Week 14 NFL Power Rankings: 49ers in Tier Alone; Eagles, Chiefs Sliding

Week 14 NFL Power Rankings: 49ers in Tier Alone; Eagles, Chiefs Sliding article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured (left to right): Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, Brock Purdy,

December means the NFL playoffs are just around the corner, and the post-season picture is starting to take shape.

The top six teams in the NFL Power Rankings for Week 14 are the same as last week, but the top still looks very different. What was one tier of six a week ago is now three separate tiers as the 49ers demolished the Eagles to become the clear No. 1, and Philadelphia and Kansas City both dropped out of the top tier of inner-circle contenders.

The Packers (No. 10) and Rams (11) rise to season highs in the ranks for a second straight week, and both wild-card races are tighter than ever with five weeks to go. Seven AFC teams are within one game of each other for the three wild-card spots, and the same is true for six teams in the NFC for two final berths.

Just about everything is still up for grabs — but everyone is chasing the 49ers now.

These are Action Network's Week 14 NFL Power Rankings.

NFL Week 14 Power Rankings



1. San Francisco 49ers (Last week's ranking: 2)

The 49ers might not be hiding anymore.

Since Christian McCaffrey joined San Francisco, the 49ers have fielded a mostly healthy offense in 21 games. They are 21-0 in those games with a +363 point differential, winning by an average of more than 17 points per game, with only five wins by fewer than 13. When healthy and whole, the 49ers aren't just winning games; they're eviscerating opponents.

Somehow, sportsbooks watched San Francisco annihilate Philadelphia on Sunday to close in on an NFC 1-seed. FTN now lists the 49ers at 55% to capture the No. 1 seed (+160 at bet365) and barely even budged on their postseason futures. I think that's ludicrous. The Niners have already crushed both of their top presumed NFC opponents and everyone else in their path.

San Francisco is the top future on the board right now at +160 to make the Super Bowl and +350 to win it, both at FanDuel. Those numbers imply 38% and 22%, versus 59% and 38%, respectively, at FTN. It's rare to get such a strong margin this late in the season on the best team in the league. Go get that ticket.

READ MORE: How the 49ers Exposed the Eagles, and upended the NFC Hierarchy


2. Baltimore Ravens (3)

If the 49ers are the NFC team to invest in, the Ravens are the AFC's answer. We've been pushing Baltimore for weeks in this space, and just as books were starting to catch up to the regular-season value, Trevor Lawrence's injury may have opened up new value. Baltimore's odds to secure the AFC 1-seed rose with Kansas City's loss, then rose again from 36% to 47% with Jacksonville's loss and the injury to its star quarterback.

The 1-seed is by far the best path to the Super Bowl since the safest opponent in any playoff game is no opponent at all. Baltimore is a smart investment at +350 to win the AFC (PointsBet), implied 22% versus 36% at FTN, and at +800 to win the Super Bowl (DraftKings), implied 11% versus 25%. The Ravens have a dominant defense and a rushing attack that could potentially be even more devastating in winter weather.

They also have Lamar Jackson playing some of the best ball of his career, and Jackson might be the best MVP bet on the board right now. MVP overwhelmingly goes to the quarterback on the 1-seed, and Jackson is the whole offense in Baltimore and would get full credit for a rise to the top. With Baltimore nearly a coin flip for the 1-seed now, Jackson looks like he has some MVP value at +950 (FanDuel).

The Ravens have a tough closing stretch that includes games against the Jaguars, 49ers and Dolphins, but those difficult games could very well end up MVP moments if Jackson shines.

3. Dallas Cowboys (4)

Was the Cowboys' 41-35 win Thursday night over the Seahawks a good thing or a bad thing? Dallas put up huge offense but also got ransacked defensively.

I'm taking it as more of a good thing. We already know the Cowboys defense is great, but even great defenses can be beat by top quarterback play.

What Dallas did on offense was much more meaningful. The Cowboys reached the red zone a whopping eight times against Seattle and racked up 33 first downs, and some of what Dallas gave up defensively felt fluky, including outlier late-down and red-zone performances from a Seahawks offense that's struggled at both this season.

I suspect most versions of Thursday night's game end up more like 49-27, with the Cowboys converting a couple stalled field goals into touchdowns and making an extra couple stops on key Seattle downs.

Mike McCarthy's lack of aggression is a concern, and so are the Cowboys red-zone woes. But with Dak Prescott playing as well as he is right now, Dallas can turn even a game where almost everything goes wrong into a six-point victory against a potential playoff opponent.

4. Miami Dolphins (5)

The Dolphins played a glorified scrimmage against the Commanders and rolled like they do against every bad team, and all these blowouts may actually be muting Miami's offensive stats at this point. Ho hum, another 157 yards and two scores for Tyreek Hill, who is still on pace for 2,000 receiving yards and the all-time record. And most of that was in the first half!

The Dolphins held Washington to 11 first downs and recorded 1.65 EPA per play on 15 late downs — basically a field goal every two late-down plays. Needless to say, that ranks 100th percentile.


5. Philadelphia Eagles (1)

Philadelphia's concerns have been apparent for weeks now.

The defense has been average at best, worse against the pass. And the Eagles are struggling on early downs, relying too heavily on their ability to come through on late downs and late in games. Winning close games against average and subpar teams is great, but beating them comfortably is even better.

Was Sunday a sign of things to come or just a blip on the radar? One blowout loss to the 49ers is forgivable, but a second straight loss against the Cowboys starts to look like a pattern.

6. Kansas City Chiefs (6)

It's felt for most of the season like last year's Super Bowl teams were right there at the top, but both of them took a tumble this week as the Chiefs offense came up short yet again. We keep assuming Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid will figure things out at some point, but we're down to one month left.

Kansas City's story is similar to the Eagles. They're certainly not bad by any stretch, but repeatedly playing .500 teams like the Packers mostly even and relying on heroics week after week just isn't a sustainable winning formula, not even for Mahomes or Hurts. Kansas City's defense is really good but not good enough to win games on its own.

The Chiefs feel more good than great, and time is running low.


7. Detroit Lions (8)

The Lions took a quick 21-0 lead in under seven minutes against the Saints, then held on for dear life, even if New Orleans never seriously threatened. Detroit's defense continues to struggle, and Alim McNeil is a huge loss for the Lions on the line.

Where does Detroit rank in the NFC hierarchy? The Lions are fourth, but what kind of fourth are they? Is Detroit closer to the three elite teams at the top, or are the Lions just a little better than everyone else?

8. Houston Texans (10)

Our weekly Texans heart attack ended in another tight game, and this time Houston won a key game against the Broncos, 22-17. Suddenly, the Texans' AFC South hopes are alive again after Jacksonville's surprising loss and the injury to Trevor Lawrence.

The encouraging thing about this week's win is that it was the defense that came through. Oh, the offense was good, too — C.J. Stroud threw for 10.1 YPA and Nico Collins had nine catches for 191 yards — but Jimmie Ward made the clinching interception late and Derek Stingley Jr. added two picks. The Broncos went 0-of-11 on third down, and rookie Will Anderson had a monster game with five tackles, two sacks, four QB hits, a tipped punt and a tipped pass that led to an interception.

Those two tipped plays led directly to short fields and 10 Texans point in a five-point win, so this is really Anderson's win. And the way things are going, it might not be his only victory.

Anderson's counting stats are ahead of Jalen Carter now, and the Texans are a buzzy team while the Eagles might be fading. Anderson looks live for Defensive Rookie of the Year, and he's still a good value at +400 (DraftKings).

9. Jacksonville Jaguars (7)

Jacksonville's season might have gone down the drain Monday night when Trevor Lawrence got a high ankle sprain. That likely leaves C.J. Beathard at quarterback against the best two defenses in the league the next two weeks (Browns and Ravens), and if Monday is any indication, Jacksonville's defense might not be able to win games on its own.

The Jaguars allowed nearly 500 yards to a Bengals offense led by Jake Browning in his first career win, and Cincinnati got anything it wanted. The Bengals ran the ball, got YAC after short passes, and hit big plays down the field against a fully healthy Jaguars defense. Lawrence was healthy most of the game, but the double-digit favorites were straight up outplayed at home by a far inferior Bengals team.

That's worrying, and it's a sure win given away when the team no longer can afford that margin. I wrote at length about how bad things look for the Jaguars going forward if Lawrence misses real time. Spoiler alert: it's bad. The 1-seed hunt is gone, the division is in big trouble, and I think the playoffs might be in doubt.

READ MORE: How the Trevor Lawrence Injury Shakes up the AFC Playoff Picture


10. Green Bay Packers (16)

The Packers went from a 2-5 afterthought at the start of November to being favored to make the playoffs after a second consecutive statement win on national television, this time against the defending champs. Jordan Love put up 267 yards and three scores going toe to toe with Mahomes, and the much-maligned defense stopped the Chiefs twice late to preserve the lead.

So just how good are the Packers right now?

Green Bay might actually be a little overrated after those two big wins. The Packers caught major fumble luck early against the Lions, and this Chiefs game was pretty even on stats with the biggest difference being Love's YOLO balls downfield that his receivers were able to corral. It felt like Love was just chucking it up for grabs on some of those, and it worked, but that's not necessarily sustainable.

The most impressive part about the Packers on Sunday night wasn't Love. He's been good but has had better games in the last month. It was the improved Green Bay pass rush and the surprisingly efficient run game, even without Aaron Jones.

The Packers' over 9.5 is juiced to +170 at BetMGM. Green Bay plays the Giants, Bucs, Panthers, Vikings and Bears, and there's a real chance they are favored in all of those games. Can they go 4-1 to hit that over? Unless you think they lose one of the first three, betting that over will leave a good hedge or middle opportunity later. The Packers are over 75% to make the playoffs now at FTN.

11. Los Angeles Rams (18)

The Rams hung 36 points on an elite Browns defense, averaging 6.4 yards per play. The final score wasn't indicative of the result since the Browns should've tied the game late before falling apart to lose 36-19, but this Los Angeles offense is for real now that it's finally healthy and firing on all cylinders.

However, be careful about investing too heavily in the Rams just yet.

They play at Baltimore this week, and they're at San Francisco in the finale. Those are likely losses, which means Los Angeles is less like 6-6 and more like 6-8, needing to sweep its other three games and maybe win a tiebreaker to make the playoffs, if it can't get one of those big upsets.

The Rams are still under one-in-three to make the postseason.

12. Buffalo Bills (11)

The Bills finally got a badly needed week off, and while it felt like they was buried at 6-6 after their overtime loss to the Eagles two weeks ago, it's quietly starting to look like everything's coming up Buffalo.

Think about what happened the last few weeks to the rest of Buffalo's competition:

  • Joe Burrow went out for the season and crushed the Bengals' playoff hopes.
  • Deshaun Watson went out for the season and Cleveland lost two in a row.
  • Kenny Pickett went out with a likely multi-week injury and Pittsburgh lost a surefire win.
  • Trevor Lawrence went out with a likely multi-week injury and Jacksonville lost a surefire win.

Buffalo still ranks sixth in overall DVOA and third on offense, and Josh Allen is playing as well as any player in the league, ranking third in EPA per play. The Bills are good and can still make a run, even at 6-6, even against a daunting schedule.

Can Allen go to Arrowhead and win this week, then beat the Cowboys? It's possible! Buffalo can beat any team, any day. If the Bills win those games, and if Miami loses to Dallas and Baltimore the following two weeks, the Bills will suddenly head to Miami in the season finale with a chance to not only make the postseason but win the AFC East.

If you're a Bill-iever, Buffalo is +1700 to steal the division (Caesars). You can also wait and play game-to-game, treating this like a five-week rollover parlay on those games just mentioned, for a better payout.

If Buffalo does win those huge games, that presumably means Allen is the best and most important player over the final month of the season. Some might even call that most valuable. Could Allen still win MVP? At +5000 (Caesars, PointsBet, BetRivers), it's worth the nibble to find out.


13. Minnesota Vikings (15)

Minnesota wasn't as lucky in its week off, but it was a well-timed break nonetheless. Justin Jefferson should be back at last, but the question now is who will be throwing him the ball.

Is this still Josh Dobbs' job, or will Minnesota turn to Jaren Hall or Nick Mullens? The Vikings can still make the postseason or even win the division if they have the right answer to that question.

14. Cleveland Browns (13)

Am I crazy, or was Joe Flacco kind of … not totally terrible?

Flacco came out of retirement firing. He threw 44 passes for 254 yards on a Flaccoesque 12.4 ADOT, spraying it all over the field. That sure seems like a big improvement on whatever this team was getting from Dorian Thompson-Robinson, P.J. Walker and — at times — even Deshaun Watson. Flacco even led the Browns on what felt like a tying TD drive late before Cleveland missed the tying extra point and fell apart.

The Browns still have an elite defense. What if Flacco can play competent football, just enough to give this offense a chance? Cleveland is the biggest winner of the Lawrence injury, now favored this week against Jacksonville, and the Browns still have winnable home games against the Bears and Jets and a season finale against a Bengals team missing Burrow.

I still don't buy Damar Hamlin and his two tackles in nine defensive snaps all season for Comeback Player of the Year. How about an out-of-retirement Joe Flacco leading the Browns to the playoffs? It's crazy, but for a narrative-driven award, is it really +25000 crazy, as it's listed at DraftKings? Let's find out.

15. Indianapolis Colts (17)

The Colts keep playing wild, goofy games, and this coaching staff keeps finding the little edges to help the team win games. Shane Steichen has been brilliant, but this week let's give a little shine to special teams coach Brian Mason.

His Notre Dame unit was outstanding a year ago with a number of blocked kicks, and his Colts blocked back-to-back punts against the Titans to basically steal the game. One was returned for a touchdown and the other turned into a field goal and also injured the opposing punter, which led directly to Tennessee missing a game-winning extra point late.

If not for a Titans pick-2 following the touchdown, that's an 11-point special teams swing on a game that went to overtime, where Indianapolis won via special teams. The Titans had more yards, more plays, more first downs and time of possession. The Colts went 3-of-14 on third down and 1-of-5 in the red zone. You're supposed to lose that game. The Colts won it — with special teams.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers (9)

The Steelers gave away a gimme, but it happens sometimes. The game had two long delays for monsoon rain, and Kenny Pickett left hurt when the Steelers stalled on the 1-yard line and turned the ball over on downs, only to immediately allow a 99-yard TD drive that ultimately swung the game.

Arizona's other two touchdowns came on 21- and 33-yard drives after a Mitchell Trubisky fumble and a special teams penalty. A bad Cardinals squad went 3-of-3 in the red zone and 10-of-17 on third down. It happens. I'm not sure we should take too much away for the Steelers.

17. Denver Broncos (12)

The Broncos' turnover luck finally caught up to them, and Russell Wilson wasn't good enough when it did.

Wilson threw three interceptions and took three sacks, and he failed to convert a third down in 11 tries. He did connect for 41- and 45-yard passes, but outside of those two big plays, he was 13-of-24 for just 100 yards.

Denver might be this year's good bad team.

18. Seattle Seahawks (14)

Seattle has lost three in a row but played one of its best games of the season against the Cowboys. Geno Smith was awesome, DK Metcalf and Jaxon Smith-Njigba made plays all night, and the Seahawks were great — on offense. But the defense was bad, and that's going to continue to be a problem with the 49ers and Eagles up next.

The Seahawks looked like a bona fide playoff team on Thursday night. Now they just need to get there somehow.

19. Cincinnati Bengals (24)

Jake Browning played the game of his life Monday night, and Ja'Marr Chase and Joe Mixon made big plays all night. The Bengals were left for dead but now sit at 6-6, still right in the mix with the rest of the AFC wild-card contenders.

So was Monday a flash in the pan, or are the Bengals just playing spoiler? All five remaining games are against other teams still trying to make the postseason, so Cincinnati has work to do.

20. Los Angeles Chargers (21)

The Chargers won what was effectively a baseball game, and not even a good one, 6-0, over the Patriots. The only two LA scoring drives started in New England territory and combined to go a whopping 28 yards in 11 plays.

Do the Chargers belong in this tier? Are they still alive? I'm not sure I buy it. If you don't, you might want to keep an eye on the market for receptions leader. Keenan Allen leads by nine right now, but he's played through injuries all season and could get shut down if the Chargers fall out of things for good.


21. Atlanta Falcons (19)

Atlanta is alone in first in the NFC South, but forgive me for being underwhelmed.

The Falcons and Jets combined for 2.5 YPC on 59 carries, and Atlanta finished with 194 yards and an awful 3.0 yards per play. Did the Falcons win? Or did they just show up and watch the Jets lose?

Atlanta is a game up on both New Orleans and Tampa Bay, and the Falcons are also 1-0 head-to-head against both and 3-0 in the division. The Falcons are in the driver's seat, with wild-card possibilities, too.

And I'm still not buying it. This team stinks. There's value on Atlanta to miss the playoff at +180 (BetRivers), especially if you think the Falcons lose this week against the Bucs.

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25)

The Bucs are 2-6 since Oct. 1 and barely outlasted the one-win Panthers. But they still might be the best team in the NFC South, almost by default. Mike Evans is having the season of his life, and Baker Mayfield continues to do yeoman's work at quarterback with his best season as a pro.

Tampa Bay is +400 to win the division (Caesars) if you believe or just want to hedge your Atlanta or New Orleans position.

23. New Orleans Saints (20)

How bad are the Saints that they can't even pull away and win a division this awful?

Derek Carr left hurt yet again, and his injury could be a blessing in disguise. Jameis Winston knows nothing but YOLO ball, but Carr is so bad that it was time to try something else. He's too expensive to bench, but maybe the injuries are the perfect excuse.

The Saints are 5-7 but on a three-game home stand with the Panthers and Giants coming to town next. Win those and they're right back in this, with Atlanta waiting in Week 18. The Saints are +400 at DraftKings to win the division, and that number will be much lower in two weeks as long as New Orleans doesn't give one of these next two games away.


24. Las Vegas Raiders (22)

A brief ranking of famous Raiders fans, in honor their bye week:

1- Tom Hanks
2- Eddie Van Halen
3- Ice Cube
4- Axl Rose
29484285- Guy Fieri

25. Chicago Bears (26)

The Bears are virtually locked into a top-three pick in the draft, potentially as high as No. 1 with the Carolina pick.

That means Chicago has exactly five games left to serve one — and only one — purpose: make a final, informed decision on whether or not Justin Fields is the answer at quarterback.

26. Tennessee Titans (27)

Will Levis fumbled three times and ate six sacks against the Colts. He also finished with a -12.8 CPOE and a 41% Success Rate. Of course, he also led what should've been the game-winning drive, had Tennessee not whiffed the extra point.

This is honestly all fine for the Titans. They're seeing what they've got in Levis — the good and the bad — and improving their draft pick for next season. Win-win.

27. New York Jets (23)

Since their week off, the Jets have scored 13, 6, 12, 6, 13, and 8 points. What a goofy-looking sentence, almost as goofy as this terrible offense that's now scored 9.7 PPG since the bye.

Honestly, even that isn't true. A bunch of that scoring is from the defense, which helped the Jets lead Atlanta 2-0 for a surprisingly long time on Sunday. Embarrassing.

Aaron Rodgers ain't walking through that door, and Zach Wilson, Tim Boyle and Trevor Siemian aren't getting the job done. If you bought the Jets over 5.5 early this season on this column's advice at -135, it might be time to buy the under 5.5 at +140 (DraftKings) and get out scot-free.

28. Arizona Cardinals (30)

The Cardinals added a third win, but I'm still not sure this team is any good and a monsoon game doesn't change that.

My favorite win total this week is Arizona under 4.5 (-140, DraftKings).

The Cardinals are 3-10 and only have four games left since they somehow have a bye this week. Arizona still plays the 49ers and Eagles, and they're not winning those games. That means the Cards would have to win at Chicago and in Week 18 against a Seattle team that might desperately need a win to make the playoffs — all while Arizona is incentivized to lose games and keep its draft pick high.


29. New York Giants (28)

The best thing the Giants have done all season was give us this week off from them.

30. Carolina Panthers (32)

The Panthers are officially the first team eliminated from the playoffs (RIP +100000), but Carolina fans should come away encouraged by what they saw Sunday.

The Panthers showed real signs of life after firing half the coaching staff. The team fought hard, was still competitive in a road game late, even got the cover. Chuba Hubbard and the run game were improved. Rookie Jonathan Mingo was unleashed as a downfield weapon, stretching the field.

Most importantly of all, Bryce Young actually had a few moments. He looked more confident in the pocket, seemed more comfortable making decisions, and was more aggressive throwing the ball. Even if that's all Carolina gets out of this season, that's a win.

31. Washington Commanders (29)

Why is Ron Rivera still employed?

Rivera fired his defensive coordinator, took over the reins himself, and saw his defense promptly allow 45 points and basically give up in-game. The Commanders are 4-9, which means a losing season is now guaranteed. This is Rivera's 13th season coaching in the NFL. He's had a winning record in exactly two of them.

Again, why is Ron Rivera still the head coach? Let's see what Eric Bieniemy can do.

32. New England Patriots (31)

The last three Patriots games have finished 10-6, 10-7 and 6-0. New England gave up 26 points across three games and lost all three. The Patriots are the first team in 84 years to give up 10 or fewer points in three straight losses.

This might be the greatest stealth tank of all time.

NFL Week 14 Power Rankings

  1. San Francisco 49ers (Last week ranking: 2)
  2. Baltimore Ravens (3)
  3. Dallas Cowboys (4)
  4. Miami Dolphins (5)
  5. Philadelphia Eagles (1)
  6. Kansas City Chiefs (6)
  7. Detroit Lions (8)
  8. Houston Texans (10)
  9. Jacksonville Jaguars (7)
  10. Green Bay Packers (16)
  11. Los Angeles Rams (18)
  12. Buffalo Bills (11)
  13. Minnesota Vikings (15)
  14. Cleveland Browns (13)
  15. Indianapolis Colts (17)
  16. Pittsburgh Steelers (9)
  17. Denver Broncos (12)
  18. Seattle Seahawks (14)
  19. Cincinnati Bengals (24)
  20. Los Angeles Chargers (21)
  21. Atlanta Falcons (19)
  22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25)
  23. New Orleans Saints (20)
  24. Las Vegas Raiders (22)
  25. Chicago Bears (26)
  26. New York Jets (23)
  27. Tennessee Titans (27)
  28. Arizona Cardinals (30)
  29. New York Giants (28)
  30. Carolina Panthers (32)
  31. Washington Commanders (29)
  32. New England Patriots (31)

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