BY SEAN SCHOONOVER, Couchsideshow.com NFL blogger
Each NFL team now has three games remaining in the 2012 season, some teams are jockeying for postseason position, while some are playing their way out of the playoffs. Also we have a new team on top of this week’s power rankings, with the Texans and Falcons both losing in week 14. With that here are your week fifteen NFL power rankings:
(Last week’s ranking), Team, (record)
- (3) New England Patriots (10-3)- The Patriots take over the top spot with a 42-14 throttling over last week’s number one team the Houston Texans. This team has solidified itself as the top team in the AFC, winning seven straight and scoring a league high 36.3 points per contest. New England also has quality wins against the Broncos and Texans and now has a viable shot at home field advantage in the playoffs. Tom Brady added to his campaign for MVP in the torching of the Texans, as he completed 21 of his 35 attempts for 296 yards and 4 touchdowns. This team is on a roll at the right time, as usual.
- (4) Denver Broncos (10-3) – The Broncos make it to the number two spot because of their eight game win streak which was extended with a 26-13 win over their rival Raiders. They now have a big matchup this week against the Baltimore Ravens, a team they will most likely see in the playoffs. So far Denver is 0-2 against AFC playoff teams with losses to the Patriots and Texans, so this game will be a true test of how good they really are.
- (1) Houston Texans (11-2) – The Texans fall to the number three spot after a dismal performance on Monday night’s game against the Patriots. Tom Brady exploited the numerous holes this team’s defense has especially in their secondary. The Texans now face a red hot Colts team, whom they must beat to hold onto a well needed home –field advantage in the playoffs.
- (2) Atlanta Falcons (11-2) – The Falcons are now 3-2 in the NFC South division after being defeated by the Panthers 30-20. Falcons’ fans I believe there is room for concern as this team has not shown the will to blow any team out this year and now have lost two conference games to teams with losing records. A one game playoff appearance may once again be in the future.
- (5) San Francisco 49ers (8-3-1) – The 49ers bounced back from an overtime loss against the Rams in week 13, with a win against the Dolphins 27-13 on Sunday. Kaepernick has added another dimension to this team, but they must rely more on their run game for the remainder of the season if they want a shot at the Lombardi Trophy. Also, their next two contests consist of tough road trips to New England and Seattle; games they have to win if they want to stay on top of the division.
- (6) Green Bay Packers (8-4) – The Pack increased their lead in the NFC North with a 27-20 win over the Lions. Green Bay showed another dimension Sunday racking up 140 rushing yards, if this team can consistently get this output from the run game for the remainder of the season then watch out league.
- (NR) New York Giants (8-5) – The Giants earned their way back into the top 10 with a 52-27 throttling of New Orleans Saints. I would say David Wilson is out of Tom Coughlin’s dog house after becoming the first NFL player to surpass 200 return yards and 100 rushing yards in a game, oh and he also added three touchdowns.
- (NR) Seattle Seahawks (8-5) - This team deserves to be in the top ten after beating the helpless Arizona Cardinals 58-0. This could be the best home team in the NFL, and I feel for the team that draws them in the playoffs.
- (7) Baltimore Ravens (9-4) - The Ravens blew an 8 point lead and then ended up losing in overtime 31-28 to the Washington Redskins on Sunday. After the loss the team decided to part ways with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and replaced him with Jim Caldwell, a coach that has never called an offensive play in the NFL. We will have to see if this move will actually involve Ray Rice getting the ball on a more consistent basis.
- (10) Indianapolis Colts (9-4) – Andrew Luck lead the Colts to another come from behind win, as they beat the Titans after trailing 20-7 in Indianapolis. Two of their final three games come against the Texans, so they still have a viable shot of winning the AFC south.
Teams on the bubble: Washington Redskins (7-6), Dallas Cowboys (7-6), Chicago Bears (8-5)