NFL Power Rankings

My current NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 14 of the 2016 season.

I’m going to use these rankings as the order for my 2017 NFL Mock Draft. Follow @walterfootball.

I’ve gone from WORST to FIRST, so if you don’t see reverse numbering (via Javascript), don’t worry; the Browns and 49ers aren’t my top teams.

Updated: Dec. 6

  1. San Francisco 49ers (1-11) – Previously: 31.
    And the 49ers are back to No. 32. Where they belong. Losing by 20 to Matt Barkley is completely inexcusable, though expected from the incompetent Chip Kelly.

    Kelly can’t start Colin Kaepernick anymore, by the way. Kaepernick was completely unprepared for the Chicago game. I assume he was too busy mourning the death of an evil dictator, but either way, Kaepernick is a bum. Oh, and he’s rather depressed, too:

  2. Cleveland Browns (0-12) – Previously: 32.
    The Browns played a scrimmage game during the bye. And they lost. Seriously. The only silver lining is that it didn’t count toward their overall record even though CBS thinks it did:

    To be fair, ITT Tech has some promising NFL prospects.

    Anyway, let’s do an update for Terrelle Pryor, who, according to Charles Woodson, will accumulate 1,800 receiving yards this year:

    Terrelle Pryor’s Race for 1,800:

    Current Receiving Yards: 855
    Currently on Pace for: 1,140
    Yards Per Game Needed for 1,800: 236.25

    Only four games left. Pryor doesn’t even have 1,000 yards yet, but maybe, just maybe he’ll get to 1,800 yards!!!

  3. New York Jets (3-9) – Previously: 27.
    I’m going to give very detailed analysis of the Jets in this next paragraph:

    Never mind. I thought I’d put as much effort into that as the Jets did in their Monday night game.

    In all seriousness, why the hell isn’t Christian Hackenberg starting yet? Ryan Fitzpatrick sucks. Bryce Petty sucks. Hackenberg probably sucks, too, but we don’t know that yet!

  4. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) – Previously: 28.
    “Jaguar truthers,” as Matvei likes to call them, will cite that Jacksonville’s defense is too good for the team to be ranked 29th. But Blake Bortles is that bad. Bortles actually had a great game by his standards against the Broncos. I wrote that there was a great chance that Bortles would throw two pick-sixes versus Denver, but he tossed only one pick-six, so he was extremely impressive!

    In all seriousness, check out this stat: Bortles now has more career pick-sixes (11) than career wins (10). That is why I have the Jaguars taking Lamar Jackson in my updated 2018 NFL Mock Draft.

  5. Chicago Bears (3-9) – Previously: 30.
    Matt Barkley has somehow been pretty competent in his two starts thus far. In fact, he’s been better than his stat lines indicate because of all the dropped passes he’s incurred. Now that I think about it, the Bears should just go with Barkley as the starter next year!

    Ha, sorry Bears fans, just had to mess with you. I apologize if any of you had a heart attack as a result of my joking around.

  6. Los Angeles Rams (4-8) – Previously: 24.
    I can’t believe I’ve been betting the Rams every week. I also can’t believe that Jeff Fisher was given an extension. Seriously, what were the Rams thinking? I think you know what it’s time for…

    The Adventures of Derek Anderson’s Magic Flask!

    Stan Kroenke: So busy today! I’m meeting with the good folks of Nuuk, Greenland to discuss moving the Rams there. Sure, the people there don’t care about football, and it’ll ruin any chances of winning, but they’re offering lots of money, and money is most important to me!

    Derek Anderson: Heeyeye ududude iiisss tthhaaty aaa ffakakkee mmususttachchee?

    Stan Kroenke: Is that you, Jeff Fisher?

    Jeff Fisher: Nooo whhaahatt yoouu traallkiinn bboouutt?? I nnooo saayyy nnotothinnn.

    Derek Anderson: Iititt”ss mmeme Derreekk Anndnderrssooon. Whhyyy yoouu stteaaallinnn siippps froromm mmyy fllasssk Jjefff Fiishsher hic?

    Jeff Fisher: I hahavvevev mmyyy owoowwnn flflasskk ididioott!!! I”vee beenn dririnkkinnng thisisis enenentiiree yeyeyaarr!

    Derek Anderson: Sooo annnyyywaayy ududude wwiitith ffakakkee mmususttachchee, haavveve a ssiipp ofofof myyy fllalsssk?

    Stan Kroenke: Well, I hate the alcohol in Fisher’s flask, so I might as well try yours!

    *** Ten minutes later… ***

    Stan Kroenke: Yyoouu’reee thehehe bebeesstt, Jejeff Fifiishsher!

    Jeff Fisher: Noooo yoyouurr’eee thheee bbebesstt mananan. I loovovee yoouu maanann.

    Stan Kroenke: I loovovee yoouuu toooo heherre’s a tweenenttyy-ttwwowooo-yeyaarr exteensnshunnn hic!

    Jeff Fisher: Ohhh maannann yooouurr hahannd sluiiipppedd annd yoouu onnlly wrroote oonnee twowoo buutt thhatss K, heheyey whereess mmmyy reedd challennengge fllalgg??

    Stan Kroenke: I duddnnnno buututut I’mmm goonnana mmovove theee teaaammm tooo Sommmalaliiaa whastt yoouutt thhinkkk?

    Jeff Fisher: I’lll gogoo whwhehehre eevverrr yoouuu wananant mmemee tooo gooo, Iii loovovee yoouu maannn hic!

  7. Carolina Panthers (4-8) – Previously: 23.

    Derek Anderson: Heeyeye Cammmm Nneewwtoonn hoowoww abbooutt yooou nototo weearr a titiiee totooo ggaammeme soos I ccann plalay quaurttbabccks?

    Cam Newton: Ooohkkkkk hic! I hahaattet titieiesss mananan thereee shsoouldld oonnnlly beee winnsns n losossess.

    Agreed with drunken Cam! Ties are dumb and don’t even look good, so I’m fully in Newton’s corner on this one. In fact, he should refrain from wearing a tie ever again. Newton is influential enough to be a trend-setter, so if he refuses to wear ties, perhaps men won’t be forced to wear these fancy dog leashes any longer.

  8. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) – Previously: 16.
    When asked if his players put forth maximum effort against the Bengals, Doug Pederson responded, “Not everyone did.” You don’t say? Pederson may have learned from Andy Reid, but I don’t ever recall a Reid-coached team completely dogging a game like the Eagles did at Cincinnati. If I’m running the Eagles, I would cut every single player who slacked off in that defeat. No team, under any circumstances, can make Andy Dalton look like Joe Montana, especially when A.J. Green isn’t even playing!

  9. Cincinnati Bengals (4-7-1) – Previously: 29.
    Can anyone believe that this guy was one of the best quarterbacks of Week 13?

    That’s how absolutely pathetic the Eagles are.

  10. Arizona Cardinals (5-6-1) – Previously: 26.
    Does anyone else think that Bruce Arians had action on Cardinals -2.5? Who the hell goes for it on their own 35, up just one point with a few minutes left, and who the hell asks his quarterback to throw a bomb into double coverage instead of running out the clock? Seriously, no team ever does that. It worked out for Arizona – as well as Arians’ bank account – but each of those decisions could’ve easily backfired and allowed the Redskins to prevail.

  11. Houston Texans (6-6) – Previously: 25.
    The Texans keep losing 21-13 against teams that don’t have winning records. Not exactly what they had in mind when they paid Brock Osweiler $72 million this offseason. I’m probably going to slot a quarterback to Houston in my next 2017 NFL Mock Draft update with one of its second-day selections.

  12. Miami Dolphins (7-5) – Previously: 14.
    I listed the Dolphins as overrated two weeks ago, but took them off the list because they were getting two of their offensive linemen back. Whoops. As it turned out, the return of Laremy Tunsil and Branden Albert was irrelevant, and to make matters worse, Mike Pouncey sounds like he’s not coming back at all this year. Ryan Tannehill has regressed, and the Dolphins looked very puny against the Ravens, who just clobbered them in the trenches. As I wrote in my NFL Game Recaps, it almost looked like an MMA fighter beating up some loser hanging out in a safe space.

    We all should’ve seen this coming, by the way. Prior to the Baltimore game, the Dolphins were one yard away from going to overtime against the 49ers (at home!) and before that, they were completely dominated in Los Angeles until the Rams started committing dumb personal-foul penalties.

  13. New Orleans Saints (5-7) – Previously: 13.
    Hey, Saints, maybe next time you shouldn’t empty out your playbook and exert all of your energy against the pathetic Rams. Perhaps you should save your energy for, say, a tougher opponent the following week. Just a thought.

    On the bright side from the Saints’ perspective, they’re still alive in the NFC South. If they win out, they’ll win the division as long as Atlanta loses one game in addition to the rematch with New Orleans.

  14. Indianapolis Colts (6-6) – Previously: 21.
    I had the Colts as an underrated team, but I can’t list them as such anymore after that 41-10 victory. It was a nice win, but I’m not sure how impressive it was, given that the Jets didn’t show up at all. Check out my NFL Game Recaps for more.

  15. New York Giants (8-4) – Previously: 20.
    Overrated NFL Team: The Giants finally lost, and it was hardly a surprise. They had major problems putting the Browns away. They would’ve lost to the Bears had Chicago not seen Josh Sitton, Zach Miller and Tracy Porter all get knocked out before the halfway point of the third quarter; Chicago was winning at halftime, but then the injuries happened. The Giants trailed for most of the second half against the Bengals at home. They were outgained by a whole yard per play against the Eagles, but were able to win because of Doug Pederson stupidity. They only won in London because the Rams wrecked themselves with dumb mistakes, and they probably wouldn’t have prevailed against Baltimore had the Ravens not lost Jimmy Smith and Terrell Suggs in the second half. Prior to that, the Giants were not competitive against the Vikings or Packers. It would make more sense to me if they were 5-7 or 6-6 right now, as they can’t block or run the ball, and their linebackers suck.

  16. Tennessee Titans (6-6) – Previously: 19.
    The good news is that the Texans lost to the Packers, so the Titans are now tied for first in the AFC South. They control their own destiny. The bad news is that Tennessee has to battle Denver and Kansas City in the next two weeks. The worst news is that Andrew Luck is healthy again, and the Colts have gotten some of their hurt players back from injury, so it seems like this is going to be yet another instance in which Indianapolis claims the division.

  17. Minnesota Vikings (6-6) – Previously: 17.
    Underrated NFL Team: The Vikings are once again underrated in the wake of their two recent losses. They may have beaten Dallas if it wasn’t for Adam Thielen’s muffed punt despite not having their head coach. On Thanksgiving, they were missing Stefon Diggs, Captain Munnerlyn and Terence Newman, plus they lost stud center Joe Berger to a concussion. Despite all this, the Vikings were winning in the fourth quarter against the Lions, and they may have prevailed had Cordarrelle Patterson not lined up incorrectly on the final offensive drive. As I said a couple of weeks ago, the Vikings will be playing better when everyone returns from injury.

  18. Buffalo Bills (6-6) – Previously: 10.
    Underrated NFL Team: The Bills may have blown a 24-9 lead against the Raiders, but the fact remains that they were up 24-9 in Oakland. Buffalo just collapsed, but if you take away an interception that was the result of Tyrod Taylor’s arm getting hit, the Bills would’ve been trailing by just a touchdown with an opportunity to tie the game at the end. Even considering the loss to Oakland, Buffalo is 6-3 this year when LeSean McCoy has been completely healthy, so I have to wonder if his leaving the game with cramps while up 24-9 had something to do with the blown lead, even though he was able to return.

  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) – Previously: 22.
    The Buccaneers have beaten the Chiefs, Seahawks and Chargers in the past three weeks. All three of those teams are in the top 10 of these power rankings. Tampa has been unbelievable, but they’re still hard to trust. Maybe my memory is just too good, but I recall the Buccaneers being so incredibly sloppy early in the season. Plus, I still don’t trust their safeties. Despite the recent success, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Drew Brees torched them mercilessly next week.

  20. Detroit Lions (8-4) – Previously: 15.
    I mentioned this stat on the podcast, but the Lions have now either been winning or trailing by just one score in the fourth quarter in 20 consecutive games. That’s insane. Ever since Detroit was blown out by the Chiefs in London last year, the team has been incredibly competitive in every single game. Thus, I didn’t understand why in the world the Lions were six-point underdogs in New Orleans. One of many reasons I made them my NFL Pick of the Month.

  21. Green Bay Packers (6-6) – Previously: 12.
    Green Bay had an entertaining victory against Houston. There was tons of snow, though Aaron Rodgers had some difficulties. But don’t take it from me…

    “Looks like Aaron Rodgers pulled it out a little too quick.” – Phil Simms.

    I’m going to have this image every time I see Rodgers in one of his State Farm commercials going forward. Thanks a lot, Phil!

    At any rate, the Packers have bounced back to 6-6, but they did so against the Texans, who suck, and the Eagles, who were just blown out at Cincinnati. I can’t say that their two-game winning streak is very impressive, and we’ll find out just how good (or bad) the Packers are against the red-hot Seahawks this week.

  22. Atlanta Falcons (7-5) – Previously: 11.
    Overrated NFL Team: Atlanta nearly beat Kansas City, but was trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter against a team coming off a full overtime Sunday night game in altitude. I still can’t get over how the Falcons were bullied in the trenches by a Philadelphia team that was stomped on by the Seahawks. I also can’t get over how Bruce Arians refused to expose this liability by giving David Johnson only 13 carries. The Cardinals were outgaining the Falcons in yards per play throughout the afternoon. Even Atlanta’s victory over Tampa wasn’t overly impressive, as the Buccaneers were up, 14-13, prior to losing their starting center. Prior to that, the Falcons beat the Packers in the final minute, but that’s looking so much less impressive in the wake of Green Bay’s struggles since that game. Desmond Trufant is likely lost for the year, which is a huge injury, and now Jake Matthews is hurt.

  23. San Diego Chargers (5-7) – Previously: 9.
    Underrated NFL Team: The Chargers are back in underrated territory in the wake of their most recent loss to the Buccaneers. There’s no shame in losing to a squad that has beaten the Chiefs and Seahawks of late, and San Diego outplayed Tampa, triumphing in the yards-per-play category, 6.2-5.7. The Chargers, once again, were extremely unlucky when Philip Rivers’ pass bounced off the hands of his receiver and into the arms of Lavonte David, who ran back the pick-six. That gave the Buccaneers life in a game that the Chargers were winning at the time. It was more bad luck for the Chargers, who could’ve won almost every game they’ve played this year.

  24. Baltimore Ravens (7-5) – Previously: 18.
    I listed the Ravens as overrated a week ago, and man, was I wrong about that. The Ravens demolished the Dolphins, which shouldn’t have been so shocking in hindsight. Though, as the great Emmitt once said, hindsight is 50-50.

    The Ravens struggled earlier in the year, but they had so many injuries, it was ridiculous. They’re mostly healthy now, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’ve won and covered four of the five games prior to the bye. The one exception was the loss at Dallas, but the Ravens hung around and even outgained the Cowboys by 0.9 yards per play. Plus, their victory over the Bengals looks so much more impressive in the wake of Cincinnati’s blowout win over the Eagles.

  25. Washington Redskins (6-5-1) – Previously: 5.
    I was close to listing the Redskins as underrated in the wake of their loss at Arizona, given that they probably should’ve won, or at least covered. The Redskins were winning in the second half when they lost their starting center, and then their left tackle got banged up. Despite this, they were down just one point before some late-game shenanigans.

    So, why aren’t the Redskins underrated? Pretty much because of their defense, which has been an abomination lately. Carson Palmer has been horrible this year, yet he was able to have his best game against Washington. The Redskins haven’t been able to stop anyone. Even Minnesota’s offense was competent against them!

  26. Denver Broncos (8-4) – Previously: 8.
    I listed the Broncos as overrated two weeks ago, as they’ve been able to beat overrated teams and pull wins out of their a**es like champs throughout the season. Things were different against the Chiefs, but they once again let the Jaguars hang around, though much of that had to do with Paxton Lynch being so terrible.

    Lynch, by the way, doesn’t look anywhere close to being ready to play. His mechanics are an absolute mess, and his accuracy is woeful as a result. Thus, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Broncos made a big push for Tony Romo this offseason, assuming that Trevor Siemian has a collapse of some sort down the stretch.

  27. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3) – Previously: 7.
    Alex Smith may have gotten the victory, but Matt Ryan will be getting all the endorsements for throwing the first pick-two in NFL history:

    The Chiefs had a great victory in Atlanta, but I think the media needs to calm down with the “Chiefs can score any time they want to” narrative. Sure, maybe against the Desmond Trufant-less Falcons, but I distinctly remember Kansas City posting just 17 points against the Buccaneers at home a couple of weeks ago.

  28. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) – Previously: 6.
    The Steelers have improved to 7-5, and they are now 7-2 with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger. However, I still can’t get over how they played on Thanksgiving. They should’ve mopped the floor with the Andrew Luck-less Colts, but Indianapolis was able to hang around. The score was 28-7, but had the Colts not passed on two field goals, it would’ve been a 21-13 affair in the fourth quarter. The Steelers just beat the Giants, but New York is just a mediocre team, and quite frankly, I was discouraged that the Steelers allowed them to hang around.

  29. New England Patriots (10-2) – Previously: 3.
    Overrated NFL Team: Think about what the Patriots have done the past three weeks. They struggled to put the Rams away, as they were helped by countless drops by Kenny Britt and company. They trailed the Jets in the fourth quarter. They were up just 13-10 at San Francisco in the third quarter. Those are the Patriots’ previous three contests, and before that, they lost to Seattle. New England hasn’t played a good game since Week 8, which was a victory over the Bills who didn’t even have LeSean McCoy or Sammy Watkins!

  30. Oakland Raiders (10-2) – Previously: 4.
    Ugh, Raiders, couldn’t you just win without covering? Like, 25-24 would’ve been just fine. Did you need to keep scoring? Whatever. That game did give us this quote:

    “There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with that little finger now.” – Dan Fouts

    Of course there’s nothing wrong with Littlefinger, Fouts. Littlefinger is extremely badass.

    Anyway, we’ll find out a lot about the Raiders on Thursday night. It’ll be cold in Kansas City, so will Derek Carr’s passing attack work there?

  31. Dallas Cowboys (11-1) – Previously: 2.
    The Cowboys were lucky to win Thursday night, as the Vikings were winning prior to their muffed punt that ended up costing them the game. Dallas may have rallied back in the fourth quarter anyway, but that secondary looked pretty horrible against Sam Bradford. If the Cowboys’ defensive backfield allowed Bradford to complete third-and-16s, what’s going to happen when it goes up against way more potent quarterbacks like Russell Wilson?

  32. Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1) – Previously: 1.
    It’s unfortunate what happened to Earl Thomas – go here for my Disaster Grade for the Earl Thomas injury – and I know that I stated that I kept the Seahawks at No. 1 despite their loss at Tampa because they were missing Thomas and some other key players, but Seattle has a good backup for Thomas, so all hope isn’t lost. Another injury to a key player would potentially be catastrophic, but I think the Seahawks can survive Thomas’ absence.

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