NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where Every Team Stands Going Into Week 15

tom brady 2012 new england patriots

[credit provider=”Jim Rogash/Getty Images”]

It was the most upset-filled week of the NFL season.Four of our top-five teams from last week lost, and our rankings were turned upside down as a result.

We have a brand new top three, led by the New England Patriots, and two hot NFC teams are threatening to break into the top 10.

Click here to see the rankings >
Once again, here’s how we came up with them.

We took our rankings from last week and moved teams up and down based on the following criteria:

  • A win: up 2 spots
  • A loss: down 1 spot
  • A loss by 10+ points: down 2 spots
  • A win against a top-5 team from the week before: up 2 spots
  • A win against a top-12 team from the week before (aka, a playoff team): up 1 spot
  • Covering the point spread: up 1 spot
  • A winning record: up 1 spot
  • A losing record: down 1 spot
  • No team with a winning record can be outside the top 16

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permalink=”1-new-england-patriots-3-last-week-beat-the-texans-1″
title=”1. New England Patriots (#3 last week): Beat the Texans”
content=”Record: 10-3

Biggest thing we learned this week: The pass defence — the team’s one glaring weakness — has improved dramatically in the last month.”
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permalink=”2-denver-broncos-5-last-week-beat-the-raiders-2″
title=”2. Denver Broncos (#5 last week): Beat the Raiders”
content=”Record: 10-3

Biggest thing we learned this week: They can beat bad teams without their ‘A’ game. Denver only scored TDs on two of their seven red-zone possessions, but still handled Oakland on the road.”
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permalink=”3-san-francisco-49ers-7-last-week-beat-the-dolphins-3″
title=”3. San Francisco 49ers (#7 last week): Beat the Dolphins”
content=”Record: 9-3-1

Biggest thing we learned this week: Colin Kaepernick is basically doing the same thing Alex Smith did as a passer (protecting the ball, completing a high percentage of his passes). But he’s making big plays as a runner — Kaepernick has 50-yard runs in two-straight weeks.”
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permalink=”4-houston-texans-1-last-week-lost-to-the-patriots-4″
title=”4. Houston Texans (#1 last week): Lost to the Patriots”
content=”Record: 11-2

Biggest thing we learned this week: It was bad, but not as bad as it looked. The Texans made three uncharacteristic errors (an INT, a failed fumble recovery, and a pass interference call) in the first half that left them down 21-0 before they could blink. But still, Matt Schaub was overthrowing people all night.”
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permalink=”5-atlanta-falcons-2-last-week-lost-to-the-panthers-5″
title=”5. Atlanta Falcons (#2 last week): Lost to the Panthers”
content=”Record: 11-2

Biggest thing we learned this week: The Falcons are coasting, and you can’t blame them. Despite the loss, they’re still two games up in the race for the #1 seed in the NFC.”
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permalink=”6-green-bay-packers-8-last-week-beat-the-lions-6″
title=”6. Green Bay Packers (#8 last week): Beat the Lions”
content=”Record: 9-4

Biggest thing we learned this week: They’re transition to a more run-centric offence is coming along nicely. The offensive line isn’t good enough to protect Aaron Rodgers.”
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permalink=”7-baltimore-ravens-4-last-week-lost-to-the-redskins-7″
title=”7. Baltimore Ravens (#4 last week): Lost to the Redskins”
content=”Record: 9-4

Biggest thing we learned this week: It’s looking like they peaked too early. They fired their offensive coordinator (presumably for failing to get Ray Rice involved enough), even though the defence was the problem on Sunday.”
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permalink=”8-new-york-giants-11-last-week-beat-the-saints-8″
title=”8. New York Giants (#11 last week): Beat the Saints”
content=”Record: 8-5

Biggest thing we learned this week: Well that was a big way for Eli Manning to burst out of a mini slump. He threw for 4 TDs, and also explained to the New York Times why he doesn’t wear a cup. Big week.”
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permalink=”9-indianapolis-colts-10-last-week-beat-the-titans-9″
title=”9. Indianapolis Colts (#10 last week): Beat the Titans”
content=”Record: 9-4

Biggest thing we learned this week: Andrew Luck has been quietly mediocre, but he’s still making big plays in the fourth quarter to pull out these games.”
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permalink=”10-pittsburgh-steelers-6-last-week-lost-to-the-chargers-10″
title=”10. Pittsburgh Steelers (#6 last week): Lost to the Chargers”
content=”Record: 7-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: They’re still dangerous, but there’s reason for concern. The defence is regressing to where they were in September, and Big Ben doesn’t look entirely healthy yet.”
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permalink=”11-seattle-seahawks-12-last-week-beat-the-cardinals-11″
title=”11. Seattle Seahawks (#12 last week): Beat the Cardinals”
content=”Record: 8-5

Biggest thing we learned this week: 58-0. 8 turnovers by Arizona. Russell Wilson took almost the entire second half off. It was by far the worst beating of the season.”
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permalink=”12-chicago-bears-9-last-week-lost-to-the-vikings-12″
title=”12. Chicago Bears (#9 last week): Lost to the Vikings”
content=”Record: 8-5

Biggest thing we learned this week: They’re clinging to a playoff spot, but look disoriented after dropping four of their last five. Jay Cutler even got benched at the end of this game.”
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permalink=”13-washington-redskins-16-last-week-beat-the-ravens-13″
title=”13. Washington Redskins (#16 last week): Beat the Ravens”
content=”Record: 7-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: Like Denver last year, they have some weird mojo going, and they’re probably the most fun team to watch in the NFC right now.”
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permalink=”14-dallas-cowboys-15-last-week-beat-the-bengals-14″
title=”14. Dallas Cowboys (#15 last week): Beat the Bengals”
content=”Record: 7-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: They’re quietly playing pretty well. Beating the Bengals on the road is a good win, and now they put themselves in a position to make a run at the NFC East.”
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permalink=”15-minnesota-vikings-17-last-week-beat-the-bears-15″
title=”15. Minnesota Vikings (#17 last week): Beat the Bears”
content=”Record: 7-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: Adrian Peterson only had 50 yards after the first quarter because Chicago totally crowded the box to stop him. Minnesota needs QB Christian Ponder to make plays to win.”
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permalink=”16-cincinnati-bengals-13-last-week-lost-to-the-cowboys-16″
title=”16. Cincinnati Bengals (#13 last week): Lost to the Cowboys”
content=”Record: 7-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: Cincy had an excellent chance to win this game, but the defence was the problem again. They allowed two long drives to end the game, and lost on a field goal at the last second.”
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[slide
permalink=”17-tampa-bay-buccaneers-14-last-week-lost-to-the-eagles-17″
title=”17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (#14 last week): Lost to the Eagles”
content=”Record: 6-7

Biggest thing we learned this week: Of all the upsets on Sunday, this might have been the worst. Tampa was unable to move the ball against one of the worst defenses in football, and their pass D allowed rookie Nick Foles to throw for nearly 400 yards.”
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permalink=”18-new-york-jets-19-last-week-beat-the-jaguars-18″
title=”18. New York Jets (#19 last week): Beat the Jaguars”
content=”Record: 6-7

Biggest thing we learned this week: They’re going back to ground and pound. They ran the ball 42 times and threw it just 19 against the Jags.”
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[slide
permalink=”19-st-louis-rams-22-last-week-beat-the-bills-19″
title=”19. St. Louis Rams (#22 last week): Beat the Bills”
content=”Record: 6-6-1

Biggest thing we learned this week: The least-talked about playoff contender in the league continues to impress on defence. They had two more takeaways and held Buffalo to 12 points.”
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permalink=”20-cleveland-browns-21-last-week-beat-the-chiefs-20″
title=”20. Cleveland Browns (#21 last week): Beat the Chiefs”
content=”Record: 5-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: The white-hot Browns! But in all seriousness, they played their most complete game of the year (against the Chiefs, but still).”
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permalink=”21-san-diego-chargers-24-last-week-beat-the-steelers-21″
title=”21. San Diego Chargers (#24 last week): Beat the Steelers”
content=”Record: 5-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: They were up big before they called off the dogs on the road. Unfortunately it’s probably too late to make a realistic playoff run.”
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permalink=”22-miami-dolphins-18-last-week-lost-to-the-49ers-22″
title=”22. Miami Dolphins (#18 last week): Lost to the 49ers”
content=”Record: 5-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: Ryan Tannehill’s downfall continues. The rookie QB has now had a sub-40 QB rating in four of his last five games.”
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permalink=”23-detroit-lions-20-last-week-lost-to-the-packers-23″
title=”23. Detroit Lions (#20 last week): Lost to the Packers”
content=”Record: 4-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: They blew a 10-point lead for their third game in a row. Oof.”
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permalink=”24-carolina-panthers-26-last-week-beat-the-falcons-24″
title=”24. Carolina Panthers (#26 last week): Beat the Falcons”
content=”Record: 4-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: The rumours of Cam Newton’s sophomore demise were premature. He had a 72-yard TD run that reminded us why we fell in love with him last year.”
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permalink=”25-buffalo-bills-23-last-week-lost-to-the-rams-25″
title=”25. Buffalo Bills (#23 last week): Lost to the Rams”
content=”Record: 5-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: The defence has been excellent for the last month, but their offence has tanked. It was exactly the opposite of this early in the year, which is why they’re so inconsistent.”
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permalink=”26-philadelphia-eagles-29-last-week-beat-the-bucs-26″
title=”26. Philadelphia Eagles (#29 last week): Beat the Bucs”
content=”Record: 4-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: Seriously, what do we even make of this? Nick Foles wins a game on the road without his top running back, wide receiver, and tight end? We learned everything and nothing.”
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[slide
permalink=”27-new-orleans-saints-25-last-week-lost-to-the-giants-27″
title=”27. New Orleans Saints (#25 last week): Lost to the Giants”
content=”Record: 5-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: Their mini mid-season winning streak against bad teams was an aberration.”
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[slide
permalink=”28-arizona-cardinals-27-last-week-lost-to-the-seahawks-28″
title=”28. Arizona Cardinals (#27 last week): Lost to the Seahawks”
content=”Record: 4-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: We sincerely apologise for saying John Skelton should start. He threw four first-half picks.”
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[slide
permalink=”29-tennessee-titans-30-last-week-lost-to-the-colts-29″
title=”29. Tennessee Titans (#30 last week): Lost to the Colts”
content=”Record: 4-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: Jake Locker started hot, but the team collapsed down the stretch for another bad loss.”
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[slide
permalink=”30-kansas-city-chiefs-28-last-week-lost-to-the-browns-30″
title=”30. Kansas City Chiefs (#28 last week): Lost to the Browns”
content=”Record: 2-11

Biggest thing we learned this week: Last week’s emotional win over Carolina was not an indication that this team is building anything good.”
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[slide
permalink=”31-jacksonville-jaguars-32-last-week-lost-to-the-jets-31″
title=”31. Jacksonville Jaguars (#32 last week): Lost to the Jets”
content=”Record: 2-11

Biggest thing we learned this week: They are as bad as we thought.”
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[slide
permalink=”32-oakland-raiders-31-last-week-lost-to-the-broncos-32″
title=”32. Oakland Raiders (#31 last week): Lost to the Broncos”
content=”Record: 3-10

Biggest thing we learned this week: They got blown out by double digits for the fifth time in their last six games. They’re bad at QB and on defence right now.”
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[slide
permalink=”tom-brady-isnt-just-having-a-big-week-on-the-field-he-made-this-list-33″
title=”Tom Brady isn’t just having a big week on the field, he made this list”
content=”The Sexiest Athletes Alive! >
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