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NFL Power Rankings: Week 14 (2021)

by December 7, 2021
Carson Wentz

Compared to the first 12 weeks of the NFL season, Week 13 was relatively calm. Most of the top teams took care of business. The most significant leap up in the power rankings was just three spots, and the biggest fall was just five.

After beating the Bears in Chicago, Arizona remains on top as they welcomed back both Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins – sort of. Neither player was asked to or had to do very much. Andy Dalton took care of that for the Cardinals. But they’re the first team to 10 wins. Who would have guessed that at the start of the season?

Oh, and the Lions finally won a game!

Let’s see where the other 31 teams slot in with the 14th edition of NFL power rankings.

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NFL Power Rankings Week 14

Big Movers

Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are now 6-2 in their last eight games, with their only losses coming to the defending-champion Buccaneers and the pre-injury Titans in overtime. They're playing some of the best football in the league, and they're on a beeline for not just a Wild Card spot but for the AFC South - something that seemed impossible to fathom just a few weeks ago. The Colts are dangerous, too. You try tackling Jonathan Taylor in playoff weather after you've taken 17 weeks of pounding. Good luck.

Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals made the list last week too, but for different reasons. They had just won two straight and were so close to putting their recent struggles in the rearview mirror. Until they ran into the Chargers. Los Angeles took care of the Bengals on their home field and jumped them in the playoff race in the process. This will happen to a young team. The Bengals are still very much on the rise, but this is a tough, important loss and one Cincinnati will have to learn from moving forward.

Minnesota Vikings
I could make this section short and sweet and say, "they lost to the Lions." They did, but it was a little more complex than that. Minnesota played without Dalvin Cook, but still - this team is impossible to figure out. Over the last eight games, they've won two, lost two, won two again, and now lost two again. The inconsistency could ultimately be what dooms this team, as they're now on the outside looking in.

Random Musings

Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are leading a tightly-packed AFC North, a division with zero teams below .500. They're also the three-seed in the AFC playoff race at 8-4, so things aren't all bad. But there's no denying the Ravens haven't looked their best over the last month or so. They were blown out by Cincinnati, squeaked by Minnesota in overtime, and then completely shut down by Miami on Thursday Night Football. They won two of the last three, but they haven't topped 20 points in any of those games as the offense continues to be a sore subject and Lamar Jackson continues to regress. Right now, Baltimore isn't scaring anyone.

Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have now won five games in a row, and they've really only beaten one good team along the way. But that doesn't matter. Miami doesn't have to apologize to anyone. You can only play who's on your schedule. The Dolphins' little hot streak has given them life in the playoff race and has brought them within one game of a .500 record. They're also just the second team to win five in a row after losing seven straight, joining the 1994 Giants. The remaining schedule looks tougher on paper than it really is, considering how banged up the Saints and Titans are, so Miami realistically could make a serious run for a Wild Card spot.

Detroit Lions
I'd be remiss not to give the Lions a little bit of shine. They've come close to getting their first victory so many times. They've tied, gotten walked off on multiple times, including once back in Week 4 when Justin Tucker kicked a field goal from the parking lot to hand Detroit an improbable loss, but the nightmare is finally over. The Lions are on the board. You've got to be happy for this team who really has battled hard all season long, and you've got to be especially happy for Dan Campbell, who has shown more passion than almost every other coach in the NFL and was finally rewarded with his first coaching win.

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Mike Wagenman is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @mjwags23.