2014 In Review // Local: News, Sports Nat'l: News, Sports, Entertainment, Talkers | Top 20 Most Read Stories 
nfl_rankings_945

Updated every Tuesday of the regular season.


Rank   Team Record   Change   Comment
1 Seattle Seahawks Seattle Seahawks 11-4
▲ 2
Yes, I know the Patriots won. Doesn’t matter. The Seahawks, who have allowed seven points or fewer in four of their last five games, are the best team in football.
2 New England Patriots New England Patriots 12-3
▼ 1
The Patriots escaped the Jets (again) to lock up a first-round bye. Sounds about right.
3 Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers 11-4
▲ 1
Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson combined for 20 catches, 244 yards and a touchdown in a 20-3 win over Tampa Bay. Not a great team, obviously, but the lesson is apparent: You know what’s coming, and you still can’t stop it.
4 Denver Broncos Denver Broncos 11-4
▼ 2
Woeful performance from the Broncos, especially offensively. Denver has been held under 30 points in four straight games.
5 Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys 11-4
▲ 2
Complete domination from the Cowboys. Hell, even Brandon Weeden threw a touchdown pass against Indy.
6 Detroit Lions Detroit Lions 11-4
▲ 2
Detroit’s win over the Bears wasn’t as close as the 20-14 final indicates. In other news, Joique Bell and Reggie Bush – who combined for 185 yards and two touchdowns – are becoming quite the 1-2 punch.
7 Indianapolis Colts Indianapolis Colts 10-5
▼ 2
Embarrassing performance for Indianapolis, which barely avoided its first shutout loss in 21 years. If this past Sunday was any indication, the Colts have playoff pretender written all over them.
8 Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers 10-5
▲ 2
The Steelers are back in the playoffs after a two-year absence, but this Sunday’s game against Cincinnati is awfully important.
9 Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Bengals 10-4-1
▲ 3
A surprising, if not stunning, performance from the Bengals, who picked Peyton off four times and rushed for 207 yards. Cincy is back in the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
10 Arizona Cardinals Arizona Cardinals 11-4
▼ 4
Bruce Arians should be coach of the year, but not even he can play a hand this bad. The Cardinals are a playoff team, but they’re not winning once they get there.
11 San Diego Chargers San Diego Chargers 9-6
▲ 4
Impressive comeback win for the Chargers; four of their last five wins have come by three points or fewer.
12 Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Eagles 9-6
▼ 3
December has been extremely unkind to the Eagles, who have lost three straight and are out of playoff competition. Washington isn’t good, but you’re not beating anyone when you commit 13 penalties, especially on the road.
13 Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens 9-6
▼ 2
That was arguably the worst game of Joe Flacco’s career – and it came at a really, really bad time.
14 Houston Texans Houston Texans 8-7
▲ 3
J.J. Watt led another dominant defensive performance, this time against Baltimore. With a home game against Jacksonville upcoming, 9-7 seems all but certain. Not bad, Bill O’Brien. Not bad at all.
15 Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins 8-7
▲ 3
It’s not often you see a game end on a blocked punt for a safety. It’s also not often that you see a Dolphins quarterback throw for four touchdown passes; Ryan Tannehill became the first Miami QB to do that since Dan Marino in 1998.
16 Buffalo Bills Buffalo Bills 8-7
▼ 3
How do you beat the Packers one week and lose to the Raiders the next?
17 Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs 8-7
▼ 3
The Chiefs have lost four of five since their 7-3 start. They also failed to find the end zone against Pittsburgh. Ouch.
18 San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers 7-8
▼ 2
The Niners couldn’t hold a 21-point lead and lost their fourth straight game. Want some advice, Jim? Go to Michigan. Take the money and run.
19 Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers 6-8-1
▲ 4
As bad as the NFC South has been, Sunday’s game in Atlanta should be awfully compelling.
20 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Falcons 6-9
▲ 5
The Falcons have gone 5-0 against the NFC South; 6-0 wins them the division.
21 New York Giants New York Giants 6-9
▲ 3
Last three games for Odell Beckham, Jr.: 31 catches, 421 yards, six touchdowns. Unreal. Not surprisingly, the Giants have won three straight.
22 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns 7-8
▼ 3
Cleveland, we’ve got a problem. Through (less than) two games as a starter, Johnny Manziel is 13-of-26 for 112 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions and one sore hammy.
23 New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints 6-9
▼ 3
Just a brutal end for the Saints, who lost their last five home games of the season. New Orleans has now missed the playoffs in two of the last three years.
24 St. Louis Rams St. Louis Rams 6-9
▼ 3
The Rams have allowed between 31-37 points in seven of their nine losses, including 34 points four times. What are the odds?
25 Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Vikings 6-9
▼ 3
The Vikings weren’t making the playoffs anyway, but anytime you give up 23 points in the fourth quarter and lose in the final minute, it’s tough.
26 Washington Redskins Washington Redskins 4-11
▲ 2
After six straight losses, a win – over the Eagles, no less. RG3‘s last stand, or a sign of things to come? Maybe we’ll find out this Sunday against Dallas.
27 Chicago Bears Chicago Bears 5-10
▼ 1
The Bears showed a little more fight with Jimmy Clausen, but the dropped passes and awful run defense – or lack thereof – made it hard to compete.
28 Oakland Raiders Oakland Raiders 3-12
▲ 2
Give Tony Sparano credit. Oakland is 3-2 since its 0-10 start.
29 New York Jets New York Jets 3-12
▼ 2
Rex Ryan’s (likely) final game in East Rutherford was a heart-breaker. It was also a microcosm of his tenure with the Jets: a lot of close, not a lot of cigars.
30 Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars 3-12
▲ 2
I’ll say this for the Jaguars: they’re really good at getting to the quarterback – and they almost never play with a lead.
31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-13
▼ 2
The Bucs have lost 10 of 11 and are 0-7 at home. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
32 Tennessee Titans Tennessee Titans 2-13
▼ 1
Remember when Tennessee beat Kansas City in Week 1? The Titans have since dropped 13 of 14.

Tony Meale is the author of The Chosen Ones: The Team That Beat LeBron. He lives in Chicago and won’t be mad if you follow him on Twitter @TonyMeale.

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