NFL Week 14 Power Rankings: Patriots-Ravens Could Be Playoff Preview

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Here’s a look at where each team stands in NESN.com’s NFL power rankings as we head into Week 14. (To see our Week 13 rankings, click here.)

1. Dallas Cowboys (11-1; last week: 1): That’s 11 wins in a row for the Cowboys, who became the first team to clinch a playoff spot.

2. New England Patriots (10-2; 2): The Patriots’ defense looked great against the hapless Rams, but is their Rob Gronkowski-less offense potent enough to carry them past their various AFC contenders?

3. Oakland Raiders (10-2; 3): The Raiders control their own destiny. If they win out, they’ll be the AFC’s top seed.

4. Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1; 4): Seattle throttled Carolina but lost Earl Thomas, who is as important to the Seahawks’ defense as Gronk is to the Patriots’ offense, if not more so.

5. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3, 6): Chiefs-Raiders on Thursday night will be must-see TV. And if it’s anywhere near as exciting as Kansas City’s win over Atlanta was on Sunday, those viewers will not be disappointed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRsASgWk5as

6. Denver Broncos (8-4; 8): How stacked is the AFC West this season? The sixth-ranked team on this list currently is the AFC’s second wild card.

7. Baltimore Ravens (7-5; 13): Speaking of must-watch, the Ravens — who have won four of five and just demolished the previously red-hot Dolphins — visit the Patriots on Monday night.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5; 10): The Steelers ended the Giants’ six-game winning streak with a 24-14 win that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate. They’re rounding into form at the right time.

9. Atlanta Falcons (7-5; 5): The Falcons were on the wrong end of Eric Berry’s two-point interception return (see video above), and they now are tied with the upstart Buccaneers (more on them in a second) for the best record in the NFC South.

10. Detroit Lions (8-4; 11): The Lions hold a two-game lead over the Packers and Vikings in the NFC North, but their remaining schedule is a bear. After hosting the miserable Bears, they’ll take on the Giants and Cowboys on the road before finishing their season at home against Green Bay.

11. New York Giants (8-4; 7): Dallas has all but clinched the NFC East title, but the Giants still are in line for a wild-card spot if they take care of business  down the stretch.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5; 16): The Bucs have won four straight, including impressive victories over the Chiefs and Seahawks. If the season ended today, they’d make the postseason for the first time since 2007 — when Jeff Garcia was their quarterback and Jon Gruden still was their coach.

13. Washington Redskins (6-5-1; 9): Carson Palmer outplayed Kirk Cousins, and the Cardinals found the end zone twice in the fourth quarter to hand the Redskins their second straight loss.

14. Green Bay Packers (6-6; 18): Are the Packers still alive? They’re a game out of a playoff spot with four weeks left to play.

15. Buffalo Bills (6-6; 14): The Bills almost did the Patriots a huge favor Sunday. Then they allowed 29 unanswered points in a 38-24 loss to the Raiders.

16. Miami Dolphins (7-5; 12): That six-game winning streak sure came to a screeching halt.

Dolphins Ravens

17. New Orleans Saints (6-6; 15): The Saints’ prolific offense was nowhere to be found in a 28-13 loss to the Lions.

18. Indianapolis Colts (6-6; 24): The Colts bulldozed the Jets on Monday night, but the AFC South continues to be a crapshoot, emphasis on the crap.

19. Houston Texans (6-6; 17): The Texans technically still lead that horrendous division despite dropping their third straight game over the weekend.

20. Tennessee Titans (6-6; 22): Idle.

21. San Diego Chargers (5-7; 20): You’ll never believe this, but the Chargers blew yet another fourth-quarter lead Sunday in a loss to Tampa Bay.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7; 19): The Birds are cooked.

23. Minnesota Vikings (6-6; 21): The Vikings lost a tight one to the Cowboys on Thursday night to continue their downward slide.

24. Arizona Cardinals (5-6-1; 25): Sunday’s win was Arizona’s first over a non-49ers opponent since October.

25. Cincinnati Bengals (4-7-1; 26): The Bengals scored the first 29 points in a 32-14 rout of the Eagles.

26. Carolina Panthers (4-8; 23): How the mighty have fallen.

27. Los Angeles Rams (4-7; 28): Johnny Hekker was the Rams’ best player against the Patriots. He’s their punter.

28. New York Jets (3-9; 27): The Jets entered Monday night having lost three straight games by a total of 12 points. That trend of close losses didn’t continue, as the Colts blew them out of the water by a final score of 41-10.

29. Chicago Bears (3-9; 29): Jordan Howard abused the 49ers’ porous run defense, rushing for 117 yards and three scores in the Bears’ first win since Nov. 1.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi4_tlDHtTo

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10; 30): The Jags have lost eight straight, the third-longest losing streak in the NFL this season.

31. San Francisco 49ers (1-11; 31): No. 2 on that list at 11 losses in a row.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-12; 32): No. 1 with 12. But thanks to their bye week, none of those losses came this past weekend.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images

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