The Seahawks can be beaten on the road by good teams, the 49ers proved that this Sunday. Fortunately for them, it’s likely they won’t play a single road game in the playoffs.
2. Denver Broncos (11-2)
Peyton Manning answered a lot of questions about his play in cold weather Sunday, passing for 397 yards and four touchdowns with temperatures hovering around 16 degrees against a very good Titans secondary.
3. New Orleans Saints (10-3)
Drew Brees and the Saints proved to everybody on Sunday Night Football that they are still the class of the NFC South.
4. San Francisco 49ers (9-4)
The 49ers were able to get revenge on a Seahawks team that embarrassed them in Week 2, and now that Colin Kaepernick has all his weapons at his disposal, this team looks primed for a postseason run. Keep an eye on Frank Gore’s health, however. He came up lame late in the 49ers win this Sunday.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)
The Chiefs predictably made a mockery of a Redskins team in complete disarray, but if they can play from ahead and run the ball effectively like they did Sunday they’re going to be a dangerous 1st round match-up for the 4th seed in the AFC.
6. New England Patriots (10-3)
It took a borderline miracle: An onside kick recovery and a questionable pass interference call just for the Patriots to beat the Browns at home on Sunday. Factor in Rob Gronkowski’s season-ending ACL tear, and the arrow on this team is pointing way down, regardless of their record.
7. Carolina Panthers (9-4)
I’ve been just cautiously optimistic about Carolina all season and they proved why Sunday night. Their defensive front seven is arguably the best in the NFL, but the secondary can be beat by elite passing offenses and Cam Newton’s offensive attack can’t keep up.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4)
I don’t know what to make of this Bengals team anymore. They’re probably better than I give them credit for, but until I see Giovanni Bernard utilized correctly and Andy Dalton throws a pass where I don’t think to myself “What defensive back is going to catch this one?”, I’m going to be skeptical.
9. Philadelphia Eagles (8-5)
If you can put up 34 in a foot of snow without kicking a single extra point or field goal, I think it’s time that you’re taken a little more seriously. Welcome to the top 10 Chip Kelly.
10. Arizona Cardinals (8-5)
The Cardinals’ defensive unit is deep and talented–they rank 5th in total defense. The only problem is, the two teams they need to fall in front of them to reach the playoffs–the Panthers and 49ers–are 2nd and 4th, respectively.
11. Indianapolis Colts (8-5)
A lot of things can happen over the next three weeks, but with their recent play it would be shocking if they weren’t 1st round playoff underdogs, even at home.
12. Detroit Lions (7-6)
The Lions are a completely different team in a cozy dome as opposed to out in the elements (this week proved as much). Luckily for them, they won’t venture outside for the rest of the season, with two games at home in Week 15 and 16 and a Week 17 match-up in Minnesota’s friendly-confines.
13. Baltimore Ravens (7-6)
The return of Dennis Pitta (6 rec, 48yds, 1TD) was a huge boost to an offense that has struggled to move the ball inside the 20’s all season long.
14. Chicago Bears (7-6)
At this point, it’s a worthwhile question: are the Bears better with Josh McCown at quarterback?
15. Miami Dolphins (7-6)
16. Dallas Cowboys (7-6)
Does being America’s team mean you get blown out on National Television more than any other team in America?
17. Green Bay Packers (6-6-1)
Now within a half-game of the NFC North lead with three games to go, the return of Aaron Rodgers seems like an absolute certainty at this point.
18. San Diego Chargers (6-7)
It’s tough to envision the Chargers making the playoffs with Denver and Kansas City still on their schedule, but crazier things have happened.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)
They’re much better than their record might suggest. The 49ers had better be ready coming off a high and traveling all the way to the Tampa in Week 15, because this Bucs team is good enough to pull off an upset.
20. New York Jets (6-7)
The fact this team is one game out of the playoffs should tell you all you need to know about the strength of the AFC this season.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8)
On Wednesday Daniel Thomas was expected to miss the rest of the season. On Sunday he ran for over 100 yards against the Steelers at Heintz field. And that’s all you need to know about the Steelers season.
22. Tennessee Titans (5-8)
Actually had the Broncos on the ropes this Sunday for much of the first half, then they realized they were the Titans.
23. New York Giants (5-8)
*Steps* SPLAT. “Are they dead?” *Looks at shoe* “Yeah, they’re dead.”
24. St. Louis Rams (5-8)
Has anybody ever wondered why the ST. LOUIS Rams got stuck in the NFC “West?” How were the Packers or Cowboys not better candidates?
25. Cleveland Browns (4-9)
The Browns are a decent quarterback and running back away from being a playoff team. Their defense, Josh Gordon, and Jordan Cameron are that good, so the future is bright Cleveland hang in there.
26. Buffalo Bills (4-9)
E.J. Manuel pulled a Geno Smith and threw four interceptions and no touchdowns against the Bucs on Sunday. Wait, is pulling a Geno Smith a thing yet? Can I trademark it?
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9)
Winners of four of their last five, I’d still bet you can’t name the number two receiver on their depth chart. That’s alright I’ll wait.
28. Oakland Raiders (4-9)
The Raiders need about 23 draft picks to fill all the holes they have on offense, defense, and special teams.
29. Atlanta Falcons (3-10)
This team was within a quarter of being in the Super Bowl last season. No seriously, look it up.
30. Minnesota Vikings (3-9-1)
Now there’s a possibility we can’t even enjoy the one thing people like about watching the Minnesota Vikings. Adrian Peterson could be shut down for the year. It’s a sad day.
31. Washington Redskins (3-10)
Another playoff team from last season, the Redskins refuse to tackle anybody, their locker room is in disarray, and now RGIII is getting pulled from games. Who ISN’T going to get fired?
32. Houston Texans (2-11)
I don’t know who’s happier: The people who fired Gary Kubiak, or Gary Kubiak.