NFL Week 14 Power Rankings: Chargers, Cowboys Climb After Marquee Wins

Week 13 in the NFL saw the Los Angeles Chargers finally announce themselves as the Super Bowl threat many claimed they’d be before the season started, as the Bolts grabbed a 33-30 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinze Field. The Steelers now have lost two in a row and no longer look like a lock to win the AFC North.

Elsewhere, the Dallas Cowboys shut down the New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots rolled over another opponent at Gillette Stadium.

With 13 weeks of action now in the books, here’s how we’re ranking every NFL team from No. 1 to No. 32. (For our Week 13 power rankings, click here.)

1. Los Angeles Rams (11-1; Last week’s rank: 2): The Rams clinched the NFC West with a win over the Detroit Lions and took over the No. 1 seed in the conference in the process. It was a good week for Sean McVay’s crew. Sidenote: Aaron Donald might be the MVP.

2. New Orleans Saints (10-2; 1): Drew Brees and Co. weren’t going to keep scoring 44 points a game, but the Saints were punched in the mouth by the Cowboys and now find themselves trailing the Rams in the NFC playoff picture.

3. New England Patriots (9-3; 4): It’s December and the Patriots are hitting their stride. That’s bad news for the AFC.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (10-2; 3): The Chiefs’ drop is more about the loss of Kareem Hunt than the on-field product. Hunt was released after a video surfaced that showed him shoving and kicking a woman back in February. Patrick Mahomes and the offense still looked lethal against the Oakland Raiders, but their path the Super Bowl now looks a little harder without Hunt.

5. Los Angeles Chargers (9-3; 7): Philip Rivers and the Bolts finally got their marquee win of the season Sunday night at Heinz Field. LA erased a 16-point Steeler lead and stole a win in Pittsburgh to announce itself as one of the AFC’s best teams.

6. Houston Texans (9-3; 8): Will Houston ever lose again? The Texans now have won nine games in a row and have a chance to clinch the AFC South title on Sunday with a win over the Indianapolis Colts coupled with a Tennessee Titans loss.

7. Chicago Bears (8-4; 5): We found out why Chase Daniel has been a career backup Sunday in the Bears’ 30-27 overtime loss to the New York Giants. Chicago should get Mitchell Trubisky back for its key Week 14 tilt with the Rams.

8. Seattle Seahawks (7-5; 10): Russell Wilson has the Hawks firing on all cylinders ahead of a crucial matchup with the Minnesota Vikings in Week 14. A win over the Vikes would put Seattle in the driver’s seat for an NFC Wild Card berth.

9. Dallas Cowboys (7-5; 12): The Cowboys held the Saints to 176 total yards and won their fourth straight game to stay atop the NFC East. A crucial division matchup with the Philadephia Eagles awaits in Week 14.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4-1; 6): Pittsburgh has gone from the No. 2 seed in the AFC to the No. 4 seed with games against the Patriots and Saints remaining on the schedule. Mike Tomlin’s club now holds just a 1/2-game lead over the Baltimore Ravens for first place in the AFC North.

11. Baltimore Ravens (7-5; 14): The Ravens have surged to three straight wins behind a dominant defense and a run-heavy offensive attack featuring Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards. Baltimore looks like it will be a dangerous team come playoff time, but we’ll find out more when the Ravens face the Chiefs in Week 14.

12. Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1; 9): Would the Vikings have been better off re-signing Case Keenum and spending the $90 million they gave Kirk Cousins elsewhere?

13. Denver Broncos (6-6; 15): Rookie running back Phillip Lindsay ran for a career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns in Denver’s Week 13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Broncos remain in the hunt for a playoff spot with the lowly San Francisco 49ers on deck.

14. Indianapolis Colts (6-6; 11): After winning five in a row to get back into the playoff picture, Andrew Luck and Co. threw up a stinker in a 6-0 loss to Cody Kessler and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Indy must rebound against the division-leading Texans in Week 14.

15. Carolina Panthers (6-6; 13): The Panthers’ free fall continues after their fourth straight loss. Cam Newton threw four interceptions in Carolina’s 24-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccanneers and now the Panthers’ season is on life support.

16. Tennessee Titans (6-6; 16): Tennessee fell behind 16-0 to the New York Jets, but Marcus Mariota threw a touchdown pass to Corey Davis with 36 seconds remaining to complete the Titans’ comeback and keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

17. Philadelphia Eagles (6-6; 17): The defending champs still, somehow, control their own destiny in the mediocre NFC East.

18. Miami Dolphins (6-6; 21):  Josh Allen and the lowly Buffalo Bills outgained Miami by nearly 300 yards, but the Fins still found a way to eke out a 21-17 win and stay alive in the AFC playoff race. Tom Brady and the Patriots come to town in Week 14 with hopes of putting their division rival out of their misery.

19. Washington Redskins (6-6; 18): The ‘Skins lost Colt McCoy to a broken leg and lost the game to the Eagles. Fat lady should be singing any second.

20. Tampa Bay Buccanneers (5-7; 25): Jameis Winston is going to play just well enough down the stretch to trick the Bucs into picking up his option, isn’t he?

21. Green Bay Packers (4-7-1; 19): Mike McCarthy was fired after the Packers’ inexplicable loss to the Arizona Cardinals likely ended their razor-thin playoff chances. Perhaps Josh McDaniels can turn things around in Green Bay should he be tabbed as the next head coach.

22. Cleveland Browns (4-7-1; 20): After losing to the Texans, the Browns likely will miss the playoffs for the 16th straight season. Oof.

23. Atlanta Falcons (4-8; 22): What happened to Atlanta’s offense?

24. New York Giants (4-8; 27): New York has won three of its last four and now will face Mark Sanchez. Seems like a good recipe or win No. 5 on the season.

25. Detroit Lions (4-8; 24): The Lions have problems all over the field, especially on offense where they lack dynamic playmakers who can deliver chunk plays and that never was more apparent than in Detroit’s loss to the Rams in Week 13.

26. Cincinnati Bengals (5-7; 23): Why does Jeff Driskel have a job in the NFL?

27. Buffalo Bills (4-8; 27): This whole Josh Allen thing just might work out for the Bills. Emphasis on might.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8; 28): Jacksonville now is 1-0 in games not started by Blake Bortles. Coincidence?

29. New York Jets (3-9; 30): The Jets did their best to give the Titans a win and they succeeded.

30. Arizona Cardinals (3-9; 32): Josh Rosen went and got Mike McCarthy fired Sunday, which is something we did not see coming.

31. San Francisco 49ers (2-10; 29): Another high draft pick is cool.

32. Oakland Raiders (2-10; 31): Welcome back to the bottom, Jon Gruden.

Thumbnail photo via Philip G. Pavely/USA TODAY Sports Images

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