Week 14 NFL Power Rankings: Arizona Cardinals Tighten Grip on Top Spot

There is always plenty of movement in the power rankings, but the Arizona Cardinals have held my top spot for weeks, and continue to strengthen that hold. Another blowout win over the Bears on Sunday has kept them with the best record in the NFL and revived quarterback Kyler Murray’s MVP chances.

Arizona may be the clear-cut No. 1, but there are questions behind them. Here are my power rankings heading into Week 14. Odds courtesy of DraftKings on Dec. 7.

1. Arizona Cardinals (10-2)

Last week: 1

Week 13 result: 33-22 win over the Bears

Week 14: Cardinals (-3) vs. Rams

Super Bowl odds: +700

The Cardinals’ defense doesn’t get a lot of hype but it picked off Andy Dalton four times on Sunday. Arizona has won each of its seven road games by double digits, an incredible feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 1968. The Cardinals can wrap up the NFC West if they beat the Rams in a Monday Night Football showdown this week.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3)

Last week: 2

Week 13 result: 30-17 win over the Falcons

Week 14: Buccaneers (-3) vs. Bills

Super Bowl odds: +550

Tom Brady threw the ball approximately 743 times on Sunday as the Buccaneers eventually pulled away from the hapless Falcons. Tampa Bay is still the Super Bowl betting favorite but the road will be tough if it finishes as the No. 3 seed. The Bucs have a huge game this week against Buffalo.

3. New England Patriots (9-4)

Last week: 3

Week 13 result: 14-10 win over the Bills

Week 14: Bye

Super Bowl odds: +700

It’s hard to glean too much out of New England’s victory over Buffalo on Monday night because the game was played in horrible weather. However, the Patriots captured the all-important win and now sit atop the AFC. A truly remarkable job by coach Bill Belichick turning this team around in one season.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)

Last week: 4

Week 13 result: 22-9 win over the Broncos

Week 14: Chiefs (-9.5) vs. Raiders

Super Bowl odds: +650

The Chiefs continue to win games comfortably, but strangely enough, it’s the defense that keeps doing the heavy lifting. It seems inevitable that Kansas City’s offense finds its groove, and if the defense can continue staying this stout, the Chiefs will be the team to beat in the AFC come playoff time.

5. Green Bay Packers (9-3)

Last week: 6

Week 12 result: Bye

Week 13: Packers (-11.5) vs. Bears

Super Bowl odds: +750

The Packers should get a pretty easy win this week on Sunday Night Football, and will hope to see the Bucs, Cardinals or maybe even both lose their tough matchups. Green Bay has been the least impressive of the trio this season, but if it can snag the No. 1 seed, a Super Bowl appearance would be realistic.

6. Los Angeles Rams (8-4)

Last week: 7

Week 13 result: 37-7 win over the Jaguars

Week 14: Rams (+3) at Cardinals

Super Bowl odds: +1200

The Rams got back on track by demolishing the Jaguars on Sunday. Their slim NFC West hopes will be gone with a road loss to the Cardinals, but the Rams are only slight underdogs and have enough talent to pull the upset. Los Angeles is one of the best teams in the NFL but entering the playoffs as a wild card would make it a tough trek to the Super Bowl.

7. Buffalo Bills (7-5)

Last week: 5

Week 13 result: 14-10 loss to the Patriots

Week 14: Bills (+3) at Buccaneers

Super Bowl odds: +1100

A weird season got weirder on Monday night, as the Bills lost to a Patriots team that attempted three passes because of the swirling wind. This still may be the most complete team in the AFC, but Buffalo’s shot to win the AFC East took a hit this week, and now the Bills face the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers.

8. Dallas Cowboys (8-4)

Last week: 9

Week 13 result: 27-17 win over the Saints

Week 14: Cowboys (-4) at Washington

Super Bowl odds: +1300

The Cowboys took care of business against a depleted New Orleans team last week and are closing in on the NFC East title. The bigger question: Is Dallas on the same talent tier of the Cardinals, Bucs and Packers? A strong finish to the season would boost that case.

9. Baltimore Ravens (8-4)

Last week: 8

Week 13 result: 20-19 loss to the Steelers

Week 14: Ravens (+2) at Browns

Super Bowl odds: +1600

The Ravens failed on their two-point attempt at the end of regulation and lost to the Steelers. More concerning was the season-ending injury to star cornerback Marlon Humphrey. All of these injuries have likely torpedoed Baltimore’s shot at a championship. The Ravens are good but not great this season. 

10. Los Angeles Chargers (7-5)

Last week: 12

Week 13 result: 41-22 win over the Bengals

Week 14: Chargers (-10.5) vs. Giants

Super Bowl odds: +2200

The Chargers picked up a solid win over Cincinnati on Sunday and should further solidify their playoff status against a depleted Giants team this week. In a muddled AFC, it’s not crazy to think Los Angeles could make a run.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)

Last week: 9

Week 13 result: 41-22 loss to the Chargers

Week 14: Bengals (-1) vs. 49ers

Super Bowl odds: +3500

The AFC North looks ripe for the taking with all of Baltimore’s injuries. The Bengals can capitalize by winning toss-up games like this one Sunday against the 49ers.

12. San Francisco 49ers (6-6)

Last week: 10

Week 13 result: 30-23 loss to the Seahawks

Week 14: 49ers (+1) at Bengals

Super Bowl odds: +4000

It was an extremely weird game on Sunday in Seattle, one the 49ers lost in the waning seconds. San Francisco is definitely one of the seven best teams in the NFC, but is clinging to a playoff spot heading into the final month of play, and has a tough matchup this week in Cincinnati.

13. Indianapolis Colts (7-6) 

Last week: 14

Week 13 result: 31-0 win over Texans

Week 14: Bye

Super Bowl odds: +3500

The Colts certainly look like the best team in the AFC South at this point, though it is still unlikely they catch the Titans in the standings. Indy needs to continue playing well down the stretch to make the postseason.

14. Tennessee Titans (8-4)

Last week: 13

Week 13 result: Bye

Week 14: Titans (-9.5) vs. Jaguars

Super Bowl odds: +2500

Julio Jones was designated to return from injured reserve this week, and it would be a welcome sight to have him back in the lineup. Tennessee is in serious need of playmakers because of all their skill player injuries. Luckily, Jones or not, the Titans get an easy game this week against the Jaguars.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)

Last week: 18

Week 13 result: 33-18 win over the Jets

Week 14: Bye

Super Bowl odds: +8000

Gardner Minshew was able to help Philadelphia knock off the Jets, keeping them right in the NFC wild card mix. None of the conference also-rans deserve to make the playoffs this season, but since someone needs to grab the No. 7 seed, the Eagles have the most deserving resume at this point.

16. Cleveland Browns (6-6)

Last week: 20

Week 13 result: Bye

Week 14: Browns (-2) vs. Ravens

Super Bowl odds: +6000

Cleveland sat at home this week and watched all the others around them in the power rankings self-destruct. Merry Christmas, Browns. You gained four spots for doing nothing.

17. Minnesota Vikings (5-7)

Last week: 15

Week 13 result: 29-27 loss to the Lions

Week 14: Vikings (-3) vs. Steelers

Super Bowl odds: +10000

Sometimes the Vikings look pretty good, and then they go and lose to the woeful Lions, taking away any and all faith in them to be a feisty team down the stretch. Yes, injuries have been impactful. But the Lions?

18. Denver Broncos (6-6)

Last week: 17

Week 13 result: 22-9 loss to the Chiefs

Week 14: Broncos (-8) vs. Lions

Super Bowl odds: +10000

The Broncos have looked good at times this year but the loss to Kansas City was a reminder that they are not in the top tier in the AFC. Denver has a tough schedule down the stretch, so it needs to beat the Lions this week and then pull some upsets to make the playoffs.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (6-6)

Last week: 16

Week 13 result: 17-15 loss to Washington

Week 14: Raiders (+9.5) at Chiefs

Super Bowl odds: +20000

The AFC is tightly packed, and Las Vegas probably blew its chance at  the playoffs with Sunday’s loss to Washington. Next up is a road game in Kansas City as a big underdog. The Raiders’ hot start is a distant memory now.

20. New Orleans Saints (5-7)

Last week: 18

Week 13 result: 27-17 loss to the Cowboys

Week 14: Saints (-4.5) at Jets

Super Bowl odds: +15000

The Saints have a solid overall roster and no capable quarterback after the season-ending injury to Jameis Winston. The schedule is favorable down the stretch as New Orleans has a chance to sneak into the playoffs with a strong finish.

21. Washington Football Team (6-6)

Last week: 21

Week 13 result: 17-15 win over the Raiders

Week 14: Washington (+3.5) vs. Cowboys

Super Bowl odds: +10000

Washington’s winning streak is up to four games but I’m still not buying this team. Its point-differential of negative-51 is eighth-worst in the NFL. Look for WFT to fall out of a playoff spot eventually.

22. Miami Dolphins (6-7)

Last week: 23

Week 13 result: 20-9 win over the Giants

Week 14: Bye

Super Bowl odds: +20000

This is another team that is a mirage. The Dolphins have won five straight but against poor opponents and still have a negative-34 point-differential on the year. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is showing some promise but that optimism should be reserved for next season because the playoffs are still an extreme longshot.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1)

Last week: 24

Week 13 result: 20-19 win over the Ravens

Week 14: Steelers (+3) at Vikings

Super Bowl odds: +10000

Pittsburgh rallied for a win over Baltimore, but quarterback play is still a huge issue. It was the least surprising news ever when a report surfaced last week that Ben Roethlisberger would not return to the Steelers in 2022.

24. Seattle Seahawks (4-8)

Last week: 25

Week 13 result: 30-23 win over the 49ers

Week 14: Seahawks (-7) at Texans

Super Bowl odds: +15000

The Seahawks are the most talented team in contention for the No. 7 seed, but will need to be nearly flawless down the stretch. They play the Texans, Bears and Lions within the next four games, but the other two matchups this year are road contests against the Rams and Cardinals.

25. Carolina Panthers (5-7)

Last week: 22

Week 13 result: Bye

Week 14: Panthers (-3) vs. Falcons

Super Bowl odds: +50000

Offensive coordinator Joe Brady was fired during the bye week, hinting at the issues going on in Carolina. The Panthers’ once-promising season has gone off the track.

26. Chicago Bears (4-8)

Last week: 26

Week 13 result: 33-22 loss to the Cardinals

Week 14: Bears (+11.5) at Packers

Super Bowl odds: +100000

Andy Dalton threw four interceptions against the Cardinals. The Bears’ season is going nowhere, so it would be nice if Justin Fields can get healthy enough to get some more experience the rest of the way.

27. New York Giants (4-8)

Last week: 27

Week 13 result: 20-9 loss to the Dolphins

Week 14: Giants (+10.5) at Chargers

Super Bowl odds: +100000

The Giants may have to start third-string quarterback Jake Fromm on Sunday because of injuries to Daniel Jones and Mike Glennon. Fun.

28. Atlanta Falcons (5-7)

Last week: 28

Week 13 result: 30-17 loss to the Buccaneers

Week 14: Falcons (+3) at Panthers

Super Bowl odds: +50000

Atlanta continues to hang around in the playoff race despite a horrendous point differential. The No. 2 seed doesn’t get a first-round bye any more, but this would be the equivalent of one if Atlanta sneaks in as the No. 7 seed.

29. Detroit Lions (1-10-1)

Week 13 result: 29-27 win over the Vikings

Week 14: Lions (+8) at Broncos

Super Bowl odds: +100000

Woo hoo! The Lions got a win, and a pretty solid one at that over the Vikings. Their stay in the basement is over after several close calls previously.

30. New York Jets (3-9)

Last week: 29

Week 13 result: 33-18 loss to the Eagles

Week 14: Jets (+4.5) vs. Saints

Super Bowl odds: +100000

The big question for me: Will Zach Wilson do enough in the next two years to keep the Jets from drafting a quarterback in 2023? The early returns are not inspiring.

31. Houston Texans (2-10)

Last week: 30

Week 13 result: 31-0 loss to the Colts

Week 14: Texans (+7) vs. Seahawks

The Texans were the first team to get eliminated from playoff contention. Congrats, Houston.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)

Last week: 31

Week 13 result: 37-7 loss to the Rams

Week 14: Jaguars (+9.5) at Titans

Super Bowl odds: +100000

Another non-competitive loss by Jacksonville. While it was a thrilling race to the bottom, the Jaguars are the new No. 32 in the rankings.

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