The Depth Chart: Week 14

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My power rankings for the NFL.

(Previous Rank; Last Week’s Result; Movement in the Depth Chart).

High Five

1. New York Giants (10-1)
(No. 1; W, 23-7 vs. Was; No Change)
Rolled to an easy divisional victory over the Redskins. They are clearly the team to beat in the NFL, and it’s awfully hard to do just that.

2. Tennessee Titans (10-1)
(No. 2; W, 47-10 vs. Det; No Change)
Wasn’t much of a Thanksgiving Day opening game. The Titans dominated from the opening kickoff and cruised to a big victory in front of a national audience.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3)
(No. 3; W, 23-20 vs. NO; No Change)
Teams looking to stop the Saints’ prolific offense need to follow the example of the Buccaneers, who kept Drew Brees in check, picked off three of his passes, and held the run game to 44 yards.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3)
(No. 4; W, 33-10 vs. NE; No Change)
I never though the Steelers would waltz into New England and trounce the Patriots, but they did just that behind a solid defensive effort and a steady run game by the duo of Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore.

5. Indianapolis Colts (7-4)
(No. 6; W, 10-6 vs. Cle; Up 1)
Squeaked out a 10-6 victory against a bad Browns team. First time the Colts were held without an offensive touchdown since 2002, and yet they still won.


6. Carolina Panthers (8-3)
(No. 8; W, 35-31 vs. GB; Up 2)
Held tough against the Packers at Lambeau Field and came away with a big win thanks to two big pass plays to Steve Smith. DeAngelo Williams had four 1-yard touchdowns.

7. New York Jets (8-3)
(No. 5; L, 34-17 vs. Den; Down 2)
Thomas Jones had 138 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns and the Jets did not win? Clear sign that the defense did not do its job this week.

8. Washington Redskins (7-4)
(No. 7; L, 23-7 vs. NYG; Down 1)
Clinton Portis had just 22 yards on 11 carries. That’s not going to help them win games. The passing game looked efficient, though, as Jason Campbell went 23-of-38 for 232 yards. He also led the team with 38 rushing yards.

9. Atlanta Falcons (7-4)
(No. 11; W, 22-16 vs. SD; Up 2)
I had a feeling that the team whose running back had more yards would win this game and Michael Turner outperformed his former mentor, LaDainian Tomlinson, with 120 yards on 31 carries.

10. Dallas Cowboys (7-4)
(No. 12; W, 34-9 vs. Sea; Up 2)
Yet another blowout in front of a national audience last Thursday. Maybe they’ll start putting other teams on the Thanksgiving schedule? The Cowboys are hanging tough in the NFC East.

11. Arizona Cardinals (7-4)
(No. 9; L, 48-20 vs. Phi; Down 2)
Just couldn’t handle the tough Eagles on the road. Kurt Warner looked human against the Eagles’ defense with only 235 yards passing and 3 interceptions. He did have 3 touchdowns, though.

12. New England Patriots (7-4)
(No. 10; L, 33-10 vs. Pit; Down 2)
Somebody finally brought Matt Cassel back down to earth as he finished with just 169 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. I was happy to see one of my least favorite players, Wes Welker, get jacked up as well.

Muddled Middle

13. Baltimore Ravens (7-4)
(No. 13; W, 34-3 vs. Cin; No Change)
An expected uppercut to the jaw of a stumbling Bengals team. This team looks good under first year head coach John Harbaugh.

14. Denver Broncos (6-5)
(No. 14; W, 34-17 vs. NYJ; No Change)
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the week, the inconsistent Broncos rolled into New Jersey and trumped the Jets, 34-17, thanks to Jay Cutler’s 357 yards passing and 2 touchdowns.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5-1)
(No. 19; W, 48-20 vs. Ari; Up 4)
Kept their playoff hopes alive with a big win over the Cardinals in prime time on Turkey Day.

16. Minnesota Vikings (6-5)
(No. 20; W, 34-14 vs. Chi; Up 4)
After a slow start against the Bears, they picked it up and rolled to a 34-14 divisional victory.

17. Chicago Bears (6-5)
(No. 15; L, 34-14 vs. Min; Down 2)
Were the better team for the first 25 minutes of the game, but after one Vikings goal line stand and a 99-yard touchdown later, the Bears were out of it for the remaining 35 minutes.

18. New Orleans Saints (6-5)
(No. 17; L, 23-20 vs. TB; Down 1)
Drew Brees had 296 yards passing and 2 touchdowns… and that was a mild day by his standards. The Saints only had 44 net rushing yards and that’s not going to get it done.

19. Buffalo Bills (6-5)
(No. 16; L, 10-3 vs. SF; Down 3)
Can’t get much worse than losing to the 49ers at home and only scoring three points.

20. Green Bay Packers (5-6)
(No. 18; L, 35-31 vs. Car; Down 2)
Had 438 total yards, 140 more than the Panthers, and yet lost the game. It’s a sign of a bad defense, folks.


21. Miami Dolphins (5-5)
(No. 23; W, 16-12 vs. Stl; Up 2)
Held tough against a Rams team they should have obliterated.

22. Houston Texans (4-7)
(No. 24; W, 30-17 vs. Jac; Up 2)
The Texans’ high-powered offense rolled to an easy 30-17 victory over the struggling Jaguars.

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7)
(No. 21; L, 30-17 vs. Hou; Down 2)
Things have gotten so bad for the Jaguars that not only are they underachieving, but they’re looking bad while doing it, too.

24. San Diego Chargers (4-7)
(No. 22; L, 22-16 vs. Atl; Down 2)
LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers’ run game continue to struggle, and it’s by no coincidence that they’re 4-8 this season.

25. San Francisco 49ers (3-8)
(No. 27; W, 10-3 vs. Buf; Up 2)
Huge upset victory on the road for the 49ers. It won’t matter much for this year, but it’s a nice pick-me-up for the younger guys who will be back next year.

26. Cleveland Browns (4-7)
(No. 25; L, 10-6 vs. Ind; Down 1)
Held tight against the Colts but didn’t have enough to pull it off. They lost yet another starting quarterback and are now down to Ken Dorsey.

27. Seattle Seahawks (2-9)
(No. 26; L, 34-9 vs. Dal; Down 1)
The Seahawks couldn’t put up much of a fight on Thanksgiving Day against the Cowboys. They’re counting the days until Mike Holmgren is finished as head coach.

Low Five

28. Kansas City Chiefs (1-10)
(No. 29; W, 20-13 vs. Oak; Up 1)
Finally picked up their second victory after many close games the past month or so. Held on for a 20-13 victory over division foe Oakland.

29. Cincinnati Bengals (1-9-1)
(No. 28; L, 34-3 vs. Bal; Down 1)
Somebody put them out of their misery and end a horrific season. Got pummeled against division rival Baltimore.

30. St. Louis Rams (2-9)
(No. 30; L, 16-12 vs. Mia; No Change)
Aren’t just going to lay down even though they were out of the playoff race early in the season. Lost, 16-12, to Miami.

31. Oakland Raiders (3-8)
(No. 31; L, 20-13 vs. KC; No Change)
Kept the game close, but couldn’t overcome the Chiefs’ Larry Johnson and Tony Gonzalez.

32. Detroit Lions (0-11)
(No. 32; L, 47-10 vs. Ten; No Change)
Word is that games are blacked out in Detroit because of low attendance. The Lions fans got to see last Thursday how bad their team truly is.

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