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NFL Power Rankings through Week 14

Tony Sparano was fired this week, but his dejection here stems from the sunglasses fad he was never able to get off the ground. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports)

Fourteen weeks have come and gone, and there are six teams with 10 wins, four teams with eight wins, another six teams with seven wins, and one team that should just quit while it’s ahead.

In other words, I hope you all have the tiebreaker rules straightened out.

As always, I’ll take you on a tour through the NFL landscape as it shapes up in my expert eyes with my weekly NFL Power Rankings. We’ll cover a surprising 40-point outburst, one playoff-bound team whose Week 14 performance doesn’t bode well for their Super Bowl aspirations, and a sunglasses fad that never was.

Yeah, I’m being a tease. Deal with it. Last week’s ranking in parentheses.

Without further ado, my NFL Power Rankings from the pointless to the perfect through Week 14:

32 (32). Indianapolis Colts (0-13)

At first I was upset at the prospect of the Colts getting the first pick in the draft, but now I’m just ecstatic for the fallout of choosing between Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. Three weeks and counting!

31 (31). St. Louis Rams (2-11)

Can someone inform the NFL scheduling office that no one cares to see an NFC West snooze-fest on national TV, even if those two teams will theoretically contend for the division title at the beginning of the season? Thanks.

30 (29). Minnesota Vikings (2-11)

A no-call on a facemask penalty cost the Vikings one last shot at a win. They must be so upset that they didn’t have the opportunity to get to three wins in 13 tries.

29 (27). Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)

The Bucs were doomed by seven turnovers, which included back-up QB Josh Johnson somehow throwing one interception in just two pass attempts. More like the Suckaneers, am I right? Boom! High five!

28 (28). Cleveland Browns (4-9)

Colt McCoy was lit up by James Harrison on a crushing helmet-to-helmet hit, then returned two plays later despite having no recollection of the incident. In an unrelated story, the Browns offense scored three points.

27 (30). Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9)

Whoa! 41 points?! Unanswered?!?! Who is this team, and what have they done with Blaine Gabbert? Does this mean Maurice Jones-Drew can play quarterback?

26 (24). Kansas City Chiefs (5-8)

After a 37-10 drubbing, Chiefs coach Todd Haley was fired with just three games left in the 2011 season, just one year removed from a division title. Maybe those four first-half yards were all part of a nefarious plan by Tyler Palko to jumpstart his ambitions as a future head coach in the NFL.

25 (26). Washington Redskins (4-9)

The Redskins actually hard more first downs and more total yards than New England, but came up just short on the drive to tie the game. Thank God for all the red tape in Washington that keeps anyone from getting anything done.

24 (25). Carolina Panthers (4-9)

The Panthers lost for the sixth time after leading in the fourth quarters. Poor kitty cats.

23 (22). Buffalo Bills (5-8)

Ryan Fitzpatrick was so bad (13-34, 2 INTs), the newly minted franchise quarterback was benched in favor of Tyler Thigpen. Fifty-nine million well spent!

22 (16). Oakland Raiders (7-6)

Four picks, one garbage time touchdown – there’s the Carson Palmer I’ve come to know and love!

21 (15). Miami Dolphins (4-9)

Brandon Marshall said of the Eagles, “The Eagles have been inconsistent like we have. But that’s a team with a lot of talent. At any moment they can be an undefeated team, or look like one.” He knows they already lost eight times, right?

Also, coach Tony Sparano was fired, ending my attempt to initiate a sunglasses fad before it even started.

20 (23). Philadelphia Eagles (5-8)

They won! Philly won! A dream come true.

19 (19). Chicago Bears (7-6)

I feel like I could do what Caleb Hanie does, which is to say I could definitely help the Bears lose.

18 (20). Seattle Seahawks (6-7)

En route to a 31-13 smackdown, Marshawn Lynch obliterated the Rams like David Stern obliterated his last shred of credibility.

17 (21). Arizona Cardinals (6-7)

With Sunday’s win, the once 1-6 Cardinals are suddenly in the hunt for the playoffs. I think I’m going to be sick.

16 (18). San Diego Chargers (6-7)

Another classic Chargers performance, beating up on a bad team to suck people into thinking they’re good.

15 (14). Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)

The Bengals scraped together just 81 yards in the second half, with Cedric Benson carrying the ball eight times for -1 yards. Can anyone please explain how it’s possible to end up with negative net-yardage? It’s like he spotted the ball seven times with one kneel-down. Effective!

14 (12). Tennessee Titans (7-6)

Rookie Jake Locker, filling in for the injured Matt Hasselback, took a sack just five yards from the winning touchdown on the last play of the game. Typical rookie mistake. You know, if it were someone who had never played football before.

13 (17). Detroit Lions (8-5)

Despite just 13 first downs, the Lions put up 34 points, including 21 in the first quarter, and won thanks to four Vikings turnovers. Ndamukong Suh should return just in time to commit a stupid penalty and cost the Lions a playoff spot.

12 (11). Dallas Cowboys (7-6)

Even I had to feel for Cowboys fans when the game-tying field goal was blocked after Dan Bailey was iced (this time by the opposing coach!). And by “feel for,” I mean “laugh at.”

11 (13). New York Giants (7-6)

Eli Manning led the Giants to two late fourth-quarter scores to pull out a crucial NFC East victory over Dallas. Have I mentioned that I hate his guts?

10 (10). Atlanta Falcons (8-5)

The Falcons charged back from a 23-7 halftime deficit to stay in the wild card race. More surprisingly, it’s Week 14 and I still haven’t used this space to link to Steve Miller Band.

9 (9). New York Jets (8-5)

So, the Jets are back in the playoff hunt with a resounding win over a left-handed excuse of a quarterback and with a lot of help from around the league. Pardon me if I’m not all aflutter over their good fortune.

8 (8). Denver Broncos (8-5)


7 (7). Houston Texans (10-3)

T.J. Yates threw the go-ahead touchdown with two seconds left in the game to win 20-19. Now the Texans are going to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, and I couldn’t be more indifferent.

6 (6). New England Patriots (10-3)

Even after Rob Gronkowski set the NFL record for receiving touchdowns by a tight end in a season, the storyline was still Tom Brady’s shouting match with his offensive coordinator, Bill O’Brien. Do you think O’Brien is aware he doesn’t have to live up to his job title in every sense of the word?

5 (4). San Francisco 49ers (10-3)

The 49ers couldn’t capitalize on three possessions inside the 10-yard line, settling for a field goal each time. That doesn’t bode well for the playoffs. Well, that and losing to Arizona, a.k.a. anyone else in the NFC West.

4 (5). Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3)

Ben Roethlisberger returned from a seemingly gruesome ankle injury, reinforcing his toughness while leading the Steelers to victory. When is Roethlisberger going to realize that he will never get a girl unless he shows his sensitive side?

3 (3). New Orleans Saints (10-3)

You may have tied yourself for the single-season record of most games with 300 passing yards (10), Drew Brees, but I’m still taller than you.

2 (2). Baltimore Ravens (10-3)

Terrell Suggs on the Ravens’ win: “It’s chaos out there. A lot is going on more than you see. It’s like ‘The Matrix’ out there with a little bit of ‘Inception’. It’s a little bit crazy.” Oh, so that’s what a concussion feels like!

1 (1). Green Bay Packers (13-0)

Ryan Grant had 10 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the first legitimate replacement for Aaron Rodgers as the noteworthy player of the game. I was starting to think I might as well just start copying and pasting every Aaron Rodgers box score into this slot.

About Nick Bohlen - @ndbohlen

Nick is an editor and regular contributor for the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox sections of SoB. (Despite growing up in Vermont, just a short drive from Canada, hockey never really caught on with him.) Follow him on twitter: @ndbohlen

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