NFL Power Rankings Week 15: National Lampoon’s NFL Vacation?

You serious, Clark? What an NFL season! We’re getting maybe the most topsy-turvy year combined with one of the tightest playoff races we’ve ever seen. I think it’s fascinating how this season has unfolded and created a constant evolution in our power rankings.

As will happen every Tuesday throughout the season, nine of our contributors — Zach Lyons, Mike HerndonJustin MeloJimmy MorrisRobert GreenlawWes WisleyAustin NelsonJosh Hong, and Justin Graver — have submitted their power rankings, 1 to 32. Below is the aggregate results of those rankings.

Biggest Risers: Two teams surprisingly manhandled their opponents and rose five spots this week, the Washington Football Team and Chicago Bears.

Biggest Fallers: The Houston Texans suck, and that feels so good to say when they have quality players on their roster and not David Carr. The Texans fell five spots this week.

Here’s where we landed with our rankings as we head into Week 15 of the regular season…

To see the full list of everyone’s individual rankings click here.

Highest Rank:1stLowest Rank:1stPreviously:1st

Robert: The Chiefs are frustratingly good. Yes, they’ve played a lot of close games, even against bad teams. However, watching them on Sundays, it’s tough to envision any team beating them.

Patrick Mahomes had three interceptions against the Dolphins, and they were still up by two scores for most of the game. Mahomes is now 5-0 the past two years when trailing by double digits in the first half. Travis Kelce leads the NFL in receiving yards, and Tyreek Hill continues to be one of the most dangerous players in the league. On paper and on the field, they are a matchup nightmare.

All that said, their defense can be scored on, as evidenced by Miami’s near-comeback on Sunday. Should the Titans face them in the playoffs, I would imagine the point total would be in the 70s.

Highest Rank:2ndLowest Rank:3rdPreviously:3rd
Highest Rank:2ndLowest Rank:4thPreviously:2nd
Highest Rank:3rdLowest Rank:5thPreviously:5th
Highest Rank:3rdLowest Rank:8thPreviously:6th
Highest Rank:5thLowest Rank:10thPreviously:9th

Justin M: The Titans took care of business with a beatdown of the lowly Jaguars on Sunday.

They should do the same thing in this coming weekend’s game against the Lions, who will likely be without starting QB Matthew Stafford.

The Titans need to keep winning because the pesky Colts have matched their record so far at 9-4.

Don’t look now, but the Titans offense is firing on all cylinders once again. The Lions field the worst defense in the league when it comes to weighted DVOA. The Titans should put up 30-plus points with relative ease.

It’d be tough to bump the Titans higher than this even with a win over Detroit, but a win in Week 16 on the road at Green Bay would do wonders for their overall ranking.

Highest Rank:6thLowest Rank:8thPreviously:8th
Highest Rank:6thLowest Rank:11thPreviously:4th
Highest Rank:6thLowest Rank:12thPreviously:7th
Highest Rank:6thLowest Rank:11thPreviously:11th
Highest Rank:9thLowest Rank:12thPreviously:13th
Highest Rank:11thLowest Rank:13thPreviously:12th
Highest Rank:11thLowest Rank:13thPreviously:10th
Highest Rank:14thLowest Rank:16thPreviously:17th

Austin: I mean, who are the Cardinals? I have been all in on the Cardinals for personal reasons (betting reasons, obviously), but seriously. This team should have at least three more wins. They are still young and building a solid foundation under Kliff Kingsbury, but they have let some games slip away from them. Once they are more consistent, they will be one of the NFC’s best. The Cardinals are currently the 7 seed with the Eagles, 49ers and Rams left to play.

Highest Rank:14thLowest Rank:19thPreviously:14th

Zach: Why do you hurt me so, Jon Gruden? I have bought both of your autobiographies, and I owe my overwhelming passion for football to those books, but your team hurt me.

Ever since I labeled you as contenders, you’ve taken both books and beat me to a bloody pulp with them. Why? WHY?

I hope that firing your bud Guentz (Paul Guenther) from his defensive coordinator post turns this team around, but I really needed you on an emotional and spiritual level to beat the Colts, and now it is too little too late.

You can’t be trusted.

Highest Rank:15thLowest Rank:19thPreviously:21st

Justin M: There’s one semi-impressive team in the NFC Least, and it’s the Washington Football Team.

Ron Rivera’s team followed up last week’s shocking win over the Pittsburgh Steelers with a stout defensive performance that led to a 23-15 win over the San Francisco 49ers.

That win coupled with a disappointing showing and loss by the New York Giants means that Washington currently sit in first place in the division, currently on a four-game win streak.

A tough matchup with the Seattle Seahawks is on the horizon, but this team is playing good enough to pull off another upset victory. This division may be terrible, but the race will remain exciting to the end.

Highest Rank:16thLowest Rank:22ndPreviously:16th
Highest Rank:15thLowest Rank:21stPreviously:15th
Highest Rank:16thLowest Rank:21stPreviously:18th
Highest Rank:16thLowest Rank:23rdPreviously:25th

Justin G: Mitch Trubisky is the answer? The previously benched, now reinstated starter led his team to their highest point total of the season as they smoked the Texans 36-7 and snapped their six-game losing streak. Perhaps the credit should go to Bill Lazor Cats, who finally has his number two overall pick playing like a franchise quarterback. Lazor’s playcalling has placed an emphasis on Trubisky’s strengths, getting the athletic quarterback out of the pocket on bootlegs and rollouts. Everything Matt Nagy was hired and failed to do, Lazor Cats has seemingly accomplished over the last three weeks.

?️ill — Laser Cats (2006-2012) // Barry (2018-) Requested...
Shout-out to one of the best SNL sketches of all time.

Chuck Pagano’s defense was swarming on Sunday, forcing a pair of turnovers and holding Houston to 4.1 yards per play. This Chicago team ain’t dead yet, now one game back of the Cardinals for a postseason spot. An important game against Minnesota looms, with a matchup in Jacksonville coming after that. The Bears may yet find a way to hit their preseason win total of eight.

Highest Rank:21stLowest Rank:26thPreviously:22nd
Highest Rank:20thLowest Rank:26thPreviously:19th
Highest Rank:20thLowest Rank:28thPreviously:26th
Highest Rank:18thLowest Rank:28thPreviously:27th
Highest Rank:20thLowest Rank:29thPreviously:20th

Zach: R.O.F.L.M.A.O

I cannot get enough of the downward spiral that is the Houston Texans. I feel like Ponce de Leon drinking from the fountain of youth. Romeo Crennel sucks. This defense sucks. The city itself absolutely sucks.

They’ve always played above their actual talent these last few years, and it’s starting to show. I get it, they could be due for a quick turnaround, but I foresee the ownership group being this generation’s Joneses and just royally screwing up this franchise.

And. I. Love. It… so, so much.

Highest Rank:25thLowest Rank:27thPreviously:23rd

Justin G: Is there a more up-and-down team in the league than the Atlanta Falcons? One week, they look unstoppable, clobbering the Raiders 43-6. But sandwiched around that performance were two stinkers in which the team lost to Taysom Hill. How do you lose to Taysom Hill twice in three weeks? Then they lost to the Chargers last week, who are best known for not closing out games. It was actually the Falcons who couldn’t close this one out.

Interim coach Raheem Morris caught some buzz early when it looked like he was turning things around, but he was just out-coached by Anthony Lynn of all people, who decided to run the ball with no timeouts at the end of the second half while trailing by a touchdown. But even that blunder wasn’t enough for the Falcons to get this win, as they went scoreless after the break. Matt Ryan threw three second-half interceptions, including one on the final drive with a chance to go win the game.

You can’t trust the Falcons any given week, but as soon as you start to bet against them, they’ll explode for 40 points again. What a frustratingly inconsistent team.

Highest Rank:21stLowest Rank:31stPreviously:31st
Highest Rank:25thLowest Rank:28thPreviously:24th
Highest Rank:22ndLowest Rank:29thPreviously:28th
Highest Rank:30thLowest Rank:31stPreviously:29th
Highest Rank:29thLowest Rank:31stPreviously:30th
Highest Rank:32ndLowest Rank:32ndPreviously:32nd

Josh: At this point, we should be talking more about what Trevor Lawrence is doing on Saturdays than anything the Jets are doing on Sundays. They blew their one chance at winning a game this season on a hail mary from Derek Carr two weeks ago, and now just got obliterated by the Seahawks 40-3. The Jets have a real shot at going 0-16 for just the third time in NFL history!

However, the silver lining to this whole season is firing Adam Gase and drafting Trevor Lawrence. Honestly, if that is the by-product of this season, I would call it a success. The future should be brighter, Jets fans. Hang in there.

Who is too high? Who is too low? Drop a comment down below!

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