A look at the final NFL Power Rankings for the 2015 season.
RANK (PREVIOUS) — TEAM (RECORD)
1. (2) — Denver Broncos (15-4)
The Broncos rode to a Super Bowl 50 victory with one of the most dominant defenses in NFL history.
2. (1) — Carolina Panthers (17-2)
What the Panthers did on offense with relatively no help at wide receiver was remarkable, and the defense was just spectacular all season.
3. (3) — New England Patriots (13-5)
The Patriots were impressive as usual with a franchise quarterback, a strong coaching staff, and a front office that reloads talent every year.
4. (4) — Arizona Cardinals (14-4)
Arizona had the right formula in place with a strong defense that took away the ball and a solid field general at quarterback.
5. (5) — Pittsburgh Steelers (11-7)
Despite losing Le’Veon Bell for most of the season and Ben Roethlisberger for four games, the Steelers rolled with a potent passing attack.
6. (6) — Green Bay Packers (11-7)
It’s impressive the Packers finished even as high as they did given the loss of Jordy Nelson, a poor year from Eddie Lacy, and a mediocre — yes, mediocre — year from Aaron Rodgers.
7. (7) — Kansas City Chiefs (12-6)
The Chiefs got off to a horrific 1-5 start before rolling off 10 straight wins to make the playoffs. Not bad for a team that lost Jamaal Charles early in the season.
8. (8) — Seattle Seahawks (11-7)
Seattle underperformed early in the season but got hot in the middle when Russell Wilson started playing like a franchise quarterback.
9. (9) — Cincinnati Bengals (12-5)
The Bengals had a solid, well-rounded team but fell short in the postseason after self-destructing with stupidity.
10. (10) — Minnesota Vikings (11-6)
Adrian Peterson returned to the field after being suspended for most of the 2014 season and led the league in rushing. A young Vikings defense helped fuel them to the postseason.
11. (11) — Washington Redskins (9-8)
The Redskins were one of the weakest division winners in the NFL and snuck into the playoffs because the NFC East was bad.
12. (12) — Houston Texans (9-8)
The only division winner worse than the Redskins was Houston. They have a mess at quarterback and will need a drastic improvement to stay competitive next year.
13. (13) — New York Jets (10-6)
The Jets were quite a surprise team as they made a late season surge to compete for the postseason. Brandon Marshall was a great pickup and Chris Ivory had a solid season running the ball.
14. (14) — Buffalo Bills (8-8)
Rex Ryan is already on his last chance … after only one season with the team. The Bills’ playoff drought was pushed to 16 seasons. Playoffs or bust in 2016 for Ryan.
15. (15) — Indianapolis Colts (8-8)
Andrew Luck battled injuries for most of the season and it cost the team a playoff spot.
16. (16) — Atlanta Falcons (8-8)
The Falcons began the season 6-1 before collapsing to finish with a .500 record. Not a great start for first-year head coach Dan Quinn.
17. (17) — Oakland Raiders (7-9)
Don’t look now, but the woeful Raiders franchise is on the rise, thanks to young studs Derek Carr and Amari Cooper.
18. (18) — Philadelphia Eagles (7-9)
A bad record and a dysfunctional franchise led to the ousting of Chip Kelly.
19. (19) — Detroit Lions (7-9)
The Lions began the season 0-5 and closed the season with a 7-4 stretch, just enough to save Jim Caldwell’s job.
20. (20) — New Orleans Saints (7-9)
The Saints put up great offensive numbers, but their defense was horrible and made them a below average team.
21. (21) — St. Louis Rams (7-9)
The Rams arguably underachieved in their final season in St. Louis before heading back to Los Angeles. Awful quarterback situation but they found a gem in Todd Gurley.
22. (22) — New York Giants (6-10)
A bad season for the Giants led to the departure of long-time coach Tom Coughlin. Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo takes over to try to maintain offensive continuity in the twilight of Eli Manning’s career.
23. (23) — Miami Dolphins (6-10)
The Dolphins were not happy with the 1-3 start to their season and fired head coach Joe Philbin. Former Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase was hired to replace him.
24. (24) — Chicago Bears (6-10)
The Bears made a small improvement to their record, but much bigger improvements to their chemistry and makeup of the team.
25. (25) — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10)
The Bucs fired head coach Lovie Smith after two seasons. Rookie quarterback Jameis Winston looked impressive in his first season.
26. (26) — Baltimore Ravens (5-11)
The Ravens battled injuries and poor play and had one of their worst seasons since 2007, the last for former head coach Brian Billick before John Harbaugh was brought in to replace him.
27. (27) — Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)
The Jaguars have some good young talent in Blake Bortles, T.J. Yeldon, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, but they continue to live in obscurity.
28. (28) — San Francisco 49ers (5-11)
In the year that followed the departure of Jim Harbaugh, the Niners flopped in Jim Tomsula’s only season as head coach. Chip Kelly takes over.
29. (29) — Dallas Cowboys (4-12)
The Cowboys were without two of their better players for much of the season in Tony Romo and Dez Bryant … and it showed on the field.
30. (30) — San Diego Chargers (4-12)
Poor defense and a rash of injuries on offense led to the Chargers being decimated.
31. (31) — Cleveland Browns (3-13)
Johnny Manziel is on his way out of town and that can only mean good things for a woeful Browns franchise.
32. (32) — Tennessee Titans (3-13)
The Titans landed the first pick in April’s 2016 NFL Draft. Perhaps they can find some help to give to Marcus Mariota.
- Bears free agent moves creating competition at positions of need
- Replacing Alshon Jeffery could be near-impossible task
- Bears to sign wide receiver Markus Wheaton
- Bears sign tight end Dion Sims
- Bears sign veteran safety Quintin Demps
- Where do Bears go from here at wide receiver?
- Ryan Pace and John Fox season-ending joint press conference
- Bears-Packers record headed for all-time tie on Sunday
- Vic Fangio, Bears can’t be headed toward a divorce
- 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year