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December 15, 2015

NFL power rankings: NFC Hierarchy/Obituary after Week 14

Eagles NFL
121515SamBradford Matt Rourke/AP

Sam Bradford is 6-2 in his last 8 starts. It is unknown what his record was before that. Scholars maintain that he was probably 137-1.

Week 14 of the NFL season is in the books, and we have no new obituaries. Eight teams are dead, eight teams remain alive. Here's this week's Hierarchy/Obituary:


Graveyard after Week 13



8) Giants (6-7)

Of the three NFC East teams vying for NFC East supremacy (or "least-bad-acy"), the Giants have the toughest remaining schedule:

Redskins Eagles Giants 
 Bills (6-7)Cardinals (11-2) Panthers (13-0) 
 At Eagles (6-7) Redskins (6-7)At Vikings (8-5) 
 At Cowboys (4-9) At Giants (6-7)Eagles (6-7) 
0.410 0.590 0.692 

Over the next three games, the Giants face the 2nd, 5th and 13th ranked rushing offenses in the NFL. Their run defense will determine whether they have a shot at making the playoffs. 

Meanwhile, they can't run the ball to save their lives. Fortunately for the Giants, winter has decided to just not show up this year.


7) Redskins (6-7)

 The Redskins' rushing attack has not been good of late:

 OpponentRushes Yards YPC TD 
Panthers 12 14 1.2 
Giants 37 105 2.8 
Cowboys 26 73 2.8 
Bears 33 99 3.0 
TOTAL 108 291 2.7 

While Kirk Cousins has played better than expected, Ideally you don't want to have to have him carry you to a playoff berth. He needs help.


6) Eagles (6-7)

They've rattled off two straight wins over the Pats and Bills, but are the Eagles good? That's a serious question, and I'm curious what the fans think the answer is. So have at it:


5) Vikings (8-5)

Taking the NFC East teams out of the equation, here's what the wildcard "race" looks like:


With a two-game gap between the Vikes and the rest of the garbage in the NFC, the playoff participants are pretty much set – the Panthers, Cardinals, Packers, Seahawks, Vikings, and whomever wins the trash NFC East.


4) Packers (9-4)

Green Bay is coming off their second bye week last Sunday against the Cowboys, so they'll be fresh for the stretch run. The game left on the schedule that really matters for the Pack is their Week 16 matchup against the Vikings. They win that, they win the division. Pencil in Green Bay for the #3 seed. 


3) Seahawks (8-5)

The Seahawks may be playing the best football in the NFL right now, and Russell Wilson is absolutely on fire. His numbers over the last four games:

 OpponentComp-Att Yards TD-INT Rating 
 49ers24-29 260 3-0 138.5 
 Steelers21-30 345 5-0 147.9 
 Vikings21-27 274 3-0 146.0 
 Ravens23-32 292 5-0 139.6 

In his worst game over that stretch, Wilson had a QB rating of 138.5.


2) Cardinals (11-2)

The Cardinals are in a really good spot. They are in a fantastic position to all but wrap up the No. 2 seed with a win over the Eagles, and then their final two games will be against the Packers and Seahawks, who will both likely need those games. They may have the advantage of resting their starters while also accumulating tape of how two potential playoff opponents will plan to attack them.

Panthers helmet

1) Panthers (13-0)

A trio of 6-7 teams – the Giants, Falcons, and Buccaneers – are the only things standing in the way of an undefeated regular season.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski
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