trouble.

7. Cincinnati Bengals 8-4 (8)

The Bengals are finding their offensive groove with Joe Burrow and most of his weapons in tow again with Joe Mixon on his way back by next week. But the underrated defense continues to be clutch in key situations, led by Trey Hendrickson.

8. Miami Dolphins 8-4 (3)

The Dolphins deserve to dip with a limited offensive performance and more defensive woes against a 49ers team lost its veteran starting QB early. The road loss was expected, but the way in which happened suggests the Dolphins belong in the playoffs as only a AFC wild-card team behind the Bills.

9. Baltimore Ravens 8-4 (10)

The Ravens had another rough offensive game against the Broncos’ tough defense but were saved late by ace backup QB Tyler Huntley, who was an effective sub for Lamar Jackson last season. They can be thankful their own dominant defense is coming together at the right time to be huge.

10. New York Giants 7-4-1 (11)

The Giants played a weird game of attrition against the Commanders, and they were fit to be tied with cautious offense and limited play-calling in relation to their weapons around Daniel Jones with the defense struggling. It wasn’t the worst idea to preserve playoff position ahead of a Week 15 rematch.

Taylor Heinicke

11. Washington Commanders 7-5-1 (12)

The Commanders also should be happy with the tie against the Giants that helped keep them ahead of the Seahawks, knowing they got that result on the road with the rematch in Washington happening again after their bye. Taylor Heinicke, the running game and the defense are giving them just enough.

12. Tennessee Titans 7-5 (9)

The Titans cannot win any shootouts when a team goes ahead of them with the downfield passing game. They are build to run the ball with Derrick Henry and play grinding, physical situational defense. They are winning the AFC South again, but they are limping into the playoffs in their current state.

13. Seattle Seahawks 7-5 (15)

The Seahawks were pushed again until the end by the Rams in Los Angeles, but they dug deep with Geno Smith without their running game at full strength minus Kenneth Walker to get a key rebound victory that keeps them right in the wild-card hunt behind the still NFC West favorite 49es.

14. New York Jets 7-5 (13)

The Jets tried to find some Mike White magic in Minnesota for a miracle win over the Vikings, but they came up short with firepower and clean football on both sides of the ball for Robert Saleh. They’re still learning how to win as they win more.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-6 (17)

The Buccaneers will attempt to get back to .500 and create some cushion in the weak NFC South on Monday night at home against the Saints. The defense is finding a few answers, but they need more consistency and reliability around Tom Brady offensively, stat, again.

16. Los Angeles Chargers 6-6 (14)

The Chargers bolted out to an impressive start against the Raiders but then saw their run defense issue rear its ugly head. There’s simply been too much put on Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler and now Keenan Allen again to win games.

17. New England Patriots 6-6 (16)

The Patriots tried to operate smooth offense again with Mac Jones, but given his receivers, there’s not much there when Rhamondre Stevenson is contained out of the backfield. The defense is falling apart in key spots for Bill Belichick, too.

18. Atlanta Falcons 5-8 (18)

The Falcons have overachieved already just to stay in the NFC playoff race but their defensive and passing game limitations keep hurting them in tossup games. They need to make a QB change to Desmond Ridder soon to see what they have there.

19. Las Vegas Raiders 5-7 (20)

The Raiders got out of close-game comeback mode and instead played enough defense against the Chargers and rode more of Josh Jacobs to facilitate big production from Derek Carr and Davante Adams. They can keep lamenting what could have been if they weren’t so bad so early in the season.

20. Cleveland Browns 5-7 (21)

What was that? Deshaun Watson returned and while he struggled to get into the groove with the offense in his first start back, the defense and special teams had his back to remind one how complete a team the Browns can be when right.

Deshaun Watson

21. Pittsburgh Steelers 5-7 (22)

The Steelers are feeling it with Kenny Pickett leading their run-heavy offense and T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick and other principals going back to making big plays on defense. They were bound to have a good finishing surge for Mike Tomlin.

22. Detroit Lions 5-7 (24)

The Lions roared at home offensively like they’ve done many times this season but Aidan Hutchinson and the young defense also flashed some big moments in a potential shootout. Jared Goff still has them alive for a playoff berth.

23. Green Bay Packers 5-8 (26)

Aaron Rodgers wanted to play against the Bears in Chicago to keep owning them with a comeback and he did just that ahead of getting much-needed rest in a Week 14 bye. The Packers aren’t completely dead in the NFC playoff race but even running the table might not be close to enough.

24. Arizona Cardinals 4-8 (26)

The Cardinals had a late bye to figure out how to get more out of their offense with Kyler Murray. It might be critical to score well and be very competitive down the stretch so Kliff Kingsbury sees another season.

25. Carolina Panthers 4-8 (27)

The Panthers also enjoyed a bye in trying to figure out how to finish strong for former Cardinals coach Steve Wilks to give him a second full-time shot right where he is. The defense at least is playing hard for more inspiring offense with Sam Darnold.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars 4-8 (19)

The Jaguars had a big opportunity in Detroit, but then couldn’t find offense out of the gate and never found their foot with young defense. Doug Pederson’s first-year roller coaster still beats anything from Urban Meyer.

27. Indianapolis Colts 4-8-1 (23)

The Colts were able to fight hard and find an offensive spark with Matt Ryan for almost three quarters in Dallas. But then the wheels of the turnover mess came falling off to remind everyone why of they’ve lost plenty of horsepower overall this season.

28. New Orleans Saints 4-8 (28)

The Saints are facing more of their familiar nightmare with Andy Dalton needing to start another prime-time game. They still have a shot to steal the NFC South with defense and some timely pass plays, but beating the Buccaneers on Monday is must-do.

29. Los Angeles Rams 3-9 (29)

The Rams got a little more going offensively with John Wolford starting again for a shut-down Matthew Stafford but their defense crumbled late without Aaron Donald. They are headed to the worst Super Bowl-winning hangover ever under Sean McVay.

30. Denver Broncos 3-9 (30)

The Broncos were handed a big upset opportunity in Baltimore with their defense dominating again and asking even less out of the offense. Unfortunately, Russell Wilson and friends decided not to take advantage, even when no longer opposite Jackson.

Justin Fields

31. Chicago Bears 3-10 (31)

The Bears got Justin Fields back and looked great for a while with their dynamic dual-threat second-year QB, but then once again, their injury-riddled shell of a defense couldn’t stop anything again. They need to make that a priority in the draft.

32. Houston Texans 1-9-1 (32)

The Texans contained Watson, Nick Chubb and the Browns’ potent offense at home but still lost because their offense continue to find new lows at QB with Kyle Allen instead of Davis Mills, dragging down rookie Dameon Pierce in the running game.


Credit: sportingnews.com

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