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My 2020 Week 14 NFL Power Rankings

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

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Week 14 NFL Power Rankings

With just three weeks left in the regular season, the NFL playoff picture is becoming clearer. That is, unless you want to talk about the NFC East which I still can’t figure out. That division is reason why we have some movement in the top five. Not because one of those teams vaulted all the way up, rather than some of the top five teams have lost to teams that reside in the NFC East. It just goes to show you that on any given Sunday, anything can happen. All I can say for sure, is that one of these NFC East teams will be in the playoffs, and I for one would not want my team to face whichever team comes out of that division regardless of their record. Then again, as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, my team wouldn’t have to face another NFC East team in the playoffs should they even make it. So, really, your team. Your team should hope they don’t have to play the winner of the NFC East.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (12-1) ~ Travis Kelce’s 1,250 receiving yards makes him the only tight end in NFL history with five straight 1,000 yard seasons. Those 1,250 yards also lead the entire NFL and I don’t mean just at the tight end position. If Kelce can maintain that lead over the next three weeks he would become the first tight end to lead the NFL in receiving yards. He’s something special folks. (Last Week’s Ranking 1)

2. Green Bay Packers (10-3) ~ Do you know who else is special? That’d be Green Bay receiver Davante Adams. He has now scored at least once in each of the past eight games. That’s a Packers record. He is fourth in the NFL with 91 catches, sixth with 1,144 yards and tied for first with 14 scores. Oh yeah. He missed two games due to injury. I kind of wonder if he would be leading in all three with another two games under his belt. (LWR 4)

3. Buffalo Bills (10-3) ~ Did you need a statement win from the Bills before jumping on the bandwagon? I’d say Sunday night’s thorough beatdown of Pittsburgh qualifies. Buffalo is poised to capture their first AFC East title since 1995. That, coincidentally, is the last year the Bills won a playoff game. Bills quarterback Josh Allen wasn’t even born yet. (LWR 5)

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2) ~ Two straight losses for the Steelers after starting the season 11-0. More troubling might be the fact that they haven’t even reached 20 points in any of their last three games. Even MORE troubling is the fact that they’ve lost the top seed in the AFC. That means a lot more this year as there is only one bye for each conference. If the playoffs started this week, Pittsburgh would be hosting the Miami Dolphins. (LWR 2)

5. New Orleans Saints (10-3) ~ They had gone 55 consecutive games without allowing a 100-yard rusher. Then they let Miles Sanders and Jalen Hurts top the century mark. Hey, if you’re going to snap a streak you may as well do it gloriously. The Saints also missed two field goals and committed two turnovers on the road to a desperate team. This right before a showdown with the Chiefs. Was this a trap game? I think it was a trap game. (LWR 3)

6. Los Angeles Rams (9-4) ~ A 24-3 beatdown of New England in a rematch of Super Bowl LIII. Well, a rematch might not be the proper word considering Tom Brady is in Tampa Bay, but it was the same two teams. It won’t lessen the sting of that Super Bowl loss, but the Rams are making a push to be taken seriously as Super Bowl contenders again this season. (LWR 6)

7. Seattle Seahawks (9-4) ~ Yes, it was against the winless New York Jets, but Seattle did nearly everything right in that 40-3 thrashing. Safety/linebacker/corner/defensive player Jamal Adams set the NFL record for sacks by a defensive back when he picked up his 8th and a half….8.5th? Eighth and a half? Whatever. He now has 8.5 sacks on the season and he set the record against his former team. It’s nice when things work out like that. (LWR 7)

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5) ~ Five games in and Antonio Brown has yet to find the end zone. In fact, he’s averaging five catches and just over 43 yards per game. That is a far, FAR cry from what we were used to seeing during his time in Pittsburgh. There are a lot of mouths to feed in this offense and Brady has been spreading it around all year. Nobody on the team has more than 51 catches. (LWR 8)

9. Indianapolis Colts (9-4) ~ It’s the time of year when you might hear about the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas future. In Indy, they are just happy to hear from their own ghost. T.Y. Hilton, who seemed to disappear this year, has come alive over the past three weeks with 17 catches for 277 yards and four scores. While those numbers were common for Hilton (nicknamed ghost) throughout his career, they just didn’t materialize this season until the past three weeks. He had just 26 catches for 291 yards and no touchdowns through the team’s first 10 games. (LWR 9)

10. Tennessee Titans (9-4) ~ Bold prediction time. Derrick Henry needs 468 rushing yards over his next three games to reach 2,000 for the season. His opponents are Detroit, Green Bay and Houston who are all near the bottom of the pack in rush defense. That means, he needs to average 156 yards per game. He has topped that mark three times this season including twice in the last two weeks. Where’s the prop bet because I want it. (LWR 10)

11. Baltimore Ravens (8-5) ~ Lamar Jackson missed the Pittsburgh game due to Covid protocols. In the two games since his return Baltimore has scored 81 points and played in perhaps the game of the year last night in Cleveland. Of course I missed it. That said, Jackson can’t do it all himself. He currently leads the team in rushing with 793 yards. He needs some help from his receivers, or, more realistically, his front office to get some receivers on the field. Only three Ravens have more than 20 catches on the season and one of those is tight end Mark Andrews. I don’t think 20 is a big number considering 13 games have been played. If Baltimore meets a team that can keep Jackson in the pocket, can he beat them with his arm? (LWR 12)

12. Cleveland Browns (9-4) ~ The Browns found themselves on the losing side of the game of the year. The Browns are good, but they aren’t quite over the hump yet. They need to beat their divisional opponents and I’m not talking about the Cincinnati Bengals. Three of their four losses are to Baltimore and Pittsburgh. They close the season at home against the Steelers and still have an outside shot at claiming the AFC North. They’ll need to beat the Steelers for that to be possible. (LWR 11)

13. Miami Dolphins (8-5) ~ They had a 10 point lead on the Chiefs before allowing 30, yes 30, unanswered points. They made it close at the end, but this was a blowout. Make no mistake. The Dolphins could be playoff bound, but they have just two wins against teams with winning records and, one of those, has a winning record virtue of their victory this past Sunday. (LWR 13)

14. Arizona Cardinals (7-6) ~ Have yourself a day Hassan Reddick. Arizona’s linebacker set a franchise record with a five sack performance against the New York Giants. He is the first player in the NFL this season to record five sacks in one game. The last time it happened was in 2017 when Adrian Clayborn of the Atlanta Falcons had six against the Dallas Cowboys. I don’t remember that game, but I like that it happened to the Cowboys. (LWR 14)

15. Minnesota Vikings (6-7) ~ I checked, and yes, Dan Bailey is still employed by the Vikings. The embattled kicker missed not one, not two, not three but FOUR kicks Sunday in Tampa Bay. Three field goals and an extra point. That’s 10 points left out there in what amounted to a 12-point loss. Nobody is perfect, but c’mon man. Bailey is now 12-for-18 on field goal attempts this season and had missed four extra points. (LWR 15)

16. Las Vegas Raiders (7-6) ~ Let’s be clear. The Raiders come in at this spot simply for a lack of better options. Las Vegas has allowed a whopping 150 points over their past four games and that includes their last second win over the hapless Jets. Were it not for that buzzer beater the Raiders would be mired in a four-game losing streak. They aren’t ready for the playoffs. Not yet. (LWR 16)

17. Washington Football Team (6-7) ~ This team looks ready for the playoffs. Four straight wins have the Football Team looking like the class of the NFC East. Their last three have been on the road but they come home for two before closing out the season up I-95 in Philly. Washington controls their playoff destiny, but one wonders if they will now be without Alex Smith. Dwayne Haskins replaced Smith in Sunday’s win by the bay, but Head Coach Ron Rivera demoted Haskins from starter to third string at the beginning of the season. Can Haskins find his way out of the doghouse and lead this team to the postseason? (LWR 21)

18. New England Patriots (6-7) ~ It’s official. For the first time since 2008, the New England Patriots will not win the AFC East. That was the year, you may remember, that Tom Brady tore his ACL in the first game of the season. New England still finished 11-5, but lost the division tiebreaker to Miami. Just another unreal stat to think about when we remember this dynasty. (LWR 17)

19. San Francisco 49ers (5-8) ~ In the least bit of shocking news this season the 49ers lost another star player to injury. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel is likely to miss the rest of the season. No team has been besieged by injuries more than the 49ers. The fact that they have still been largely competitive this season shows you that this team is deep, and the coaches know what they are doing. This is an easy choice for bounce back team of 2021. (LWR 18)

20. Chicago Bears (6-7) ~ The Bears put up a season-high 36 points in snapping their six-game losing streak in convincing fashion. A big reason the offense has looked better is running back David Montgomery who has run for 288 yards and three scores over the past three games. That helps take some of the pressure off of Mitch Trubisky who has been playing for the injured Nick Foles. (LWR 22)

21. New York Giants (5-8) ~ Daniel Jones does a lot with his legs. He missed the previous week with a hamstring injury, and it begs to question if he should have missed a second straight game. For the first time all season, Jones did not register a rushing attempt. He was also sacked a season-high six times. Colt McCoy entered the game in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late. (LWR 20)

22. Denver Broncos (5-8) ~ Drew Lock threw a career-high four touchdowns and didn't throw a pass to the other team for the first time since the opening game. While one game doesn't anoint a starting quarterback, that's the kind of game Lock will need to replicate to prove to Denver that he can be the guy. (LWR 24)

23. Carolina Panthers (4-9) ~ Christian McCaffrey missed this past weekend and has already been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Packers. At this point, it might be prudent just to sit their star player the rest of the year. This is essentially a team with a new coach and new quarterback that played without their best player for most of the season. Not to mention their best defender, Luke Kuechly, retired in the offseason. (LWR 19)

24. Philadelphia Eagles (4-8-1) ~ Jalen Hurts didn't light up the NFL in his first career start, but do you know what else he didn't do? He didn't take a sack or throw an interception. Carson Wentz leads the league in both of those categories. Hurts will start again Sunday in Arizona. (LWR 26)

25. Atlanta Falcons (4-9) ~ In picking up their ninth loss of the season Sunday, the Falcons officially became the first NFC team to be eliminated from playoff contention. They are also the only NFC team with a losing record and a positive point differential. (LWR 23)

26. Detroit Lions (5-8) ~ Matthew Stafford left Sunday's game with an injury. His status for this week's game is up in the air. The Lions know what life is like without Stafford in the lineup. They went 0-8 without him just last year. (LWR 25)

27. Los Angeles Chargers (4-9) ~ The Chargers wins have come against teams with a combined record of 7-44-1. Their remaining opponents have a combined record of 24-15. If the Chargers lose out, does Head Coach Anthony Lynn keep his job? (LWR 28)

28. Dallas Cowboys (4-9) ~ What is wrong with Zeke Elliott? He has topped 100 yards rushing just once all season. After leading the NFL in rushing in 2016 and 2018, his 832 yards are just 7th in the NFL. Losing Dak Prescott was a big blow to this offense, but it's almost like they lost Zeke with him. (LWR 29)

29. Houston Texans (4-9) ~ They just got blown out by the Bears. The offensively challenged Bears. If Houston had yet to hit rock bottom this season, I think that game was it. (LWR 27)

30. Cincinnati Bengals (2-10-1) ~ Joe Mixon hasn't suited up in two months and yet he still leads the team in rushing. Gio Bernard has failed to reach even 35 yards rushing in each of the last five games. They had the first overall pick in last year's draft and look poised to have another top three pick next year. (LWR 30)

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-12) ~ James Robinson has surpassed 1,000 yards rushing making him just the fourth undrafted rookie ever to reach that plateau. There's a lot wrong in Jacksonville, but they have their running back of the future. (LWR 31)

32. New York Jets (0-13) ~ Next up for the Jets in the quest for 0-16 is a trip to Los Angeles to take on the Rams. Here's looking at 0-14 for next week's rankings. (LWR 32)

Well, that’s it. All 32 NFL teams. All in one little list that can cause a reader a bevy of emotions. Do you like where your team is ranked? Do you hate it? Do you think I have no clue what I’m talking about? Maybe you should tell me about it. Leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter. Handle is in the profile. See you next time kids.