NFL power rankings Week 16: Monday morning ranks

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse


Dec 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) holds the ball after running out of bounds against the New York Giants during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

After another unpredictable weekend of NFL action, our weekly power rankings feature a new No. 1. The Denver Broncos managed to lose on Thursday night to the AFC West rival San Diego Chargers, which left the door open for the Seattle Seahawks to reclaim the top spot after a dominating shutout win in Week 15.

It seems like the AFC landscape is changing on a weekly basis, so there is a good chance that your team has been fluctuating throughout the rankings over the course of the past month. Unfortunately, in the latest rankings, there isn’t a single team in the top four.

This week, it is no different.

With just two more games to go in the regular season and the playoff races as tight as ever, let’s take a look at the current NFL power rankings heading in to tonight’s big game.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Tags: Arizona Cardinals Atlanta Falcons Baltimore Ravens Buffalo Bills Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns Dallas Cowboys Denver Broncos Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Kansas City Chiefs Miami Dolphins Minnesota Vikings New England Patriots New Orleans Saints New York Giants New York Jets NFL NFL Draft NFL Power Rankings Oakland Raiders Philadelphia Eagles Pittsburgh Steelers San Diego Chargers San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tennessee Titans Washington Redskins

  • Brian Martasin

    By losing at Carolina the saints will be positioned for a wildcard and first round playoff loss.

    • DADDI0

      I agree. I don’t believe they could win on the road in either Philly, Chicago or Green Bay. I’d give them a slim shot in Dallas or Detroit.

  • A1 Yola

    The Saints ranked #2?! Put down the pipe bro! The Saints are weak, they don’t know how to play DEFENSE. Seatle is WAAY Overated too. Shut down Lynch and watch the read option and Game over every time. Put the Seahawks back in the AFC & their record would be 9&6 right now.

    • open your eyes

      Really overated, you should put the pipe down. 5 pic shut out. Best record in the nfl in the best division period. Your a joke. AFC is soft. NFC top teams are smash mouth, grow up and stop hating.

      • A1 Yola

        Against who! Eli has thrown more interceptions this year than ANYONE. The NFC is and always will be the Weaker Conference. Why do you think the AFC is packed so tightly this year? One word, COMPETITION. How many teams in the NFC are Competitive this year? One Div doesn’t count! The 49ers got beat in the Super Bow by an A Ravens team that had an okay QB,RB and WR.

        • GSM

          And 8 Refs.

        • Tony L. Castleberry

          Geez…you really do not have a clue about football do you? Are you a soccer troll or something? NFC has for most of the last 40 years been the stronger conference. At one point I think the NFC had won like 11 of the then last 12 Super Bowls and the talk was all about how analysts hoped parity would even things out and make the AFC relevant again. The AFC became relevant again when the Patriots won 3 Super Bowls in the early part of this century. Horrible officiating in the two Super Bowls the Steelers ‘won’ so those don’t count.

          Ravens team that won the Super Bowl last year had/have an elite QB despite what you and Skip Bayless say. Look at his stats since he came into the league. And Ray Rice has been one of the top NFL RBs for the better part of like 9 years now and Torrey Smith is a burner who has proven he can beat any coverage he faces. Plus they had a great defense.

      • A1 Yola

        I watched the Giants game yesterday. Not impressed at all. Your offense is only successful against teams with bad Defenses! When you played St. Louis, it showed how inept your offense can be. Only 23 points against the DEFENSELESS Giants?! Gimme a break Homer!

    • Matt

      Stop sniffing glue, they are the best team in the NFL.

      • A1 Yola

        The best team in the NFL does not lose against the Rams! Your Secondary is the Best in the NFL, your offense is Pedestrian.

        • Matt

          2nd in the NFL in rushing and the only team that is 12-2. This team is getting work done. You sound upset bro.

          • A1 Yola

            1 trick Ponies.

          • Matt

            Any NFL expert would disagree with you, but you knew that. You just want attention. :)

      • A1 Yola

        I’m taking bets! Want some?

    • Daniel Dannen

      Wow, you’re the one who needs to put down the pipe…the crack pipe. You now have zero credibility.

      The Seahawks would be 9-6 in the AFC????? Bahahaha! The AFC SUCKS. dude, you’re out of your mind. Any of the top four NFC teams could be the BEST team the AFC has to offer. The AFC is a joke this year. New England is the only team that looks remotely as good as the top NFC teams.

      As a Hawks fan, I’m more afraid of the Niners, Panthers, and Saints by far than ANY team in the AFC.

      • Lee

        The Seattle homer fans have serious chips on their shoulders! For a franchise that has won exactly zero rings in its long history, it has nothing… and their fans double down with the arrogant “we have the Super Bowl in the bag already” tropes, and have for over a decade! This from the home of Steve DeBerg. Brian Bosworth. Matt Hasselback. Steve Largent. All those years of losing and disappointment apparently create the biggest chip on the shoulder imaginable.

        PS – The Denver Broncos have owned Seattle since day one. And have since the 70s, going on almost 4 decades now. Its time for your team to match up with your mouth.

        • Daniel Dannen

          The Seahawks’s “long history”? You mean since 1976?
          The 49ers were founded in 1946 (when Harry Truman was President), and it took them 25 years to even win their division for the first time.
          The Broncos were founded in 1959, and it took them 38 years to win their first Superbowl. Not really something to brag about, chum.
          And the Broncos have “owned” the Hawks? You must be an ancient historian, because it’s been a long time since those teams have even played on a regular basis. Yea, I’m sure the Broncos racked-up a lot of wins against the late-70s wet behind the ears Seahawks, as did a lot of teams. Woo-hoo.

      • A1 Yola

        The Hawks were the bottom dwellers of the AFC west for awhile before they went over to the NFC. You’ve beaten nobody special this year but SF. Carolina and New Orleans are suspect.

        • Tony L. Castleberry

          I love it! Teams are good until they get beat by Seattle. Then Seattle has somehow magically become the team with the weakest Strength of Schedule by virtue of…those teams being beaten by Seattle. Indy beats Seattle in their home by two field goals. Seattle beats the Rams in their home. The Rams beat Indy in Indy by a landslide! Seattle beats Carolina in their home. Carolina beats the 49ers in San Francisco. Seattle beats San Fran in a blowout in Seattle but loses to them by two points in the Bay.

          Which of those teams is the weakest? Which is strongest? Seattle beat 3 (possibly 4 with the Cardinals) teams who are already in the playoffs this year and are favored over the rest in potential matchups, not to mention beating teams who are much better than their record suggest like the Rams and very nearly beating the Colts in their home.

          What relevance does Seattle starting out in the poor AFC and graduating to the NFC have on this discussion?

      • Kelle

        The Patriots look like the best team in the AFC? lol You just lost all credibility too.

        • Daniel Dannen

          New England beat New Orleans and Denver. I don’t know of an AFC team that can claim to have done more than that. See, I’m not terribly impressed by Peyton Manning passing for 400 yards against a bunch of high school teams, which is all he’s done this year.

          • Kelle

            The Patriots almost lost to the Browns and the Texans, and they did lose to the Jets. They beat the Broncos in overtime on a muffed punt. It is true that most of the 10 top passing defenses are in the NFC, so the Broncos haven’t played many of them. The Ravens have the number 6th passing offense and Manning threw for 462 yards and 7 touchdowns against them. The Titans HAD the 7th ranked passing defense before they faced the Broncos last week. They had only given up 8 passing touchdowns in 12 games. Manning threw for 397 yards and 4 touchdowns against them. The Texans have the number 2 passing defense and we’ll see what Manning does to them next week. But I can assure that, no matter how low they’re ranked, no NFL defense is anything akin to a high school team.

          • Daniel Dannen

            Yea, you can prove anything you want to prove with that “almost lost” logic. Every quality team in the NFL “almost lost” to a mediocre or bad team this year (or even worse, did lose to one). The only thing this really proves is that there is no perfect NFL team. Contrary to mythology or selective memory, even the “all time great teams” of the past didn’t win every game 54-6.

            I like to keep it simple. When I’m judging football teams (or horses in a horse race, for that matter), I ask myself how this team has fared against strong opponents. I then consider the team’s present “form,” and injury status, and that gives me a good idea of how “powerful” this team is at the moment.

          • Kelle

            I know there’s no such thing as a perfect team. Those two almost losses to mediocre teams happened in the last 3 weeks, so it’s different than the Seahawks almost losing to the Texans in week 4. The Patriots have struggled against lesser opponents in each of their last 3 games, and that is very relevant to the current state of the team. If you are considering the Patriot’s present form and injury status then you must know that the Patriots are not “powerful right now. The fact that they have Brady and Bilichick makes them powerful in theory only.

            Going back to your ridiculous “high school teams” statement, to which I still take exception. Let’s compare Wilson’s and Mannings’ performances against their 4 common opponents, the Colts, Giants, Titans and Jaguars and Kaepernick’s and Mannings’ performances against their 4 common opponents, the Colts, Titans, Jaguars, and Redskins. In the Seahawks loss to the Colts, Wilson threw for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. Against the Colts, Manning threw for 386 and 3 touchdowns, and Kaepernick threw for 150 and no touchdowns. Against the Giants, Manning threw for 347 and 2 touchdowns,and Wilson threw for 206 and 1 TD. Against the Titans, Wilson threw for 257 and no TDs, Kaepernick threw for 199 and no TDs, and Manning threw for 397 and 4 TDs. Againt the Jaguars, Wilson threw for 204 and 3 TDs, Kaepernick threw for 164 and 1 TD, and Manning threw for 295 and 3 TDs. Against the Redskins Kaepernick threw for 235 and 3 tds and Manning threw for 354 and 4 tds. Manning outperformed Wilson and Kaepernick against every single one of their common opponents. You say that the NFC teams are superior to the AFC, so what about the fact that Manning outperformed, a few times greatly, two of the NFC’s best every time is unimpressive?

          • Daniel Dannen

            You’re comparing apples to oranges. Seattle is a “run first” team, and Russell Wilson isn’t allowed to pass forty or fifty times a game as is Manning. Therefore, it’s not astonishing that Wilson’s passing yards don’t equal Manning’s. Not only that, for most of the year the Seahawk offensive line was horribly banged-up: for the Colts game, I think the Seahawks had four starting offensive linemen (including two Pro Bowlers) sitting on the bench injured. Ditto for the Texans game you mentioned: it’s difficult to block JJ Watt and company with a bunch of clowns. Nevertheless, Wilson has a 105 passer rating at the moment–pretty impressive considering the banged-up Seattle OL allowed 36 sacks (of a very mobile QB), while the Denver OL allowed only 16.
            Look, no one is saying Peyton Manning isn’t a future Hall of Famer, and deservedly so. No one is saying Denver doesn’t have a very formidable passing attack. But Manning passing for a gazillion yards against mediocre teams is hardly proof that Denver is championship-quality. “Football Outsiders” ranks Denver’s defense fifteenth in the league; I don’t want to see that in a “championship team.” Denver is reminiscent of the old Dan Fouts/San Diego Charger teams–great passing attack and nothing else. These Charger teams were successful, but would always get bumped-off in the playoffs.
            As for New England, with their injuries they might be finished, I don’t know. The NFL as a whole is beat-up at this time of year, which somewhat mitigates the loss of Gronk, et al. And they still have Edelman and Amendola. Frankly, no team in the AFC seems especially formidable to me right now.

    • Tony L. Castleberry

      WTF?!? You actually believe, not only that the Hawks are somehow overrated but that they would somehow struggle in the AFC?! You really do not realize that if the Broncos or Chiefs were in the NFC, they would be fortunate to even make the playoffs!

      Shut down Lynch (as about 4 or 5 teams have done this year and still lost their games) and you still have to deal with Russell Wilson, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Robert Turbin, Zach Miller, Luke Wilson and the entire Legion of Boom which is more than enough to beat up any team they face…and that does not even take into account our special teams which are #1 in the NFL also.

      • Daniel Dannen

        I’ve been a Hawks fan since the 70′s, and I’ll die a Hawks fan. But the offensive line really concerns me. I thought getting Okung and the rest back would straighten things out, but that unit is still doing a sub-par job. Too many air-headed plays where defenders go totally unblocked. The guard positions (maybe especially left guard) are really sore spots. Even Okung’s play is erratic: sometimes he plays like a Pro Bowler, sometimes he plays like a stumbling drunk. Maybe I’m worrying about nothing: those guys only came back a few weeks ago, and have been pitted against some pretty good defenses. We’ll see.

  • A1 Yola

    Why even play the Super Bowl game. You Gomers where crowning Seattle or Denver before November! I put my money in neither making it to the dance. Seattle has a Good Defense, but when they face a Comparable Defense it will be really ugly. Their whole offense consists of 3 players, all of which can be shut down, even Wilson. Wake up, St. Louis showed Everybody Seattle & The Saints are overly Hyped!

    • Matt

      lulz St Louis is a joke, losing to the cards like that last week is laughable.

    • Daniel Dannen

      I advise you to keep whatever money you have in your pocket. If you had consistently bet against Seattle this season (or last season), you’d be living in a cardboard box right now.

    • Tony L. Castleberry

      Hawks will not only make it to the Super Bowl; they will blow out whoever they face.

  • John Rivers

    Amazing. Chiefs have the 3rd highest scoring average in the NFL. They have the 4th lowest points against. They have the 3rd most net points, and yet they are ranked behind 3 10-4 teams. You guys are really good. LOL

    • Steve

      Wait how many wins do the Kansas City Chiefs have against .500+ teams? Oh that’s right only 2 of their 11 wins. And of those 2 teams one of them are the Dallas Cowboys…well did you see last nights game? I guarantee you’ve heard about it if you didn’t watch it. So what exactly is impressive about KC’s stats against LOSING teams?

      • Matt

        Winning games vs eagles and cowboys is not something to brag about. When the chiefs win vs someone with a better record than 8-6, let us know then maybe we might care.

        • Kelle

          Nothing. The chiefs also played the Eagles in week 3 with Vick was still their quarterback, so they didn’t even beat the current Eagles teams. And the Cowboys aren’t over .500 anymore.

      • Kelle

        Nothing. The chiefs also played the Eagles in week 3 when Vick was still their quarterback, so they didn’t even beat the current Eagles teams. And the Cowboys aren’t over .500 anymore.

    • Kelle

      3rd in scoring and 3rd in net points is the same stat. lol You couldn’t think of anything else good to say about the chiefs? If you take away the defensive points the chiefs scoring would be much lower. ALL you seem to know is where the chiefs rank, and you didn’t bother to check out the stats of the 49ers, Saints, and Panthers. The chiefs overall offensive ranking is 17th. The Saints are 5th, The Saints average only 3 points less per game than the chiefs, and the 49ers average 3.5 less. The Panthers have the number 2 overall defense, the 49ers are 3rd, the Saints are 6th, and the chiefs are 22nd. The Panthers defense is 2nd fewest in scoring, the 49ers are 3rd. The Saints allow .9 more points per game than the chiefs.It it obvious that ALL you know are the chiefs stats and, based on your own criteria, all 3 teams should be ranked above the chiefs. On top of that, all 3 teams have had a much harder schedule than the chief. It’s not hard to be 11-3 when you’ve only played 1 team that is over .500. And lost to that team both times at that.

    • Guest

      3rd in scoring average and 3rd in net points is pretty much the same stat. lol You couldn’t think of anything else good to say about the chiefs? Take away the defensive points and the chiefs scoring would be much lower. ALL you seem pay attention to are the chiefs stats and you did not bother to see where the Saints, 49ers and Panthers are ranked. The chiefs overall offense is 17th. The Saints are 5th. The Saints average 3 less points per game than the chiefs, and the 49ers average 3.5 less. The Panthers have the 2nd overall defense, the 49ers are 3rd, the Saints are 6th, and the chiefs are 22nd. The Panthers defense is 2nd in fewest points allowed, the 49ers are 3rd, and the Saints allow only .9 points more per game than the chiefs. It is obvious that ALL you know are the chiefs stats and, based on your own criteria, all 3 teams should be ranked above the chiefs. On top of that, all 3 teams have had a much harder schedule than the chiefs. It’s not difficult to be 11-3 when you’ve only played 3 teams over .500. The chiefs are 1-3 against teams over .500. They lost both games to the Broncos and the first game against the Chargers. They also played the Eagles in week 3 when Vick was still quarterback. Everybody knows the Eagles didn’t get hot until Nick Foles was their starter, so the chiefs didn’t even beat the current Eagles team.

    • Kelle

      3rd in scoring and 3rd in net points is pretty much the same stat. lol You couldn’t think of anything else good to say about the chiefs. lol Take away the defensive points and that number is much lower. ALL you seem to pay attention to is how the chiefs are doing and you did not bother to see where the Panthers, Saints and 49ers ranks. The chiefs are 17th in overall offense. The Saints are 5th. The Saints average 3 less points per game than the chiefs and the 49ers average 3.5 less. The Panthers have the 2nd overall defense, the 49ers are 3rd and the Saints are 6th. The Panthers defense is 2nd in scoring allowed the 49ers are 3rd and the Saints allow only .9 points per game more than the chiefs. It is obvious that ALL you know are the chiefs stats and, based on your own criteria, all 3 10-4 teams SHOULD be ranked above the chiefs. On top of that, they have all 3 had a much harder schedule. It’s not hard to be 11-3 when you have only played 2 teams that are over .500. The chiefs are 1-2 against teams over .500. The lost both games to the Broncos, and they played the Eagles in week 3 when Vick was still their quarterback. Everybody know the Eagles didn’t get hot until Nick Foles took over, so the chiefs didn’t even beat the current Eagles team.

  • open your eyes

    Hands down NFL Best, Thomas, Bennett, Avril, Clemons, Sherman, Chancellor, Mebane, Bryant. We put a 3rd string CB Maxwell for our pot smoking Browner and he has 3 picks last two Games. Please hate we thrive off it. Ohh NFL record 23 wins in first two seasons and undefeated 14-0 at home. Wilson is so overrated. Cant hate on facts or stats, ohh have fun coming to the loudest stadium on earth. Ohh we set that record during the regular season. Just what for a playoff game. Real talk!

    • A1 Yola

      Your Stadium isn’t truly an “open-air venue. The overhangs produce an echoing effect that makes it sound louder than what it actually is. Smoke some more of that Legal Cannabis up there bro!

      • Matt

        Someone is upset….. lol

        • A1 Yola

          I’m not upset with his opinion. I just don’t like total Homers. Real fans will Critique Their teams faults, not overlook them. I was mistaken in saying that Seattle lost to the Rams, they Could beat them though!

          • Matt

            Its not your only mistake, but its typical for an upset fan. Keep at it, its quite entertaining.

          • A1 Yola

            I aim to please! You think I’m an angry Giants fan? All the rest of My comments are of opinion. Please call Me out on any other facts that I may have miss stated.

          • Matt

            Never implied that you were a Giants fan, just said you sounded upset. This pleases me.

          • A1 Yola

            The Hawks aren’t a Sure Bet to make it there or win it all. The Media, Wilson and Homers have them Crowned already in collective thought. How? Why?

          • Matt

            You are the only one saying that, your tears please me though.

          • Tony L. Castleberry

            Nice straw man.

        • A1 Yola

          I’m upset that Cannabis isn’t legal where I’m from. Lol

      • Ed Banevich

        YOU MAD BRO?????

        • A1 Yola

          I’m Mad Weed isn’t legal where I stay! Lol

          • Daniel Dannen

            It will be sooner or later. You gotta get the medical marijuana thing going in your state first; that’s a good first step.

      • Daniel Dannen

        I’m a native Seattleite and a lifelong Seahawk fan, and what you say is true…sort of. Century Link is architecturally loud for two reasons: the overhanging roofs you mentioned (which trap noise), and the fact that Centuty Link has the smallest “footprint” of any NFL stadium–it’s very compact.

        That being said, the 12th Man deserves just as much credit. The Seahawks had the reputation for extremely loud fans even when they played in the old King Dome, their previous venue.

      • Tony L. Castleberry

        Yes, it IS an open air stadium by the definition of that term. That it is a well designed stadium is not reason to try and conjure up a re-definition of what it is.

  • Guest

    DENVER BRONCOS , with manning playing at his best I believe they will end up with the trophy at the end. I think that the chiefs,seahawks,49er’s will end up choking in the play-offs so maybe the Saints will be able to go the distance. But in the end Peyton takes it. I don’t think there is any one else who has more to prove. ( coming back after 4 neck surgery’s ) wow. And then there is Drew he is one smooth Q.B. Great under pressure . But what do I know I am a true BUCCANEERS fan. SO

  • ahrcshaw

    The Panthers have a very good inconsistent team, from here on out Cam will have to have a 100+ QB rating, Talbert will have to learn to keep his feet under himself, Williams will do just fine, and the rest will have to keep the pace up. I have no doubts the Panthers can win the SB if they play their game, I only question their lapses at times. Go Panthers and keep on pounding.

  • joe f.

    Play-offs they should be great this year. Some pretty interested teams, Seahawks, Chiefs,49ers,Saints,Panthers they are all pretty good teams BUT when it comes down to it I think the BRONCOS will come up at the end holding that TROPHY at the end. PAYTON MANNING just has to much to prove. Now just listen for a minute here is a guy ( hall of famer to be. ) Coming back from not 1 but 4 neck surgery’s( and believe me I know a little about those kind of surgery’s had a couple my self it’s not easy ). MANNING has a lot to prove no-one believed he could come back and now is probable having the best season of his life. And he has so much more experience then any other Q.B. going into the play-offs. The next possibility would be the SAINTS with Drew at Q.B. now this gets hard. I’m thinking Defense now Bronco’s D might have a few more problems then the Saints ? o.k. I will say over all maybe there even so with that being said Broncos win. But past experience play-offs can be won by just one great play or one bad play who knows ? Well this is only my first time on this site please feel free to tell me what you think……..

    • Daniel Dannen

      I’ve never been able to understand people’s fondness for Denver. It should be obvious by now that this team is a paper tiger. Seriously, which genuinely tough team has Denver beaten all year? Answer: nobody. Kansas City hardly counts as a “genuinely tough team,” and is probably no better than the Arizona Cardinals.

      Put Denver against Seattle or SF, and Denver will get ripped in half.

      • joe f.

        Daniel,
        I’m was just saying with Manning at Q.B. and his experience at quarterback against some of these other teams heading for the play-offs there is a pretty good chance he is going to win. And just to let you and everyone out there I’m not a Bronco’s fan at all I am a proud Tampa bay Buccaneers fan and yes they haven’t been very good the past few years but being a fan I must go down with my team. I think when you watch them next year you will see a much much better team. I’m hoping the get smart enough to pick up a good Q.B. But then again when they won the super bowl I couldn’t stand there Q.B. wow and right now I can’t even remember his name. That’s pretty bad. Oh Brad Johnson and they still won.

        • Guest

          Well, I could see Denver winning a shootout in the Superbowl, but only if Peyton Manning is greatly assisted by the refs (i.e., lots of pass interference calls, “hit on a defenseless receiver,” unnecessary roughness for daring to lay a pinky on Manning–blah, blah, blah).
          I don’t think Denver has a chance to win if the game were officiated fairly, and more in line with how football games used to be called when men were men. All the top NFC teams have tough defenses, and (with the possible exception of Carolina) enough offensive firepower to embarrass Denver’s sub-par defense.

        • Daniel Dannen

          Well, I could see Denver winning a shootout in the Superbowl, but only if Peyton Manning is greatly assisted by the refs (i.e., lots of pass interference calls, “hit on a defenseless receiver,” unnecessary roughness for daring to lay a pinky on Manning–blah, blah, blah).
          I don’t think Denver has a chance to win if the game were officiated fairly, and more in line with how football games used to be officiated when men were men and it was legal to play good “D”. All the top NFC teams have tough defenses, and (with the possible exception of Carolina) enough offensive firepower to embarrass Denver’s sub-par defense.

    • Tony L. Castleberry

      Holy mackerel…your spelling is atrocious.

      P-E-Y-T-O-N Manning. Not “PAYTON”. And he has ‘Too much to prove…’, not “to much to prove”. “To” is a completely different word than ‘too’. Also capitalizing every single word you think deserves emphasis does not help.

      Here is how your post should read:

      “Playoffs should be great this year. There are some pretty interesting teams;
      the Seahawks, Chiefs, 49ers, Saints, and Panthers are all pretty good teams.
      But when it comes down to it, I think the BRONCOS will come up holding that Lombardi trophy in the end. Peyton Manning just has too much to prove. Now just listen for a minute; here is a guy ( Hall of Famer to be sure) Coming back from, not one, but FOUR neck surgeries (and believe me, I know a little about those kinds of surgeries. I have had a couple myself. They are not easy
      to come back from.)! Manning has a lot to prove. No one believed he could come back and now
      he is probably having the best season of his career. Also, he has so much more
      experience then any other Q.B. going into the playoffs. The next
      potential team would be the Saints, with Drew Brees at Q.B.. Now this gets harder to figure out.
      I’m thinking Defense matters a good deal. The Bronco’s Defense may have a few more problems than the Saints’ defense, but I would say that, over all maybe they are more equal than it seems.

      So with that being said, the Broncos win out over the Saints. Playoff games can be won or lost with
      one good or bad play, so who knows? Well this is only my first time on this site please feel free to tell me what you think.” – Joe F. (revised by Tony C. with corrections to spelling and grammar).

      See the difference between a legible post and an illegible one? Correct spelling and grammar go a long way in helping you express ideas you have.

      BTW if Denver is so fortunate as to make it to the Super Bowl they will be obliterated by that Hawks defense. Manning struggles against these types of defenses and the Hawks have the best defense in the league.

      • joe f.

        Tony L. Castleberry Thanks for the spelling lessons.O.K. Peyton fell better. I wasn’t asking for a spelling lesson but o.k. What ever floats your boat.
        Now to tell you the truth I am pretty new with computers so lets take it easy can we do that ? to, too , capital letters what ever. I’m going to assume you knew what I was trying to get at. Most people I do write to don’t make such a big deal of it. So you can spell better then me I’m proud of you for it. Now as far as football a lot of people didn’t think Peyton would be able to make it back at such a high level. No one thought he had the strength to go long. I even watch a interview with him and he said that it would take time to get his arm strength back. So any way can you find any positive in any thing I wrote ? Or not.

      • joe f.

        I do agree that the Hawks d is better but to say the will obliterated is a bit much. Peyton can get that ball out pretty fast. I’m not a Bronco’s fan but I do like Peyton as a quarter back. I just don’t see one of those rookies going all the way.I wouldn’t mind seeing the seahawks taking it but I just don’t know. trying to get past Peyton or Bree’s that’s a lot to ask of any one. And sooner or later they will have to get past one or the other or maybe even both of them.

        • Tony L. Castleberry

          I also like Peyton as a QB. First ballot Hall of Fame QB to be sure and possibly the 2nd or 3rd best QB ever to play the game. What rookies are you talking about? Russel Wilson is a 2nd year QB (and Colin Kaepernick is 3rd year.) and his backup is like 6th or 7th year if I remember correctly.
          What you are forgetting is that QBs do not play against each other. They face opposing defenses. Seattle’s defense is the worst nightmare for Peyton Manning. It is not just the #1 secondary. It is the #1 DEFENSE with a secondary the NFL has never seen. They are faster, far more physical and with greater stature than any other secondary. They get physical with receivers right off the line of scrimmage which disrupts timing, and Manning is all about timing. And then there is the pass rush which features like 4 or 5 guys with multiple sacks (I think like 4 on average) this year. Plus the linebackers like Bobby Wagner and (now injured for 4 or 5 weeks) K.J. Wright and Bruce Irvin who are fast enough to catch almost anyone or break up any pass play in range and hard hitting enough that receivers do not look forwards to going over the middle.

          On offense the Seahawks have a top two RB, an above average offensive line, a good receiving corps full of dynamic play-makers, Zach Miller and another (6′, 5″) Tight End who is just starting to get his feet under him and make big plays. Denver has an average defense to try and stop the Hawks offense but the Hawks essentially have a customized ‘Anti-Manning Defense’ that bring pressure, disrupt timing, make interceptions and cause dropped balls and force fumbles like no one else.
          Brees is not one Seattle has to worry much about. He will have to come here to Seattle to play us and the last two times he has done so have resulted in disaster for him.

  • John Alport

    Your Saints at #2 is completely wrong. First, they’ve been a bit inconsistent lately. Second, they are not a good road or outdoor team — and this kills their chances of a SuperBowl. If they make it to the NFC title game, likely in Seattle, they have little chance. They already got killed there, and they have nothing new to offer. Now let’s say the impossible happens — they win in Seattle. Then they have to play in the cold of NJ against any one of several teams that are quite used to playing in the snow. You read it here — Saints have NO chance of getting that trophy this year.

    Here are the 5 teams that have a realistic path. The rest can go home now.
    Seattle, SF, Denver, KC, New England..

    • Tony L. Castleberry

      I would put Carolina in there ahead of New England (without Gronk they have little chance left).

      • John Alport

        I like Carolina. Very impressive defense and a good-enough offense to go with it. My feeling is that they have peaked a little early. I do think they are ‘normally’ better than New England — and I’ll explain in a moment why NE is on my list and the Panthers are not. I also like Arizona, New Orleans, and Cinci — but they are not on my list because they don’t fit the profile I’m looking for.

        I wrote a more extensive post elsewhere in which I stated that I’m looking for teams that have either been strong all season, or who are peaking right now. I don’t care who they beat or who beat them more than 4 weeks ago. The team has got to be a good team away from home (which is what eliminates the Saints), and has to be able to play in the cold of NJ. West Coast teams have to show that they can travel to the East Coast and win.

        My original list just had 4 teams. I added New England because, like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady is one of those few QB’s who, “on any given Sunday”, can kill you. Brady is one of those you just can’t count out, even without Gronk. Brady and Belichick have been an awesome force in the NFL for a decade.

        My list is a pragmatic list. What teams, right now, can win 3 or 4 straight games in hostile domes or the cold? New England has a much easier trip than Carolina. They’ll have a first round bye, a relatively easy opponent in the divisional round, and then just one tough game in cold-weather. Then on to the SB in another cold-weather game just down the road, probably against a West Coast team flying to the East Coast. The Panthers might well be facing 4 tough games, including two in hostile domes.

        • Tony L. Castleberry

          I don’t think I can really contest your points here but, just to state the niggling details that might be enough to disagree on a few or give my assent for the rest:

          I see your point about the Saints and traveling to cold weather. I also agree that Brady and Belichick are a proven force capable of overcoming great obstacles to get to the big game. Hard to count them out any year. I still think though that at some point the losses and bad fortune just pile up too high and it breaks a team. I have a hard time seeing them beat anyone in the AFC Championship game whereas I do not have as difficult a time seeing the Panthers do such a thing (yes, against my Seahawks even.) and I think they will win their division and thus get a first round bye.. But your points here are solid so my instincts may be wrong.

          • John Alport

            We’re mostly on the same wavelength and see things the same way.

            I’m a SF fan, and I do think they are getting stronger at the right time. If I didn’t think that recency was so important, I would have to include the fact that Carolina already beat SF (by one point) in a terrific road win in SF. I might even have to consider SF losing in NO, but out here, we think the refs picked a heck of a time to hand NO the game with 34 seconds left by calling an iffy penalty on a terrific fumble-causing blitz by Brooks. . Even with that, the prevailing opinion around here is that a now-improved SF can beat NO, even in NO.

            But I think realistically. Seattle has put together one heck of a team. Add that to what I think is probably about a 12-point home-team advantage for the 12th man, and I don’t think any of our teams is going to beat Seattle up in Seattle.

            I think the AFC is much more interesting. Of course there’s Denver, but even they are a bit more iffy than a month ago. New England, as we agree, can always surprise. But I really like KC. Everybody wants to trash them, but they just put up over 100 points in two games. I believe they are good enough AND they are peaking now.

            So I really think it’s Denver or KC against Seattle in the Superbowl, and I can’t predict a winner from there.

          • Kelle

            The chiefs put up those points against the Redskins whose defense is dead last in scoring. Three other teams have scored more than 40 points against them. And the Raiders who are 29th in scoring. The Raiders offense imploded yesterday. The chiefs scored 35 points off of turnovers. Eric Berry got a touchdown and, because of turnovers, the chiefs offense started on Oakland’s side of the field 6 times. 3 times inside the 30 yard line and twice inside the 20. The only special about the chiefs offense is Jamal Charles, and he can’t always do it by himself. Next week the chiefs won’t look as hot against the Colts.

          • Kelle

            Plus, the chiefs defense has given up 41, 35, and 31 points in 3 of their last 4 games.

          • Dusty Thompson

            Seattle is ending the season banged up the niners are ending theirs healed up…

  • Mathew Roberts

    ok first, the SEA haters here are hilarious. Deal with the facts; deal with the unanimity of professional analysis. Or don’t, that’s fine. Second, putting NO #2 is pretty shaky now; I’d have said that even before their fine performance in STL. But next week it’s Carolina on the road! I think NO goes in as a Wild Card, in which case they’re done done done. I love to watch them playing in their own dome, but otherwise…

  • GSM

    Saints @ #2. You’re kidding right? They can’t compete with the NFC West defenses. Without ref help at home, they can’t beat anyone in that division.

  • Ted Nelson

    Josh Snchez misses the obvious when he suggests the Saints are in position to win the South, gain home field advantage and advance to the NFC championship game. He misses the fact that the Panthers are also a ten win and four loss team. That they play each other this weekend. They play at the Panthers house. And the Saints have been only an average away team. It looks more like the Panthers that win the South, and end up in the NFC championship game. Anyway, that’s my take……

  • Dusty Thompson

    You must be HIGH… The Aints number 2… Hahahahahaha….