March 7, 2021

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NFL Power Rankings for Week 15

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NFL Power Rankings for Week 15


Losses by the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New Orleans Saints altered the No. 1 playoff seeding positions in both conferences, and they dramatically shook up spots 2-through-5 in The Post’s weekly NFL Power Rankings.

Things certainly can change again over the final three weeks of the 2020 season, but the first-round byes in the AFC and NFC playoffs currently belong to Kansas City and Green Bay.

1. Kansas City Chiefs, 12-1 (Last week: 1)

The defending Super Bowl champs returned to the site of their championship and overcame an early 10-point deficit and an uncharacteristic four turnovers Sunday to down the Dolphins and clinch their fifth straight AFC West title. Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL in passing yards, Travis Kelce leads in receiving yards and Tyreek Hill leads in touchdowns. Next: Sunday at New Orleans

Aaron Rodgers
Getty Images

2. Green Bay Packers, 10-3 (5)

Aaron Rodgers (NFL-high 39 TD passes) and the Packers sealed their second straight NFC North crown and moved into the top spot in the NFC with Sunday’s divisional win in Detroit. With a win over New Orleans in September, the Packers control the tiebreaker between the teams with a chance to clinch the NFC’s lone first-round playoff bye. Next: Saturday vs. Carolina

3. Buffalo Bills, 10-3 (4)

In case you still didn’t think the Bills were for real, their defense made Ben Roethlisberger look ordinary Sunday night as they moved closer to clinching their first AFC East title since 1995. Josh Allen eclipsed Jim Kelly’s franchise record for combined TDs in a season with 35 (28 passing, six rushing and one receiving). Next: Saturday at Denver

4. Pittsburgh Steelers, 11-2 (2)

Even while rattling off 11 straight wins, we never moved the Steelers above the Chiefs into the coveted penthouse, and their flaws have fully emerged in two losses over six days. Mike Tomlin’s team still clinched its first playoff berth in three years Sunday with Miami’s loss to KC, but the Steelers have totaled just 68 rushing yards the last two games. Next: Monday at Cincinnati

5. New Orleans Saints, 10-3 (3)

The Saints had been 8-0 in games without Drew Brees over the past two seasons until losing to rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts and the previously skidding Eagles. They’ve already clinched a playoff berth, but they’ll need some help now to regain the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a daunting challenge this week. Next: Sunday vs. Kansas City

6. Seattle Seahawks, 9-4 (7)

Nothing gets a team over a rough loss like a game against the league’s worst squad, and Russell Wilson and the Seahawks bounced back from being shut down by the Giants in Week 14 with a cakewalk Sunday against the Jets. Next: Sunday at Washington

7. Los Angeles Rams, 9-4 (10)

The NFL’s top-ranked defense both in total yards and passing yards allowed all but eliminated New England from playoff contention with a complete shutdown Thursday night. Rookie running back Cam Akers also erupted for a career-best 171 rushing yards against the Pats. Next: Sunday vs. Jets

Baker Mayfield
Getty Images

8. Cleveland Browns, 9-4 (6)

Cleveland had won four in a row before letting Lamar Jackson and Justin Tucker beat them late in a wild Monday night game, but now the Giants will have to hand Baker Mayfield and the Browns a second straight loss to stay alive in the NFC East. Next: Sunday night at Giants

9. Tennessee Titans, 9-4 (8)

Like the Seahawks, the Titans also took advantage of a get-well game Sunday against Jacksonville, with workhorse back Derrick Henry rushing for a season-best 215 yards and two scores for an NFL-high 1,532 with three games to play. Next: Sunday vs. Detroit

10. Indianapolis Colts, 9-4 (9)

The Colts racked up 212 rushing yards and 456 overall against the Raiders to keep pace with the Titans in the AFC South. Philip Rivers and the Indy offense scored on seven of their first eight possessions in their fourth win in five games. Next: Sunday vs. Houston

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8-5 (12)

12. Baltimore Ravens, 8-5 (14)

13. Miami Dolphins, 8-5 (11)

14. Arizona Cardinals, 7-6 (15)

15. Las Vegas Raiders, 7-6 (13)

16. Washington Football Team, 6-7 (19)

17. Minnesota Vikings, 6-7 (16)

18. New England Patriots, 6-7 (17)

19. Chicago Bears, 6-7 (22)

20. Giants, 5-8 (18)

Daniel Jones looked immobile and indecisive throughout Sunday’s step-back loss to Arizona with his balky hamstring, but the offensive line and special teams also came up small in the Giants’ biggest game of the last few years. Next: Sunday night vs. Cleveland

Marcus Maye
AP

21. San Francisco 49ers, 5-8 (20)

22. Detroit Lions, 5-8 (21)

23. Denver Broncos, 5-8 (25)

24. Philadelphia Eagles, 4-8-1 (27)

25. Atlanta Falcons, 4-9 (23)

26. Dallas Cowboys, 4-9 (28)

27. Houston Texans, 4-9 (24)

28. Carolina Panthers, 4-9 (26)

29. Los Angeles Chargers, 4-9 (29)

30. Cincinnati Bengals, 2-10-1 (30)

31. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-12 (31)

32. Jets, 0-13 (32)

Which is worse, losing in the last-second manner the Jets did last week against Las Vegas or via a no-show performance across the board for Adam Gase’s team Sunday in Seattle? It won’t get easier this week against the best defensive team in the league. Next: Sunday at LA Rams

https://nypost.com/2020/12/15/nfl-power-rankings-for-week-15/

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