NFL Power Rankings - Week 15: Rams knocked from top spot, Steelers drop

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The NFL Power Rankings are selected by a panel of theScore's football editors, including Mike Alessandrini, Jack Browne, Michael McClymont, and Arun Srinivasan.

1. New Orleans Saints (11-2)

Previous Rank: 2

The Saints appeared on their way to a second straight flop before pulling it together for the second half in Tampa Bay. This team is winning in a variety of ways and is now the favorite to lock up the NFC's top seed. - Alessandrini

2. Kansas City Chiefs (11-2)

Previous Rank: 3

The NFL's No. 1 scoring defense and total defense was no match for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' offensive attack. It seems the only way to top this team is to outscore it. Good luck. - McClymont

3. Los Angeles Rams (11-2)

Previous Rank: 1

The Bears laid out the blueprint for shutting down the Rams' offense. Fortunately for L.A., there aren't many defenses like Chicago's. - McClymont

4. Los Angeles Chargers (10-3)

Previous Rank: 5

This week spells the biggest Chargers game in years. If the Bolts are to win the AFC West for the first time since 2009, they'll need to beat the Chiefs on Thursday night. - McClymont

5. Chicago Bears (9-4)

Previous Rank: 7

It may not be hyperbolic to compare this year's defense to the legendary 1985 squad after it made the high-octane Rams offense look helpless Sunday night. - Srinivasan

6. New England Patriots (9-4)

Previous Rank: 4

New England will, of course, bounce back from the embarrassing loss to the Dolphins. But it was still startling to see Bill Belichick make such a huge error by leaving Rob Gronkowski on the field for the final defensive play. - Browne

7. Dallas Cowboys (8-5)

Previous Rank: 9

It's safe to say Dallas has a new set of "Triplets," as Amari Cooper put on an otherworldly performance against the Eagles and continued to show why many were wrong to suggest he wasn't worth trading a first-round pick. - Browne

8. Houston Texans (9-4)

Previous Rank: 6

Bill O'Brien has to either call more plays for Deshaun Watson to release the ball quickly or make adjustments to his blocking unit. The Texans can't make a playoff run with their quarterback running for his life. - Alessandrini

9. Seattle Seahawks (8-5)

Previous Rank: 10

Bobby Wagner is willing the Seahawks to the playoffs. On the strength of two virtuoso performances by the middle linebacker, the retooled Seattle defense is soaring. - McClymont

10. Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

Previous Rank: 14

T.Y. Hilton has 556 receiving yards over his last four games. The Colts close out the regular season against the Cowboys, Giants, and Titans, who should all be prepared for the deadly duo of Hilton and Andrew Luck. - Alessandrini

11. Baltimore Ravens (7-6)

Previous Rank: 12

It appears Lamar Jackson will be fine after leaving in overtime, and with Joe Flacco improving in his recovery from injury, the Ravens may soon have a quarterback controversy on their hands. - Srinivasan

12. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5-1)

Previous Rank: 8

Chris Boswell will field the blame for a missed field goal but the offense has to make better use of Antonio Brown to reach its full potential. - Srinivasan

13. Minnesota Vikings (6-6-1)

Previous Rank: 11

Barely holding onto a playoff spot, the offense looks completely listless with Kirk Cousins surpassing 300 yards just once since Week 9. - Srinivasan

14. Tennessee Titans (7-6)

Previous Rank: 17

Hats off to the man with the meanest stiff arm in the NFL. Derrick Henry put on a show Thursday night. - Alessandrini

15. Miami Dolphins (7-6)

Previous Rank: 18

Kenyan Drake will never again need to buy his own drink in Miami. - Browne

16. Carolina Panthers (6-7)

Previous Rank: 13

Make that five straight losses for Carolina. Cam Newton continues to struggle and it appears his shoulder is really causing him some problems. - Alessandrini

17. Denver Broncos (6-7)

Previous Rank: 16

The losses on the offensive side of the ball were just too much to make up. That's still no excuse for that stinker of a performance against the Niners. - McClymont

18. Green Bay Packers (5-7-1)

Previous Rank: 20

Aaron Rodgers was efficient in a 34-20 victory versus Atlanta, but it's too little, too late in another season his immense talent has gone to waste. - Srinivasan

19. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)

Previous Rank: 15

The race for the division may be over, but Philly is still very much alive for the final NFC wild-card spot thanks to the Vikings' MNF loss. - Browne

20. Cleveland Browns (5-7-1)

Previous Rank: 22

Baker Mayfield outdueled Cam Newton in the battle of Heisman-winning No. 1 overall picks, and though they won't make the playoffs, the Browns have their quarterback, finally. - Srinivasan

21. New York Giants (5-8)

Previous Rank: 26

New York has won four of its last five and is miraculously still mathematically in the hunt for the playoffs. The Giants need a ton of help, but they'll likely take any sliver of hope after their disastrous start. - Browne

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-8)

Previous Rank: 21

Chris Godwin's frustrating season continued Sunday. A week after his 101-yard, one-touchdown performance, the wideout amazingly caught just one of 10 targets versus New Orleans. - Alessandrini

23. Washington Redskins (6-7)

Previous Rank: 19

Josh Johnson needed to play Madden just to learn the names of his new teammates. That's how quickly this season has deteriorated for Washington. - Browne

24. Detroit Lions (5-8)

Previous Rank: 28

If the Lions beat the Cardinals in a game during which Matthew Stafford threw for only 101 yards, does it really count? - Srinivasan

25. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8)

Previous Rank: 23

Remember when the Bengals threatened to break up the Steelers-Ravens duopoly in the North? Nope, we can't either. - Srinivasan

26. Atlanta Falcons (4-9)

Previous Rank: 24

Julio Jones' schooling of first-round rookie Jaire Alexander was fun to watch. Try to see the positives at this point, Falcons fans. - Alessandrini

27. Buffalo Bills (4-9)

Previous Rank: 27

This past week, Josh Allen broke Michael Vick's three-game QB rushing record. This season just keeps getting weirder. - Browne

28. New York Jets (4-9)

Previous Rank: 29

Sam Darnold was always going to struggle to immediately adapt to the NFL level. But his game-winning play against the Bills was a needed reminder of how high his ceiling can be if New York properly nurtures his talent. - Browne

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9)

Previous Rank: 25

The once-elite Jaguars defense has seemingly stopped trying. Is there another way to explain Henry's titanic performance? - Alessandrini

30. Oakland Raiders (3-10)

Previous Rank: 32

We'll miss that Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum turf and all the follies it created. - McClymont

31. San Francisco 49ers (3-10)

Previous Rank: 31

What an All-Pro-worthy season George Kittle has put together. It's a shame the Niners couldn't get him the five yards he needed to break the single-game receiving record for tight ends. - McClymont

32. Arizona Cardinals (3-10)

Previous Rank: 30

Those two wins against San Fran are really hurting Arizona's shot at the No. 1 pick in the draft. - McClymont

NFL Power Rankings - Week 15: Rams knocked from top spot, Steelers drop
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