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My 2021 Week 14 NFL Power Index

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Rich has a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Penn State. WE ARE!!!


2021 Week 14 NFL Power Rankings

Fourteen weeks are in the books. Zero teams have punched their ticket to the playoffs. This is the first time since 2017 that not a single team has clinched a postseason berth after fourteen weeks. Perhaps it is due to the extra game this year. More likely is that there seems to be an abundance of parity throughout the league. Any team seemingly has a chance to take out their opponent no matter who it is. While that gives hope to most fans, it makes ranking the teams that much more subjective. Good thing I don’t get graded on these because I’m sure my rankings are a bit different than others’.

1. Green Bay Packers (10-3) ~ Aaron Rodgers threw for nearly 350 yards and four touchdowns against Chicago and earned himself a few more ownership shares in the process. As you may recall, Rodgers declared that he owns the Bears in their first meeting this season. After Sunday’s game, I’m not sure anyone can argue that point. (Last Week’s Ranking 1)

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3) ~ They nearly blew a 21-point lead, but did anyone seriously think Tom Brady wasn’t going to win this game when it went into overtime? Brady’s 700th career passing touchdown extended his own personal dominance against Buffalo putting his career mark at a staggering 33-3 versus the Bills. It’s almost unfathomable to believe that’s a real win-loss record. (LWR 3)

3. Arizona Cardinals (10-3) ~ The road to the Super Bowl no longer goes through the desert, but that might not be a bad thing for the Cardinals. Arizona is a perfect 7-0 on the road this season and they are just 3-3 at home. Not saying they don’t want homefield advantage, but it might not be as bad as some might think if they finish as the number two or three seed in the NFC. (LWR 2)

4. New England Patriots (9-4) ~ They didn’t even play this past weekend and their lead in the AFC East was doubled due to Buffalo’s loss in Tampa. They will take their seven game win streak in to Indianapolis this weekend before hosting the Bills the day after Christmas. That game could decide the AFC East. (LWR 4)

5. Kansas City Chiefs (9-4) ~ For the second time in four games, Kansas City absolutely annihilated the Las Vegas Raiders. They outscored their division rival 89-23 in those two games. I’d say it’s safe to say the Chiefs are back, but they have a huge game tomorrow night in Los Angeles against the Chargers which will play a massive role in determining who takes the AFC West crown. (LWR 6)

6. Tennessee Titans (9-4) ~ After turning the ball over nine times in back-to-back losses, the Titans were able to regroup during their bye. Regroup might not even be strong enough a word as Tennessee intercepted Trevor Lawrence four times to win the turnover battle and get back in the win column. The shutout of Jacksonville marked the first time the Titans shutout a team at home since they beat Dallas on Christmas day in the year 2000. That’s a long time ago. (LWR 7)

7. Dallas Cowboys (9-4) ~ Speaking of those Dallas Cowboys, is there a bigger game-wrecker than rookie linebacker Micah Parsons? He’s now up to 12 sacks on the season and is on pace to break the rookie record of 14 set by Javon Kearse back in 1999. He’s had at least one sack in each of his last six games and gets to play the New York Giants and their woeful offensive line. Will he break the record this weekend? (LWR 8)

8. Los Angeles Rams (9-4) ~ They needed that one. L.A. picked up a huge win in Arizona which kept the Cardinals from clinching the division. Odell Beckham Jr. now has a touchdown reception in three straight games as a Ram. He had three total touchdown receptions in his last two seasons (13 games) as a Cleveland Brown. Maybe he just needed to be back in the big city spotlight? (LWR 9)

9. Baltimore Ravens (8-5) ~ Baltimore topped 20 points for the first time since November 7th, but it wasn’t enough as they lost a key game in Cleveland. Perhaps more troubling is the fact that Lamar Jackson left Sunday’s game with an injured ankle. If he can’t go Sunday against the Packers, rookie Tyler Huntley would be in line for his second career start. He played very well in nearly leading Baltimore to the comeback against Cleveland and the Ravens did win his only other start against Chicago. (LWR 5)

10. Los Angeles Chargers (8-5) ~ Last season Justin Herbert set the rookie record by throwing 31 touchdown passes. On Sunday, he reached the 30 touchdown pass plateau again making him the first player with 30 or more touchdowns in each of his first two seasons. It appears as if the Chargers have found their franchise quarterback. Especially if he keeps making plays like this. (LWR 12)

11. Indianapolis Colts (7-6) ~ I’m not sure the Colts could have enjoyed their bye week any more. Losses by Cincinnati and Buffalo put Indy in the playoff picture as the moved from 8th to 6th in the AFC. All without playing a game. Not too shabby. (LWR 11)

12. Buffalo Bills (7-6) ~ Another close loss for the Bills. Buffalo is now 0-5 in one score games. That’s a disturbing trend for a team that came into the season with Super Bowl aspirations. Now they are clinging to the 7th and final playoff spot in the AFC. It doesn’t help matters that star quarterback Josh Allen was seen in a walking boot after the game. (LWR 10)

13. San Francisco 49ers (7-6) ~ George Kittle is a monster. He has back-to-back 150 yard receiving games making him the second tight end since 1960 (Shannon Sharpe being the other) to accomplish that. It was his fourth career 150 yard receiving day which puts him in a tie for second most all-time by a tight end in the Super Bowl era. Oh, and he makes jaw-dropping plays like this. Dude is simply unreal. (LWR 14)

14. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) ~ Two straight home losses have dropped the Bengals out of the playoff picture. Things won’t get any easier with a top to Denver followed by games against the Ravens, Chiefs and Browns. They seemingly have to win three of those four games to have a chance to get in. I just don’t see that happening. (LWR 13)

15. Cleveland Browns (7-6) ~ Myles Garrett is the new single-season sacks leader for the Cleveland Browns. He took down Lamar Jackson in the first half Sunday for his 15th sack on the season which broke the team record of 14 set by Reggie Camp in 1984. I mentioned earlier that Micah Parsons might be the biggest game-wrecker in the league, but Garrett is right up there too. I still believe Garrett will take home Defensive Player of the Year honors. (LWR 16)

16. Denver Broncos (7-6) ~ The game started with a penalty as the Broncos sent out 10 men on offense to pay tribute to the late Demaryius Thomas. Thomas, who played for the Broncos from 2010 until he was traded halfway through the 2018 season. He was a member of the team that won Super Bowl 50. Thomas would have turned 34 on Christmas day. An emotional win for the franchise. (LWR 20)

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17. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1) ~ There’s a lot of talk about Chase Claypool, and rightfully so. With the team trailing by six, no timeouts and under a minute to play, Claypool celebrates a first down and costs the team precious seconds. Last week he was on record saying that they should play music during practice and now this. I’m sure Mike Tomlin is nonplussed with Claypool’s recent behavior. (LWR 17)

18. Miami Dolphins (6-7) ~ Not one, not two, but all three of Miami’s running backs are currently on the covid/reserve list. That could make things a little more interesting when they host the Jets Sunday. The team is hoping Malcolm Brown, their fourth option, can return from injured reserve in time for the game. Brown hasn’t played since October 24th and hasn’t had more than eight carries in any game this season. (LWR 19)

19. Washington Football Team (6-7) ~ Injuries continue to pile up for the Football Team as they have now lost tight end Logan Thomas to a torn ACL. Leading receiver Terry McLaurin was forced to leave Sunday’s game due to a concussion and his status for this weekend is still up in the air. They still control their own destiny with all four remaining games within the NFC East, but they cannot afford to pick up another loss. (LWR 18)

20. Las Vegas Raiders (6-7) ~ The Raiders are 6-0 when Derek Carr throws for 300 yards. I’m not a math major, but that means they are 0-7 when Carr is held under 300 yards. While it might not be fair to put it all on the quarterback, it might be fair to wonder if this is Carr’s last season with the Raiders. (LWR 15)

21. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) ~ Here’s hoping the bye week allowed the Eagles to get healthy. Jalen Hurts missed the last game, Miles Sanders was injured in the game as was center Jason Kelce. Those are perhaps the three most important players on the offensive side of the ball. They’ll be needed if the Eagles are going to make a playoff push during the season’s final month. (LWR 21)

22. New Orleans Saints (6-7) ~ Alvin Kamara returned after a four-game absence and tied a career-high with 31 touches. He had 145 all-purpose yards and found the end zone as the Saints snapped their five-game losing streak and kept their slim playoff hopes alive. (LWR 22)

23. Minnesota Vikings (6-7) ~ Speaking of injured running backs returning to the lineup, we cannot forget about Dalvin Cook. Minnesota’s stud running back ran for 205 yards and two scores Thursday night in a win against the Steelers. It was the second time in his career he topped 200 yards rushing. He’s now tied with Cincy’s Joe Mixon for second in the league with 978 yards rushing despite missing three games to injury. (LWR 23)

24. Atlanta Falcons (6-7) ~ Cordarrelle Patterson has set career-highs in rushing yards (547), receiving yards (519), rushing touchdowns (5) and receiving touchdowns (5). This is his ninth season in the league. To say he’s found his fit in Atlanta is perhaps the understatement of the year. (LWR 25)

25. Seattle Seahawks (5-8) ~ Seattle’s playoff hopes aren’t dead yet. They’re only mostly dead. They have a huge game Sunday at the Rams. If they can pull out a win they host the Bears and Lions before finishing the season at an Arizona Cardinals team that could potentially be resting their players. It’s something to keep an eye on. (LWR 26)

26. Carolina Panthers (5-8) ~ The Panthers have lost their last 11 games with Cam Newton as the starter. Matt Rhule has said that he expects Newton to be the starter Sunday when the Panthers visit Buffalo. That’s good news for Bills fans. (LWR 24)

27. New York Giants (4-9) ~ Their loss to the Chargers on Sunday clinched the fifth straight losing season for the New York Football Giants. They aren’t mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but let’s be honest. The G-Men can still be a spoiler with division games against the Cowboys, Eagles and Football Team left on the schedule. I’m sure they would take some satisfaction if they can keep a division rival from reaching the postseason. (LWR 27)

28. Chicago Bears (4-9) ~ After two straight 1,000 yard seasons, Allen Robinson has fallen off the proverbial cliff. His 32 catches are his lowest since his rookie season in 2014 and he’s found the end zone just once after scoring 13 touchdowns the last two years. He is a free agent at season’s end and this poor showing might mean a team can get him at a bargain. (LWR 28)

29. New York Jets (3-10) ~ Eddy Piniero, the team’s third kicker this season, was a perfect three-for-three on field goal attempts in Sunday’s 30-9 drubbing. He didn’t have a chance at an extra point, but let’s focus on the positive here. (LWR 29)

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) ~ Last week Trevor Lawrence publicly said that the team needs to keep running back James Robinson on the field. He had six carries in the loss to Tennessee. To be fair, the team ran the ball just eight times so I guess Urban Meyer listened to Lawrence? (LWR 30)

31. Detroit Lions (1-11-1) ~ My biggest question with Detroit is whether they see Jared Goff as their future quarterback. Detroit may have the number one overall pick when all is said and done, but this team has a lot of holes and the quarterback class this season is deemed to be weak at best. Goff is just 27 years old and has a Super Bowl appearance on his resume. (LWR 31)

32. Houston Texans (2-11) ~ Houston has named rookie Davis Mills as the starting quarterback for the rest of the season. He wasn’t bad Sunday against Seattle throwing for 331 yards, a touchdown and zero interceptions. They plan to use these games to determine if the team is ready to move forward with Mills at quarterback next year or if they will address the position early in the draft. (LWR 32)

And that is that. That's all I've got this week. You're now free to go about the rest of your day. Or night. Whatever it may be. If you want more of me, leave a comment below or follow me on social media via the link in my bio.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Rich

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