New No. 1 in Week 14 NFL Power Rankings
Week 14 saw a shakeup at the top of the rankings for the first time since Eagles were considered to have a shot at the playoffs.
3. Houston (11-2); Last week: 1
Week 14 result: Lost at New England, 42-14
In what was dubbed the biggest regular season game in franchise history, the Texans trailed 21-0 at the half and never got closer than that. Matt Schaub's numbers were respectable but with his first playoff start coming up next month, the pressure is beginning to mount. He's not getting much help from the defense though. The Texans have been outscored 84-38 in their two losses to the Patriots and Packers and allowed more than 30 points in three of their last four games.
Next up: vs. Indianapolis
4. Atlanta (11-2); Last week: 2
Week 14 result: Lost at Carolina, 30-20
The Falcons have known they were going to make the playoffs for some time now, and hopefully that's the reason for their lackluster effort against the Panthers. Atlanta's defense allowed the game's first 23 points and 475 yards from Carolina's offense. Even with the loss, Atlanta has a 1.5 game lead for the top seed in the NFC.
Next up: vs. New York Giants
5. Green Bay (9-4); Last week: 5
Week 14 result: Won vs. Detroit, 27-20
In the snow on the not-so-frozen tundra of modern-day Lambeau Field, the Packers fell behind 14-0 to the Lions. The comeback started with a Mike Daniels fumble return for a touchdown, one of the more athletic plays you'll see from a defensive lineman. Green Bay went on to score two rushing touchdowns in the second half and held the Lions to just two field goals.
Next up: at Chicago
6. New York Giants (8-5); Last week: 6
Week 14 result: Won vs. New Orleans, 52-27
David Wilson, the Giants' first-round pick in this year's draft, had the breakout game of his rookie year, returning a kick for a touchdown and rushing for 100 yards and two more scores, one on a 52-yard sweep. Wilson had 327 all-purpose yards. Eli Manning also threw for four touchdown passes, each to a different receiver.
Next up: at Atlanta
7. San Francisco (9-3-1); Last week: 7
Week 14 result: Won vs. Miami, 27-13
Colin Kaepernick had an ordinary but efficient game until he ran for a 50-yard touchdown (which he owes all to his ink). Frank Gore and Anthony Dixon also ran for touchdowns, while the 49ers' defense limited Miami to 227 total yards.
Next up: at New England
8. Seattle (8-5); Last week: 12
Week 14 result: Won vs. Arizona, 58-0
Marshawn Lynch needed just 11 carries to run for 128 yards and three touchdowns as the Seahawks improved to 6-0 at home. Seattle scored the game's first 58 points with the help of four second-quarter touchdowns and built a 38-0 halftime lead. Pete Carroll used the occasion to get highly-paid backup Matt Flynn some game tape for the Seahawks to use to trade him this offseason.
Next up: at Buffalo
9. Indianapolis (9-4); Last week: 11
Week 14 result: Won vs. Tennessee, 27-23
It wasn't Andrew Luck's finest performance as a pro, but the Colts won with a fourth-quarter comeback for the sixth time this season. Luck was just 16/34 for 196 yards and two interceptions, with his lone touchdown pass coming in the first quarter. Adam Vinatieri hit two field goals in the fourth quarter, one from 53 yards to tie the game and the other from 40 yards to provide the winning margin.
Next up: at Houston
10. Washington (7-6); Last week: 13
Week 14 result: Won vs. Baltimore, 31-28 (OT)
For those of you who thought the Redskins were nothing with Robert Griffin III, you were wrong for at least a quarter. After Griffin suffered a scary and somehow not-that-serious knee injury, Kirk Cousins led the Redskins to the tying touchdown and two-point conversion to force overtime. After Baltimore failed to score on their first possession, Richard Crawford returned a punt 64 yards to set up Kai Forbath's game-winning field goal.
Next up: at Cleveland
11. Chicago (8-5); Last week: 8
Week 14 result: Lost at Minnesota, 21-14
The Bears lost their second straight game, fourth in five and Jay Cutler to a head injury for the second time in that span. Adrian Peterson shredded the Brian Urlacher-less Bears defense and Jay Cutler completed just 22/44 passes and threw two interceptions before leaving the game in the fourth quarter. Chicago now trails Green Bay by one game in the NFC North.
Next up: vs. Green Bay
12. Baltimore (9-4); Last week: 10
Week 14 result: Lost at Washington, 31-28 (OT)
On Sunday, Joe Flacco threw for three touchdowns and Ray Rice ran for another, but the Ravens' defense allowed the Redskins' backup quarterback to tie a game they led 28-20 with 4:47 left. On Monday, Baltimore fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Now Flacco can really spread his wings!
Next up: vs. Denver
13. Pittsburgh (7-6); Last week: 9
Week 14 result: Lost vs. San Diego, 34-24
Ben Roethlisberger returned from injury and threw three touchdown passes but the Steelers fell behind 27-3 in the third quarter and never recovered. Against a San Diego team that has struggled to hold leads, Pittsburgh rushed for just 69 yards and failed to force a turnover from Philip Rivers. Instead of taking the ball away, the Steelers released "Buttfumble: The Remix".
Next up: at Dallas
14. Minnesota (7-6); Last week: 16
Week 14 result: Won vs. Chicago, 21-14
Adrian Peterson decided he was just going to do it all himself again, rushing for 154 yards and two touchdowns. The Vikings' once again had no passing attack without Percy Harvin and with Christian Ponder, who threw for just 91 yards on 11/17 passing. Harrison Smith accounted for the Vikings' other score on a 56-yard interception return.
Next up: at St. Louis
15. Dallas (7-6); Last week: 17
Week 14 result: Won at Cincinnati, 20-19
The death of Jerry Brown (in which teammate Josh Brent is charged with intoxication manslaughter) marked the second straight Saturday of bad news for the NFL. The Cowboys overcame a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter and won on a 40-yard Dan Bailey field goal as time expired.
Next up: vs. Pittsburgh
16. Cincinnati (7-6); Last week: 14
Week 14 result: Lost vs. Dallas, 20-19
The Bengals missed a chance to move a game ahead of the Steelers for the AFC's final playoff berth. Holding a 19-10 lead in the fourth quarter, Cincinnati allowed Dallas to get within two points with 6:35 remaining and lost on a field goal as time expired. The defeat was the Bengals' first in four games.
Next up: at Philadelphia