Welcome to the post-Week 14 edition of triggering power rankings.
No. 32: New York Jets (+0)
The Jets lost by 37. No conclusions can be drawn.
No. 31: Cincinnati Bengals (+0)
The Bengals are perfectly situated to land Penei Sewell with the third pick of the 2021 draft. Good work.
No. 30: Jacksonville Jaguars (+0)
Gardner Minshew will return to starting duty after a seven-week hiatus. He has a tough task against an energized Baltimore.
No. 29: Detroit Lions (-5)
With Matthew Stafford potentially on the shelf for the season, the Lions are back in the doldrums.
No. 28: Dallas Cowboys (+0)
Dallas won a game they were supposed to win. They have not been eliminated from the NFC East, but it seems to be coming soon.
No. 27: Philadelphia Eagles (+2)
The Jalen Hurts experiment worked against New Orleans. Everyone on the Eagles seemed to play better. Philadelphia is 1.5 games behind Washington in the division.
No. 26: Carolina Panthers (-3)
The Panthers have no defense, and the offense is beginning to slip. Teddy Bridgewater should be called Teddy Treadwater because the Panthers are not bad enough to have a top-five pick but they aren’t good enough to compete for the playoffs.
No. 25: San Francisco 49ers (-5)
The 49ers seem to have given up on the season. Nick Mullens is nothing more than a backup quarterback.
No. 24: Atlanta Falcons (-2)
In the battle of choke artists, the Falcons failed. Matt Ryan had another stinker of a performance.
No. 23: Houston Texans (-2)
Deshaun Watson is a gold bar in a growing pile of trash.
No. 22: Los Angeles Chargers (+5)
In the battle of choke artists, the Chargers won. Anthony Lynn should not return for Week 1 of 2021.
No. 21: New York Giants (-3)
What a letdown. After taking a stranglehold of the NFC East, the Giants floundered against Arizona. New York is now one game back of Washington with Cleveland and Baltimore looming on the schedule.
No. 20: Denver Broncos (+5)
If Drew Lock plays like that every week, the Broncos will be difficult to beat. Lock has likely earned a full 2021 season.
No. 19: Chicago Bears (+7)
Replace Denver’s section with “Mitch Trubisky” and “the Bears”. Trubisky was terrific against Houston.
No. 18: Las Vegas Raiders (-2)
The Raiders are a mess defensively, and the offense has not been playing well enough to account for how bad the defense has been. Most teams have a talented level of defense. Las Vegas has three atrocious levels.
No. 17: New England Patriots (-2)
The Patriots likely will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. It was a valiant effort, but Cam Newton has turned into a pumpkin.
No. 16: Washington Football Team (+3)
Washington is one of the worst offenses in the NFL, but they have been playing spectacular defense. Chase Young has been sensational, and everyone on the defense can ball. They have a limited upside, but they can hang with anyone.
No. 15: Arizona Cardinals (+2)
Haason Reddick had a historic five-sack game on Sunday. The defense played cohesively, and Arizona got a victory. They are currently the seven seed in the NFC.
No. 14: Minnesota Vikings (+0)
Minnesota was the better team on Sunday, but Dan Bailey had one of the worst kicker performances of the year. Had Bailey made even two of his kicks, Minnesota would have a chance to win the game.
No. 13: Miami Dolphins (-2)
Miami is a year early. Brian Flores is legit. The defense is legit. The 2021 Dolphins will make the playoffs.
No. 12: Pittsburgh Steelers (-8)
Every team ahead of the Steelers is currently playing better than the Steelers. The only argument Pittsburgh has is that they have the second-best record. Offensively, Pittsburgh cannot move the ball. While elite defensively, Pittsburgh is missing many pieces in their back seven. Can they return to the top five? Yes. Are they playing like a top-five team right now? No.
No. 11: Seattle Seahawks (+2)
Seattle beat the Jets by 37. Wilson has fallen out of the MVP race, but he had a solid performance.
No. 10: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2)
The Buccaneers are ranked higher than the Steelers because they can run the football.
The Buccaneers had an ugly 12-point win over Minnesota. Tom Brady did not play well. The defense limited Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, but the defense would have allowed more than 14 points if Bailey was a competent kicker.
No. 9: Indianapolis Colts (+1)
The Colts are ranked higher than the Steelers because they can run the football.
Indianapolis had an impressive win in Las Vegas. The entire offense is rolling, and the defense has been great all season. They may not have the upside of the eight teams ahead of them, but they are a solid team.
No. 8: Baltimore Ravens (+4)
The Ravens are ranked higher than the Steelers because they can run the football.
Baltimore outlasted Cleveland in an instant-classic Monday Night Football game. Lamar Jackson had his fourth 99.5 QBR game, and they dominated on the ground. Defensively, there are some holes at the moment, but Baltimore has the talent to rebound.
No. 7: Tennessee Titans (+2)
Henry has played Jacksonville six times since 2018. He has nine rushing touchdowns in those games. Jacksonville does not have a player with nine rushing touchdowns in the 45 games they have played in that time.
No. 6: Cleveland Browns (+1)
The Browns are ranked higher than the Steelers because the offense is rolling.
No. 5: Los Angeles Rams (+1)
The Rams are ranked higher than the Steelers because Sean McVay can manufacture offense.
No. 4: New Orleans Saints (-2)
The Saints are ranked higher than the Steelers because they are the most balanced team in the NFL.
Sure, the Taysom Hill experiment ended with a loss, but the Saints are a terrific team, and they will be getting Drew Brees back. The Saints have a good passing offense, a good rushing offense, a sturdy defense, and a strong special teams unit.
No. 3: Buffalo Bills (+2)
The Bills are ranked higher than the Steelers because Josh Allen is playing at an elite level.
Buffalo is rolling. They are hot. They sliced through Pittsburgh, and Allen is at the center of it. He has reduced his bad throws and replaced them with accurate dimes. He may be third in MVP conversations.
No. 2: Green Bay Packers (+1)
The Packers are ranked higher than the Steelers because Aaron Rodgers is having a season better than any season by any quarterback besides his 2011 season.
Rodgers is putting up video game numbers every week. He has had 12 spectacular games out of 13 total. There are ebbs and flows to elite quarterback play, but Rodgers has had metronomic eliteness in 2020.
No. 1: Kansas City Chiefs (+0)
The Chiefs are ranked higher than the Steelers because Patrick Mahomes exists.
Kansas City has had a few close wins, but they are slightly misleading. The Chiefs have a point differential of +12 over the last two weeks, but they outplayed both Denver and Miami. All three phases are working for Kansas City, and they should be overwhelming favorites to win their third Lombardi.