For the first time this season, the New England Patriots lost their first game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football. As a result of that loss, there is a new number one on the Gridiron Fanatic.Net Top 15 Power Rankings list.
1. Carolina Panthers: (Previous Ranking 2nd)
The Carolina Panthers were not expected by many to defeat the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving evening. The result of those doubts was a 33-14 beatdown in front of a sellout crowd at “Jerry World.” They are now the only unbeaten team in the National Football League. They will try to clinch the division title this Sunday when they take on the New Orleans Saints.
2. New England Patriots (Previous Ranking 1st)
The Patriots are no longer in the ranks of the undefeated when they lost to the Denver Broncos. They also lost star tight end Rob Gronkowski for possibly the remainder of the season. With that said, the Patriots shall bounce back this week with a victory over the 4-7 Philadelphia Eagles.
3. Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals remain on top of the NFC West. They survived a close call against the San Francisco 49ers 20-13. In that contest, the Cardinals suffered injuries to key personnel on the offensive side of the ball. Running backs, Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington suffered injuries that will possibly sideline them for the remainder of the season. Both players should be ready to go by playoff time.
4. Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos were the first team to hand the New England Patriots their first loss of the 2015 regular season. The victory came as a result of a 48-yard touchdown run by C.J. Anderson in overtime.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (Previous Ranking 6th)
The Cincinnati Bengals are back on the winning side of things when they defeated the St.Louis Rams 31-7. Even with a record of 9-2, some fans are still not convinced that they are a contender in the AFC.
6. Minnesota Vikings (Previous Ranking 7th)
After coming off a dismal performance against the Green Bay Packers at TCF Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings got back on track against the Atlanta Falcons. Adrian Peterson rushed for 158 yards and two touchdown scores. Up next for the Vikings is a crucial Week 13 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
7. Green Bay Packers (Previous Ranking 5th)
The Green Bay Packers lost their lead in the NFC North when they were defeated by their division rival, the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football 17-13. The wide receiver corps has not lived up to expectations, even without Jordy Nelson in the lineup.
8. Indianapolis Colts (Previous Ranking 9th)
Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselback is now 4-0 in games that he has stepped in for injured starter Andrew Luck. The Colts defeated the red-hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers 25-12. Up next for the Colts, will be a crucial primetime matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
9. Kansas City Chiefs (Previous Ranking 10th)
For the time being, the Kansas City Chiefs are now in the 5th spot in the AFC Playoff Standings. In a back and forth contest against the Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs came out as the victors 30-22. If this team continues to hold on to the 5th spot in the playoff standings, they could be a very tough opponent for anyone to handle.
10. Seattle Seahawks (Previous Ranking 13th)
Russell Wilson showed that he can lead the Seahawks to victory when the “Legion of Boom” is having a subpar performance against opposing offenses. Wilson threw a career-high five touchdown passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Seahawks victory against the Steelers has catapulted them to a 6-5 record and the 5th spot in the NFC Playoff Race.
11. New York Jets (Previous Ranking 15th)
The New York Jets finally ended their two-game losing streak when they dismantled the Miami Dolphins 38-20. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall had his best game in the green uniform when he caught nine passes for 131 yards and two touchdown scores.
12. Houston Texans
The Houston Texans have finally cracked the Top 15 Power Rankings for Gridiron Fanatic.Net. They demolished the New Orleans 24-6 in front of their home crowd at NRG Stadium. They are still tied with the Indianapolis Colts for first place in the AFC South.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (Previous Ranking 8th)
The Pittsburgh Steelers defense could not withstand the offensive onslaught of the Seattle Seahawks when they lost 39-30. Wideout Markus Wheaton had a career-high nine receptions for 201 yards. The Steelers inability to stop the big plays on defense could eventually cost them a victory in the postseason.
14. Atlanta Falcons (Previous Ranking 12th)
After starting off the season at 6-0, the Atlanta Falcons are now on a five-game losing streak. A loss next week against the Bucs could be the “nail in the coffin” for the “Diry Birds” this season.
15. Washington Redskins
The NFC East has a new division leader, no it is not the Dallas Cowboys. It is the Washington Redskins. The Skins took the division lead away from the New York Giants when they defeated them 20-14 at FedEx Field. Redskins fans are “liking that” as quarterback Kirk Cousins would say.
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