There are no significant changes within the top five of the Gridiron Fanatic Top 15 Team Power Rankings. However, one of the ten win ball clubs may find themselves out of the playoff race. With the playoff seedings almost in the books, we will only list the top 13 teams in the National Football League. Six playoff teams from the AFC and six playoff teams from the NFC along with the wildcard scenario in the AFC.
1. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers once again were on the ropes playing in a hostile environment. They went on the road to face the New York Giants, who they managed to defeat 38-35. The Panthers are now 14-0 and have home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
2. Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals took care of business on the road once again by the dismantling the inconsistent Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football 40-17. The Cardinals would also lose one of their leaders on defense in safety Tyrann Mathieu for the remainder of the season with a Torn ACL injury.
3. New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are now the number one seed in the AFC Playoff Race. Their current opponent was the Tennessee Titans, who they defeated 33-16.
4. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks clinched their fourth consecutive playoff berth when they defeated the Cleveland Browns at home last Sunday. Their quest for a third straight trip to the Super Bowl will begin on the road this season, however; harsh weather conditions and playing in a hostile environment do not bother this football team.
5. Green Bay Packers
The Packers will most likely win the NFC North Title once again. They have clinched their seventh playoff berth with Aaron Rodgers under center.
6. Kansas City Chiefs
With the Kansas City Chiefs victory over the Baltimore Ravens, they are now on an eight-game winning streak. Their final two remaining games are against the Cleveland Browns and the Oakland Raiders. They are still alive for the AFC West Title as well.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers
Wide receiver Antonio Brown had another huge day as the Pittsburgh Steelers came from behind to defeat the Denver Broncos 34-27. He became the first player in NFL history to have multiple 16 reception games. The Steelers are still in a dogfight for the 5th or 6th wildcard spot in the playoffs.
8. New York Jets
Last Saturday Night at “Jerry World” the New York Jets hung on to defeat the Dallas Cowboys 19-16. Their next matchup will be a crucial Week 16 showdown with the New England Patriots. If the Jets lose, they are most likely eliminated from the playoffs.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (Previous Ranking 10th)
For the 5th consecutive time under head coach Marvin Lewis, the Cincinnati Bengals are going to the playoffs. They have a chance next week to secure a first-round bye in the playoffs with a victory over the Denver Broncos next week.
10. Minnesota Vikings (Previous Ranking 11th)
Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had one of his best games of the season when he threw a career-high four touchdown passes and ran for another as the Vikings defeated division rival the Chicago Bears 38-17.
11. Denver Broncos (Previous Ranking 9th)
After failing to put away the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, the Denver Broncos find themselves in a do or die situation next Monday Night against the Cincinnati Bengals. If the Broncos lose that contest, they could find themselves out of the race for AFC West Title or out of the playoffs as well.
12. Washington Redskins (Previous Ranking 12)
If the Washington Redskins can beat the Philadelphia Eagles this Saturday Night, they will lock up the horrible NFC East.
13. Houston Texans
So you mean to tell me that Brandon Weeden, who was released by the Dallas Cowboys this season, could lead the Houston Texans into the playoffs? Hopefully, Weeden can do enough in the final two games of the season to keep the starting job going into next season.
Photo credits by www.washingtonpost.com