NFL Power Rankings Entering Week 15 - OddsSeeker

Last Updated: Dec 16th 2021   Published: Dec 16th 2021   16 Min Read
NFL Power Rankings Entering Week 15 - OddsSeeker
Image © Kirby Lee
Author
Author: Nick Noe

#1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3)

The Super Bowl LV champs will sit in this position until someone dethrones them. We can hype up any team in the top tier of the NFL but Tom Brady is the goat and the Lombardi hardware currently resides in Tampa.

The Buccaneers average more points and more yards than any other team in the NFL. They needed every ounce of that scoring offense to secure their overtime victory Sunday over the Buffalo Bills in Tampa.

A game winning 700th career TD pass thrown by Brady was another statement to the NFL;

You may be playing for second place.

Sunday Night Football has Tampa at home vs an out-of-form New Orleans Saints team. Tampa Bay should remain #1 and improve to 11-3 on the year.

Led by our Michigan sports betting apps expert, Nick Noe - here's who Brady thinks has the best shot at 2nd place;


#2 Kansas City Chiefs (9-4)

The chiefs have won 6 in a row making them a weekly NFL odds favorite. People may have forgotten that Kansas City has owned the AFC for two years in a row representing the conference in the Super Bowl in 2019 and 2020.

This season had a rocky start but Andy Reid has his team trending in the right direction. What has been most noticeable on the Chiefs during their current 6 game win streak is the suffocating Defense. They have allowed opponents to score just 10.8 points on average.

Patrick Mahomes is coming off his highest passer rating performance of the season and the KC Red Zone offense is trending upwards in terms of TD’s. The KC Chiefs scored a touchdown on 75% of red zone visits last week and 66.67% over the last 3 games. A tough Thursday Night matchup in LA against the Chargers on a short week looms. The Chiefs full speed pre-snap man in motion play will be exciting to watch against Justin Herbert and co.


#3 New England Patriots (9-4)

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick had one year without Tom Brady and he seems to have figured it out. They are in a familiar spot atop the AFC East and look like they will cruise to another Division Title.

Nobody in the entire NFL wants to play New England right now. They have a league leading 7 consecutive wins and they have been clinical. Up next for the Pats is a trip to Indy on Saturday Night.

The Patriots are underdogs according to the sports betting apps, yet they are 6-0 on the road and 8-0 on Saturdays since the year 2000. If that's not enough for you they are coming off a bye week. Belichick and Mac Jones win this game and the Patriots continue to put the NFL on notice.


#4 Green Bay Packers (10-3)

Aaron Rodgers carries this team and has put together another NFL caliber season. The NFC is a gauntlet come playoff time and the Packers are trying to secure home field advantage.

Green Bay has its eyes on a number 1 seed in the NFC. A bye week for rest and home field advantage at historic Lambeau Field. They had this last year and ran into the goat on his way to Super Bowl hardware.

The only flaw the Packers seem to have at the moment is a very questionable special teams unit. If they can sort out the details then the Packers could be set for another NFC Championship appearance.


#5 Arizona Cardinals (10-3)

The Cardinals are an overall great football team. The offense is amazing and fun to watch when Kyler Murray is on the field. Defense is quick and has players at every position. Their coach is smart and knows what he has on the field.

The Cardinals lost a tough contest against the LA Rams on Monday Night Football. They remain in first place in arguably the toughest division in the league, the NFC West. The tough loss to LA brought Arizona’s home record to .500 this season.

Kyler Murray after the game said “This was a big-time football game against a great team. They got the best of us tonight, but I know the guys in the locker room. We'll be back for sure."

 A road game against the hapless Detroit Lions gets the Cardinals to 11-3 with a Christmas day matchup in Arizona against the Colts.


#6 Dallas Cowboys (9-4)

The Cowboys are atop the NFC East thanks to their Defensive play. A 3-3 record in their last 6 games has kept them out of the top 5 in our power rankings. A big win against Washington on Sunday keeps Dallas in the top tier conversation.

Jerry Jones quote about Dak being in a slump this past week was typical of the Cowboys owner. He likes to play the press and not on the field. A division matchup in New York against the Giants where they are heavily favored presents an opportunity to seal the deal in the NFC East. Some earned rest and extra time to mentally prepare for a competitive NFC playoff path to the Super Bowl.

The Cowboys have the talent and the pieces in place to do it all. America’s watching and hoping their team can go deep like Dak.


#7 Los Angeles Rams (9-4)

Being from Michigan, I know first-hand about the build up and the let down that is Matthew Stafford.

LA was so hyped up about the hot start and then came the inevitable let down. The Rams have gone out and spent the money, they brought in the big name veterans with OBJ and Von Miller. But playoff wins in the new year are all that matters.

A big win Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals brought the NFC West title chase closer. Setting up a game at home against Seattle.

Russel Wilson will bring his A Game. Will Matthew Stafford and the Rams?

Recent news breaking about many players on the Covid list may just tilt the game closer to Seattle.


#8 Tennessee Titans (9-4)

After losing running back Derrick Henry, everyone and their grandmothers counted the Titans out. With a win this weekend in Pittsburgh they will be 10-4 and all but guaranteed the AFC South Title.

Tennessee has a veteran QB and athletes across the field. Julio Jones is getting better and will hopefully help the postseason run.

A 20-0 shutout victory against the Jaguars was a boost of momentum. The Titans now head to Heinz field for a game against the Steelers this weekend. Expect a dog fight in Pittsburgh as Big Ben and the crew will be playing for their season.


#9 Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

Carson Wentz Indianapolis Colts

There is a reason The Indianapolis Colts are slightly favored this weekend against the Patriots who have won 7 in a row. Carson Wentz is an X-Factor and has the Colts offense running smoothly alongside Jonathan Taylor. Saturday Night’s matchup against the Patriots is a mammoth game for both sides who are in good form.

A loss would put Indy at .500 on the season. A game against the Cardinals which could sit the Colts at 7-8 needing to win out to be considered for a wild card spot. After an 0-3 start it’s amazing we are even talking playoffs, but it's a testament to their play.

There is not a single team in the NFL that would enjoy playing Indy right now. No team wants to face a defense with the highest turnover margin in the league complemented by a healthy O-line and QB who is showing signs of his miraculous 2017 play. The Colts have gone up against 7 of the top 13 defenses in the league this season. In those games they have a 6-1 record and have scored an average of 31 points. Saturday Night’s matchup with the Patriots will be a spectacle.

The good news is the season ends with the Raiders and Jaguars. Going 3-1 over the last month would be great but may not be good enough in a tight AFC race.


#10 Buffalo Bills (7-6)

The Bills climbed all the way back to force overtime in Tampa Sunday...Only to be left in the dust by Tom Brady’s Historic walk off TD. It was just a quick glimpse of the Bills season as a whole. Boasting a winning record and looking up at a near unbeatable Patriots team in the AFC East.

The Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen have an opportunity to reach the playoffs for a third consecutive year finally, after a long drought, becoming one of the best teams in the NFL. Home games against the Panthers, Falcons, and Jets should be victories.

The Bills need to focus on Sunday's game against Carolina. Winning the contest will prep them for a massive matchup in New England for the AFC East crown. A Wild Card spot may be all the Bills can hope for.


#11 Los Angeles Chargers (8-5)

Justin Herbert has a cannon. We all saw the 59-yard TD pass to Jalen Guyton on Sunday.

Jimmy Johnson made headlines when he said he would take Herbert over Patrick Mahomes. Nice build up for Thursday! He could be right.

One man doesn't make a team in the NFL. Joey Bosa and Keenan Allen are out. The game in Los Angeles on Thursday is massive in the AFC West. The winner will be in first place and have a head to head win percentage against the other.

If LA and Herbert can keep the offense rolling there is sure to be fireworks. A chance to catapult the Rams upwards in next week's power rankings is right in front of them. The year ends with the Texans, Broncos and a potentially eliminated Las Vegas Raiders squad to end the season.


#12 Baltimore Ravens (8-5)

Lamar Jackson Injury

A week ago the Ravens had the #1 seed in the AFC and the sky was the limit. Now Lamar Jackson’s ankle is an issue and the offense is having issues. If Jackson is healthy this team can beat anyone on any given Sunday.

They have lost consecutive games for the first time this season. They are injured and they quite possibly have the hardest four games left on the season. It's tough to see how Baltimore ends the season successfully without Lamar Jackson carrying the torch and creating magic.


#13 San Francisco 49ers (7-6)

The Niners have been trending upwards since Halloween's victory against the LA Rams. An undefeated November and 4-1 mark since the LA victory has the 49ers in hot pursuit of a wild card spot. A home matchup in California against the Atlanta Falcons could be the game that gives the 49ers the true belief in their team to carry them to the postseason.

The Falcons have no wins against teams with a winning record so San Fran can win this game. Jimmy Garoppolo will look to his weapons Deebo Samuel and George Kittle for the points to continue momentum and retain their playoff spot in the NFC.


#14 Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)

Joe Burrow tries to keep the Bengals in games and he has done well guiding the team to a winning record. The problem is Burrow has been sacked 41 times in 2021 which is more than any other QB in the league.

The Cincinnati defense will need to stay strong each week until the end of the year if they are to continue playing into January. Tough upcoming matchups to end the season are on the horizon. A trip to the Mile High City to play Denver is on the docket for this weekend. The Bengals have lost two in a row and now find themselves in a pack of 5 teams with 7-6 records in the AFC.

If the Bengals want to salvage the season they need to start hot and stop playing the game from behind.


#15 Miami Dolphins (6-7)

The defense in Miami is as hot as the weather down south carrying the team to 5 wins in a row. Having an efficient QB in Tua Tagovailoa has helped guide them out from a 1-7 start. It’s one of the biggest stories of the season if the Dolphins can win Sunday against the New York Jets and get back to .500.

The real test comes with road games against NO and Tennessee before a season ending matchup against division leading New England. The Dolphins are good but offensive production hasn't matched their Defense.

Gaskins hasn't produced like they had hoped and Jaylen Waddle is catching balls but not scoring points. Miami is a feel good story who will need a hell of a run to participate in the postseason.


#16 Cleveland Browns (7-6)

The Cleveland Browns are inconsistent. It's tough for Cleveland fans to swallow because they were hoping for an improved year after finishing the 2020 season with a 12-4 record. The Browns are currently 1 game out of first in the hard-nose AFC North.

Saturday Vegas comes to town in what will be a season defining moment for both teams. The Browns haven’t won back to back games since early October and they pulled out a win against Division leading Baltimore on Sunday. Baker wants a new contract and a W against LV Saturday may be worth more than a win.


#17 Denver Broncos (7-6)

Denver Broncos Fans

The AFC playoff race will have some answers on Sunday after the game against Cincinnati in Denver. The Broncos have had a rollercoaster season with good wins against the likes of the Chargers and Cowboys.

They have beaten up opponents below them in the power rankings but haven't played well enough to push into the top half of the power rankings. Winning Sunday would put them two games above .500 and offer a clearer glimpse of the payoffs. A good year for the Broncos and it could get better.


#18 Washington Football Team (6-7)

Washington is 5-1 in the past month. Taylor Heinicke and company have been fun to watch, including a late game surge against Dallas on Sunday. An 8-3 TD/INT ratio for Heinicke has been a key to their recent success.

All Four games left on the schedule are NFC East matchups including two against rivals Philadelphia. Sunday they travel to Philly who have also been playing well. As it sits Today the Washington Football Team is in the 7th and final playoff spot in the NFC. Their owner has become controversial and can’t stay out of the news but they continue to play hard and find ways to win in the Capital.


#19 Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)

Philly is young and will only get better. The Eagles have won 3 of 4 and 4 of 6 and remain middle of the pack in the league.

Four Divisional opportunities are ahead of the league leading rushers. Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic’s efforts on the ground continue to prosper. Jalen Hurts is a great young talent and leads the team in Rushing and Passing yards.

The Eagles defense has played well against lackluster opponents and giving up big numbers against more potent offenses. As of late, Darius Slay has been playing out of his mind with 3 TD returns on the season. The Birds' season can go in any direction. The Washington Football Team travels to Lincoln Financial Sunday and the winner will move up in the Power Rankings.


#20 Seattle Seahawks (5-8)

Russell Wilson's finger injury can be directly related to the Seahawks win/loss record. I have always had a saying when I bet on the Seahawks: “In Russ We Trust“. I have not been able to say that throughout this season for the first time in his NFL Career. He is one of the best facilitators in the game and just has that winning mentality.

DK Metcalf is an absolute beast and it will be very entertaining to see what happens this off-season for Seattle. Russ is now back from injury and they have won 2 in a row. That winning mentality. Seattle and Wilson will have a tough test this week against Matthew Stafford and the Rams


#21 Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1)

The Steelers season comes down to Sunday's matchup against the Tennessee Titans. They have been fighting through injuries all season to get to 6-6-1 which is the worst in the AFC North.

A loss Sunday will certainly end their season in terms of the playoff hunt. 1-3-1 in their past 5 including a tie against the winless (at the time) Lions and a loss to the Vikings have put their season on the line. Big Ben is playing like Big Ben and the Steelers are getting many players back from injury.


#22 Minnesota Vikings (6-7)

The Vikings seem like they have been one score away the entire season. Their record does not reflect the year Kirk Cousins has put up with 27 TD’s and only 5 interceptions. Cousins' QB rating is 103.5 and has thrown for over 3,500 yards. He is in the top 6 in every category.

A win at Soldier Field gets them back to .500 with games remaining against the Rams, Packers and Chicago. It’s unlikely the Vikings will play in the postseason and this section remains short as the vision will be on next season.


#23 New Orleans Saints (6-7)

The post Drew Brees New Orleans Saints have been fun to watch. No one saw this coming. They score points and put up a fight week in and week out. Their biggest downfall has been on the defensive side of the ball.

They need to finish the regular season 4-0 to have a chance in the competitive NFC. The goal of winning out starts at the home of the Lombardi Trophy holders and the number one team in our power rankings, Tampa Bay. The Saints already beat Brady earlier this season with backup Trevor Siemian at the helm.


#24 Las Vegas Raiders (6-7)

This year has been rough to watch as a Raiders fan. Fans were allowed inside the Death Star for the first time. They started 3-0. The Black and Silver was back.

Then the world flipped as the NFL ousted their coach Gruden via leaked emails. Henry Ruggs shook the team with a high speed car crash which resulted in the death of a local woman. The Raiders have gone 3-7 since.

Las Vegas travels to Ohio on Saturday to play Baker Mayfield and the Browns which will be a defining moment for both teams.


#25 Atlanta Falcons (6-7)

The Atlanta Falcons have been one of our favorite teams to bet on throughout the season. They play close games and they are getting 9 points in San Fran this weekend. The Falcons have had a lackluster season but a high point has been their play on the road. They are 5-2 away from home including last weekend's win against Carolina where they were 2.5 point underdogs.

ATL is still in the playoff hunt thanks to Matt Ryan and the team's resilience. The odd story behind Calvin Ridley leaving mid season has been news the team would rather not be talked about. The decision to move Cordarrelle Patterson from WR to RB has certainly paid off for the team.


#26 Chicago Bears (4-9)

Justin Fields

It’s December and the Chicago Bears have found themselves in an all too familiar rebuild-mode they've felt 4 times since Lovie Smith's departure 10 years ago. 4 Coaches, 2 playoff appearances, ZERO playoff wins, ~45% win percentage and of course, a quarterback carousel.

As Bears fans do well, they will cling on to hope with Justin Fields. The fan base has had a restless season. After starting hot they have since gone 1-7. The lone win during this bad stretch was a last second field goal to beat arguably the worst team in the league, the Detroit Lions.

Rumors swirled around Thanksgiving that head coach Matt Nagy would be fired and he wasn’t. Matt Nagy is done, and we'll all wait in angst to see what other parts will crumble as the Bears look to hit the reset button once again. Pull a quarter out of your pocket, flip it, and that's the toss up we're looking at as to whether the Bears can build a winning playoff team again.

Rookie QB Justin Fields has shown signs of greatness but also has been injured and at times pedestrian.

The Bears managed to score 30 points against the Packers last weekend. The downfall came in the second half tallying only 3 points. Kirk Cousins comes to town and he is still playing for something. The Bears need to dig deep and play for pride at home and against a Division rival.


#27 Carolina Panthers (5-8)

September's 3-0 start with Sam Darnold is far gone. The Cam Newton experiment is 0-3. Christian McCaffrey is out. It's safe to say the season is over.

Carolina fans have a lot to look forward to. Sam Darnold and McCaffrey will come back next season.

In the present, a visit to Buffalo where they are ten point underdogs and a home game against the #1 Bucs don’t show too much promise. Carolina plays tough when they are healthy and they are certainly more watchable with Cam. Finishing the season out and saving face while acquiring a decent draft pick to accompany the real team may be the outlook for this squad.


#28 New York Giants (4-9)

The Giants have been unwatchable this season. Bad in all facets of the game. At least Saquon Barkley is playing.

The #6 pick in the draft, Daniel Jones, has been pedestrian in the NFL. A WBR of 41.8 and 10 TD 7 INT ratio will not get the job done in the NFL.

The Giants hoped picking up Kenny Golladay from the Lions would give them a little extra spark but he has produced zero touchdowns. A home game at Met life against Dallas on Sunday presents a good opportunity for the young team to get reps. The Cowboys have a solid solid defense. Daniel Jones can pay extra close attention to the Cowboys offense and find some inspiration to bring that type of success to the Giants organization.


#29 New York Jets (3-10)

As bad as the Jets are, all the blame can’t be put on Zach Wilson. Injuries to his WR weapons and no support on defense just doesn't keep them in games. They stayed with New Orleans through 3 quarters on Sunday but imploded in a 4th quarter 3-17 performance.

The Jets have to look to the future in the draft. They need to address their defense and continue to groom their young players. A matchup with the high flying Dolphins in Miami Sunday is another opportunity for the Jets to Falter.


#30 Houston Texans (2-11)

Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills have not been the replacement for Deshaun Watson. 7 games this season scoring less than 13 points has been tough for fans to digest. Houston’s D keeps them hanging around in games but they are 2-11.

There is much to salvage in the season but low and behold a visit to fellow 2-11 Jacksonville presents itself. These two teams met in week 1 in a 37-21 Texans victory. Each team's point total in that game was the highest of the year. The number one pick may be more to play for.


#31 Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11)

A 2-11 record is not what Jags Fans or Urban Meyer wanted. The Owner has fired the controversial as-of-late coach. They have scored 7 points in the month of December and 31 points in the last 4 games is not a recipe for success in the NFL.

The number one pick QB Trevor Lawrence hasn't played well with a 9-14 TD-INT ratio. He has been sacked 25 times. The receivers and running backs can’t protect the ball. The Jags are in a deep rut.

It's tough to imagine how they got wins against Buffalo and Miami this season. A matchup with fellow playoff eliminated Houston Texans is the last realistic shot at a good moment for the team this season.


#32 Detroit Lions (1-11-1)

Detroit Lions Fans

The Lions are the worst run organization in Sports year after year. Detroit showed some heart in the past few weeks, actually tying a football game in Pittsburgh. A few weeks later came their first win of the season. The fans celebrated including Jared Goff’s girlfriend who was very excited about the news.

The bottom feeders of the NFL occupy the same spot in our OddsSeeker NFL Power Rankings.

Upcoming games against the Cardinals, Falcons, Seahawks and Packers will ensure a 1-15-1 record. That finish would also secure the number #1 pick in the draft. A top draft pick to continue the team's rebuild since ‘57.