In last week's RADIO.COM NFL Power Rankings, we lamented the fact that it appeared that Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson seemed to have picked the wrong year to have the finest season of his illustrious career. Not only did Wilson appear on pace to finish runner-up in the NFL MVP race, but the Seahawks, despite having lost just two games in 2019, were on track to finish second in their own division.
What a difference a week can make.
Wilson still trails Baltimore Ravens' quarterback Lamar Jackson in the NFL MVP race, but because Jackson and the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers, the Seahawks are now even atop the NFC West at 10-2. Remember, the Seahawks defeated the 49ers in San Francisco in Week 10, and they'll host them again in Week 17. Winning the NFC West may be the difference between having a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, or having to go on the road on Wild Card Weekend.
As we near the playoffs, here are RADIO.COM's Week 14 NFL Power Rankings:
1. Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: No. 1)
In poor conditions, the Ravens handed the San Francisco 49ers just their second loss of the 2019 season in Week 13. Lamar Jackson is close to breaking Michael Vick's single-season rushing record for quarterbacks, and is among the league leaders in touchdown passes. The Ravens' defense has limited opponents to just 13.2 points-per-game over their last six contests. What's not to like?
2. Seattle Seahawks (Last Week: No. 4)
There are at least four teams in the NFC that it's not hard to imagine playing in the Super Bowl. But after a win over the Minnesota Vikings - coupled with a loss by the San Francisco 49ers - the Seahawks may be the new favorites in the NFC. Russell Wilson may not win the NFL MVP in 2019, but he's had a brilliant season, as he's thrown for 26 touchdowns and been picked off just four times.
3. San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: No. 2)
The 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens in a rain-soaked M&T Bank Stadium on a last-second field goal. They limited what's been a dominant offense to just 20 points, and Raheem Mostert ran for 146 yards. From that sense, it's hard to panic. After all, the 49ers are still 10-2. Unfortunately for them, so too are the division-rival Seattle Seahawks. Things won't get much easier this week, as the 49ers travel to New Orleans to play a game that could decide home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.
4. New Orleans Saints (Last Week: No. 6)
Cameron Jordan had four sacks in a Thanksgiving Day victory over the Atlanta Falcons that allowed the Saints to move to 10-2. The Saints have a top-10 defensive unit, and a chance for the NFC playoffs to run through Mercedes-Benz Superdome. To make that a reality, they'll likely need to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Week 14.
5. New England Patriots (Last Week: No. 3)
While part of you still feels that Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels will find a way to help the Patriots overcome their lack of offensive firepower, it's clear they don't have to weapons to compete with the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs if the game is high-scoring. With their loss to the Texans in Week 13, they are still on track to have a bye in the first round of the AFC playoffs, but they don't control their own destiny in terms of home-field advantage in the postseason anymore.
6. Green Bay Packers (Last Week: No. 7)
The Packers weren't part of a group of teams that played down to bad teams in Week 13. In the snow, Aaron Rodgers tossed four touchdowns and the Packers blew out the New York Giants, 31-13. With a loss by the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers are again in sole possession of the top spot in the NFC North. If they win out, they still have a shot at securing a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs.
7. Houston Texans (Last Week: No. 9)
Give the Texans a ton of credit, they've rebounded nicely from an embarrassing 41-7 loss in Baltimore in Week 11 to win back-to-back games against the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots. That said, they are still just a game ahead of the Tennessee Titans - who they will see two times in their final four games - in the AFC South.
8. Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: No. 5)
A loss in Seattle in Week 13 hurt the Vikings in a variety of ways. They fell out of a tie with the Green Bay Packers for the best record in the NFC North. Even if they are able to ultimately win the NFC North, at 8-4, they'll almost certainly have to play on Wild Card Weekend. All of a sudden, they're only ahead of the Los Angeles Rams by one game for the second Wild Card spot in the NFC. The Vikings need a win this weekend at home against a banged-up Lions team.
9. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: No. 8)
In arguably their most impressive victory of the 2019 season, the Chiefs defeated the division-rival Oakland Raiders 40-9 in a win that allowed them to seize control of the AFC West and move to 8-4. The most impressive part about the win is they forced three turnovers, and stopped the Raiders on fourth down. The Chiefs managed to score 40 points, despite reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes throwing for just 175 yards.
10. Buffalo Bills (Last Week: No. 10)
For all that's been written about how soft the Bills' schedule has been, they've won 75 percent of the games they've played in 2019. After an impressive Thanksgiving Day win in Dallas, the Bills are 9-3, just a game worse record wise than the New England Patriots. Not enough has been made of how productive Cole Beasley has been in his first season with the Bills, as the former Cowboy has 55 catches for 635 yards and five touchdowns in 2019.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: No. 13)
Despite Mason Rudolph leading the team in passing yards (1,636) and James Conner seeing regression, the Steelers are 7-5 and in the thick of the AFC Wild Card race. The in-season addition of Minkah Fitzpatrick has given the Steelers a top-five defense. But the leadership of Mike Tomlin has kept the Steelers afloat through what could have been a lost season. He's a favorite for Coach of the Year.
12. Tennessee Titans (Last Week: No. 14)
Not only has Ryan Tannehill kept the Titans alive in both the AFC South and Wild Card races, but the 31-year-old has made himself the favorite to be the Titans' starting quarterback in 2020. The former first-round pick has thrown 12 touchdowns to just four picks, and led the Titans to a 5-1 record in games that he's started.
13. Los Angeles Rams (Last Week: No. 16)
For as disappointing of a season as the Rams have had, they'll enter December with a chance to climb back into the NFC Wild Card picture. Not only did they blow out the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13, but the Minnesota Vikings lost, allowing the Rams to pull within one game of Kirk Cousins and company. Todd Gurley ran for 95 yards this past Sunday, and to make a run to the playoffs, the Rams will likely need to lean on him in the final month of the regular season.
14. Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: No. 12)
Since starting the season 5-2, the Colts have gone just 1-4, as injuries have crushed them. The latest injury victim is wideout Chester Rogers, who is out for the season after fracturing his knee in the team's Week 13 loss to the Tennessee Titans. It's also worth noting that since returning from an MCL sprain, Jacoby Brissett has thrown just two touchdowns and been intercepted three times in three games. At 6-6, the Colts desperately need a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14.
15. Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: No. 11)
Whether the Cowboys ultimately sneak into the playoffs or not, head coach Jason Garrett's time with the team appears to be winding down. The Cowboys' roster is better than the 6-6 season that they've had, and simply winning a very poor NFC East probably won't be enough to save Garrett.
16. Oakland Raiders (Last Week: No. 15)
Water appears to be finding its level with the Raiders. Jon Gruden's squad has been outscored 74-12 over the past two weeks, after an improbably 6-4 start. Derek Carr has thrown four interceptions in the Raiders' last three games, after throwing just four total interceptions in the team's first nine games. With so many veteran quarterbacks expected to be available this offseason, it will be interesting to see if the Raiders move forward with Carr as their starting quarterback after 2019.
17. Chicago Bears (Last Week: No. 22)
Mitchell Trubisky had one of the best games of his career on Thanksgiving Day, throwing for 338 yards and three touchdowns in a 24-20 win over the Detroit Lions. Of course, one performance doesn't change what's been an extremely disappointing season, both from Trubisky as an individual and the Bears as a whole. But with a $9.24 million in dead cap money if released before 2020, the Bears may talk themselves into starting Trubisky again next season, the final year of his rookie contract.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: No. 18)
Doug Pederson, just two years removed from leading the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title in franchise history, is safe, even after one of the worst regular-season losses the team has ever suffered. However, the Eagles have arguably been the most disappointing team in the NFL in 2019, and are just 15-15 since winning Super Bowl LII. It appears that major changes are coming on Pederson's staff, among other things, this upcoming offseason.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week: No. 23)
Jameis Winston trails only Dak Prescott in passing yards in 2019, and didn't throw an interception in the team's Week 13 win over the Carolina Panthers. That doesn't erase the 20 picks he's thrown in 2019, but it is fair to wonder if the Buccaneers wouldn't prefer to trying the Winston-Bruce Arians marriage for a second season, as opposed to going with a safer free-agent option like Teddy Bridgewater, who may not have the same upside.
20. Carolina Panthers (Last Week: No. 17)
After nearly completing a comeback in New Orleans in Week 12, the Panthers dropped their fourth consecutive game in Week 13, losing 29-21 to the lowly Redskins. While they were gashed by the Redskins' rushing attack, Christian McCaffrey was limited to just 44 rushing yards. The Panthers are nearing an offseason will they will have to make a decision on how they proceed at quarterback. From here, it would be a mistake to move on from head coach Ron Rivera, but that also appears to be within the realm of possibilities.
21. Cleveland Browns (Last Week: No. 20)
The Browns - especially if Myles Garrett is cleared to return - will be a team that a lot of people talk themselves into heading into next season. There's too much skill-position talent to not be intrigued by them. 2019, though, has been a very Browns season, and at 5-7, it appears Freddie Kitchens is less than likely to return as head coach in 2020.
22. Detroit Lions (Last Week: No. 26)
Given the amount of bad losses there were in Week 13, it's hard to penalize the Lions for their 24-20 loss to the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving Day. Rookie David Blough, the team's third-string quarterback, did an admirable job in a close loss. The Lions, however, have lost five consecutive games. Lions' head coach Matt Patricia's future is uncertain, especially when you consider that the team has a bottom-five defense.
23. Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: No. 19)
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals suffered their worst loss of the 2019 season in Week 13, as they were clobbered 34-7 by the division-rival Los Angeles Rams. After a three-game winning streak in October, the Cardinals have lost five games in a row. That said, two of those losses were close games against the 10-2 San Francisco 49ers. The Cardinals will look to play spoiler against the playoff-contending Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 14, as they try to build some momentum heading into the offseason.
24. Denver Broncos (Last Week: No. 29)
In his first career start, Drew Lock, a 2019 second-round pick, offered a glimpse of hope for the Broncos. The former University of Missouri star hooked up with Courtland Sutton for two touchdowns in a 23-20 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The Broncos' final four games will be about figuring out what they have in Lock.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week: No. 25)
The Jaguars have gone 0-4 in games that Nick Foles has started in 2019, and the team will turn back to Gardner Minshew II in their Week 14 tilt against the Los Angeles Chargers. Even if they choose to move forward with Minshew II as their starter in 2020, they are likely saddled with Foles for at least another season, because they would have over $33 million in dead money if they released him this offseason and it's hard to imagine someone trading for his contract.
26. Los Angeles Chargers (Last Week: No. 24)
The 4:25 window of NFL RedZone exists to track how exactly the Chargers manage to end up in a one touchdown game with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter. They lost another close game in Week 13, falling 23-20 to the Denver Broncos. A year after going 12-4 and winning a playoff game, the Chargers are 4-8, and it appears like Philip Rivers' 16-year tenure with the team may be coming to a close.
27. New York Jets (Last Week: No. 21)
What should one make of the Jets? After winning three consecutive games - including a 34-3 win over the Oakland Raiders in Week 12 - the Jets lost to the previously winless Cincinnati Bengals 22-6 in Week 16. 2019 has largely been a lost season for the Jets, and somehow they aren't even the worst team that plays their home games at MetLife Stadium.
28. Atlanta Falcons (Last Week: No. 27)
The two wins that the Falcons had in November in New Orleans and Carolina feel like a distant memory. Matt Ryan has been sacked 15 times over the Falcons' past two games, including nine in a Thanksgiving Day loss to the Saints. At 3-9, Dan Quinn's fate is likely sealed.
29. Washington Redskins (Last Week: No. 30)
Former LSU star Derrius Guice has rarely been available over the first two seasons of his career because of knee injuries, but the former second-round pick shined in the team's Week 13 win over the Carolina Panthers, rushing for 129 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries. If healthy, he's an exciting piece for the team. It's still unclear what they have in Dwayne Haskins.
30. Miami Dolphins (Last Week: No. 31)
Winning three games with the worst roster in the NFL - and one of the worst ever assembled - is a testament to how much the Dolphins have bought into first-year head coach Brian Flores. That said, the goal of building such a poor roster was to assure the Dolphins had control over the 2020 NFL Draft board, and were able to select their franchise quarterback. Both their extremely mild success and the injury to Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa have complicated that long-term process.
31. New York Giants (Last Week: No. 28)
No one's saying that the Giants have a playoff-caliber roster, but is sure feels like they should be better than 2-10. Losing their eighth consecutive game on a Sunday where the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins all won didn't help in the optics department for embattled head coach Pat Shurmur. The fact that Saquon Barkley is averaging an entire yard less per carry than he did in his rookie season is probably the biggest indictment of the job Shurmur has done in two seasons at the helm in New York.
32. Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week: No. 32)
Sunday went about as well as it could have for the Bengals. They got into the win column with a victory over the Jets, allowing our friend to leave the roof of his bar and sleep in his bed. Also, the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins both won, so the only real threat to the Bengals securing the No. 1 overall pick in 2020 appears to be the 2-10 New York Giants.