By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters - PFWA Members 

2023 NFL Power Rankings – Week 15

 

December 14, 2023

Ty Nowell - LA Chargers

Chargers QB Justin Herbert - Finished season with 65.1% pass completions, 3134 passing yards, 20 TDs, 7 interceptions, and 63.9 QB rating

1. San Francisco 49ers (10-3): The 49ers had four big plays of more than 40 yards in their victory over the Seahawks, 28-16. Quarterback Brock Purdy threw touchdown passes of 54 yards to Deebo Samuel and 44 yards to George Kittle. Christian McCaffrey had a run of 72 yards and Brandon Aiyuk had a reception of 45 yards. It is difficult to see these guys losing if they stay healthy. Next: -12.5 at Arizona Cardinals – Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U: 7-6)

2. Dallas Cowboys (10-3): The Cowboys easily defeated the Eagles on Sunday 33-13. Tight end Jake Ferguson had five receptions for 72 yards in the game and for the season he has 51 receptions and five touchdowns. Ferguson is becoming a star in his second season in the NFL. Next: +1.5 at Buffalo Bills - Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 50.5 (ATS: 9-4 – O/U: 8-5)

3. Baltimore Ravens (10-3): The Ravens beat the Rams in overtime when Tylan Wallace returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown in a 37-31 victory. Quarterback Lamar Jackson connected with wide receiver Zay Flowers for a 21-yard touchdown and Odell Beckham Jr. for a 46-yard touchdown, giving the league an early playoff look at their explosiveness. Next: -3.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars – Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 6-7)

4. Philadelphia Eagles (10-3): The Eagles suffered a second straight blowout loss, this time to the Cowboys on the road, 33-13. The Eagles have been struggling on defense and need to commit to the running game to help out their defense. Next: -3.5 at Seattle Seahawks – Mon, Dec. 18 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 7-4-2 – O/U: 7-6)

5. Detroit Lions (9-4): Quarterback Jared Goff has suddenly become a turnover machine, throwing two interceptions, and losing a fumble in 28-13 loss to the Bears in Chicago. Goff has thrown five interceptions and lost three fumbles in the last four games. Next: -4.5 vs Denver Broncos – Sat, Dec. 16 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 8-5)

6. Miami Dolphins (9-4): The Dolphins choked away a 14-point lead to the Titans in the final three minutes of the game, losing at home 28-27. The Dolphins played much of the game without star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who injured his ankle, and his absence affected the passing attack. Next: -8.5 vs New York Jets - Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 37.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 8-5)

7. Kansas City Chiefs (8-5): The Chiefs are struggling and have a two-game losing streak and have lost three of their last four games. They were whining after an offsides call cost them a touchdown and a win over the Bills. One solution to that is don't line up offsides. The Chiefs will make the playoffs, but they will not be hosting an AFC Championship game this season. Next: -8.5 at New England Patriots - Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 37 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U: 4-9)

8. Cleveland Browns (8-5): Quarterback Joe Flacco can still spin it, throwing for 311 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-31 win over the Jaguars. The 38-year-old Flacco looked like he was 22 again with his performance. Next: -3 vs Chicago Bears – Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 38.5 (ATS: 7-5-1 – O/U: 8-5)

9. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5): Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was intercepted three times in a 31-27 loss to the Browns in Cleveland. The Jaguars have a one game lead over the second place Texans in the AFC South and face the Ravens in a tough Sunday night match-up. Next: +3.5 vs Baltimore Ravens - Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 7-6)

10. Houston Texans (7-6): The Texans came crashing back down to earth on Sunday, losing 30-6 to the Jets. Rookie quarterback CJ Stroud completed 10 of 23 passes for 91 yards and was sacked four times. Next: +3 at Tennessee Titans – Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U 37.5 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 5-8)

11. Buffalo Bills (7-6): The Bills got a big win at Kansas City and now prepare for a big matchup with the Cowboys in Buffalo. For the ninth consecutive game, quarterback Josh Allen threw an interception. That needs to end this weekend. Next: -1.5 vs Dallas Cowboys - Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 50.5 (ATS: 5-8 – O/U: 4-9)

12. Denver Broncos (7-6): The Broncos had six sacks as their blitzing defense seemed to confuse the Chargers in an easy 24-7 win over the Chargers. The Broncos are very much in the playoff race after a 1-5 start. Next: +4.5 at Detroit Lions - Sat 16 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 5-7-1 – O/U: 5-8)

13. Minnesota Vikings (7-6): The Vikings shut out the fading Raiders in Las Vegas, 3-0. The Vikings had 99 passing yards for the game despite a talented receiving group consisting of wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison, and tight end T.J. Hockenson. Next: +3 at Cincinnati Bengals – Sat, Dec. 16 – O/U: 40.5 (ATS: 7-4-2 – O/U: 3-10)

14. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6): The Bengals have won back-to-back games behind former Washington Huskie quarterback Jake Browning, after beating the Colts 34-14. Browning was a star at Folsom high school in Folsom, California, where he broke the national record as a senior for touchdown passes in a season at 91 and also had a national record of 229 touchdowns. Next: -3 vs Minnesota Vikings – Sat, Dec. 16 – O/U 40.5 (ATS: 6-6-1 – O/U: 7-6)

15. Los Angeles Rams (6-7): The Rams had their three-game winning streak end in overtime at Baltimore in a 37-31 loss to the Ravens. This was a game that the Rams could have won against a good team on the road. A good sign was seeing the return to form of wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who had 8 receptions 115 yards and one touchdown. Next: -6.5 vs Washington Commanders – Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 50.5 (ATS: 7-5-1 – O/U: 6-7)

16. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6): The Steelers became the first team in NFL history with a winning record to lose consecutive games to teams that were at least eight games under .500, after falling to the Patriots at home, 21-18 on Thursday Night. Four days earlier they lost to the Cardinals, also at home. Next: +1.5 at Indianapolis Colts – Sat, Dec. 16 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U: 3-10)

17. Indianapolis Colts (7-6): The Colts were blown out by the Bengals, 34-14. Some teams are difficult to figure out from week-to-week and the Colts fall into that category. Next: -1.5 vs Pittsburgh Steelers – Sat, Dec. 16 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 9-4)

18. Seattle Seahawks (6-7): The Seahawks are struggling with injuries and a very tough schedule. They lost to the 49ers for the second time in three weeks, and in-between they lost to the Cowboys. There will be no breaks this week. Next: +3.5 vs Philadelphia Eagles – Mon, Dec. 18 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 7-5-1 – O/U: 6-7)

19. Green Bay Packers (6-7): The Packers lost a close game to the Giants, 24-22 on a last second field goal. The Packers may or may not be a playoff team, but next year should be better. The team is very young and will have a second-round pick from the Jets in the 2024 NFL draft and are expected to add three compensatory draft picks in the 2024 draft. Next: -3.5 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U: 7-6)

20. New Orleans Saints (6-7): The Saints easily defeated the Panthers 28-6 to move into a first-place tie in the NFC South. The Saints got a touchdown on a fumbled punt and a return of eight yards for a touchdown in the win over the hapless Panthers. Next: -6 vs New York Giants – Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 39.5 (ATS: 3-9-1 – O/U: 4-9)

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7): Quarterback Baker Mayfield's 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Cade Otton with 31 seconds remaining gave the Buccaneers a 29-25 victory over the Falcons, putting the Bucs, Falcons, and Saints in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC South. Next: +3.5 at Green Bay Packers - Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 5-8)

22. Atlanta Falcons (6-7): The Falcons lost their one game lead in the NFC South after losing to the Buccaneers, 29-25. Quarterback Desmond Ritter threw for 347 yards and wide receiver Drake London had 10 receptions for 172 yards, but it was not enough to defeat the Bucs. Next: -3 at Carolina Panthers – Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 34 (ATS: 4-9 – O/U: 5-8)

23. Tennessee Titans (5-8): The Titan came from down 27-13 to score 15 points in the final three minutes of the game to defeat the Dolphins in Miami, 28-27. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had 7 receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown, proving he is still a No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL. Next: -3 vs Houston Texans – Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 37.5 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 5-8)

24. Chicago Bears (5-8): The Bears have a two-game winning streak after defeating the Lions, 28-13 in Chicago. The Bears defense came up with three turnovers and four in sacks and quarterback Justin Fields threw for a touchdown and ran for a touchdown in a surprisingly easy victory. Next: +3 at Cleveland Browns - Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 38.5 (ATS: 6-5-2 – O/U: 7-6)

25. Las Vegas Raiders (5-8): The Raiders were shutout at home 3-0 at the hands of the Vikings. The Raiders have easily the worst starting quarterback in the AFC West, and they cannot compete in the division or league without fixing that position. This has been another wasted season for the Raiders. Next: -3 vs Los Angeles Chargers - Thu, Dec. 16 – O/U: 35.5 (ATS: 6-6-1 – O/U: 3-10)

26. New York Giants (5-8): The Giants have a three-game winning streak after defeating the Packers, 24-22. Head coach Brian Daboll won last year with quarterback Daniel Jones and the current three game winning streak with backup quarterback Tommy DeVito is proof that Daboll is a good NFL coach. Next: +6 at New Orleans Saints – Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 39.5 (ATS: 5-7-1 – O/U: 4-9)

27. New York Jets (5-8): Quarterback Zach Wilson was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Jets to a 30-6 victory over the Texans. Wilson completed 27 of 36 passes for 301 yards and threw two touchdown passes. Wilson, the former 2nd pick overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, played the best game of his young career. Next: +8.5 at Miami Dolphins - Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 37.5 (ATS: 5-7-1 – O/U: 5-8)

28. Los Angeles Chargers (5-8): The Chargers lost to the Broncos, as expected, and lost quarterback Justin Herbert for the rest of the season. Wide receivers Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Joshua Palmer will all be unrestricted free agents in 2025. Tight end Gerald Everett will be an unrestricted free agent in 2024. The Chargers need to get some help for Herbert and keeping aging veterans will probably not be the way to go. Next: +3 at Las Vegas Raiders - Thu, Dec. 14 – O/U: 35.5 (ATS: 5-8 – O/U: 3-10)

29. Washington Commanders (4-9): The Commanders avoided another losing Sunday due to a bye last week. This is a team headed for a top ten pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and a team that will have a new coaching staff in 2024. Next: +6.5 at Los Angeles Rams – Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 50.5 (ATS: 5-7-1 – O/U: 8-5)

Brevin Townsell - LA Rams

Rams QB Matthew Stafford through Week 14 - 60.2% pass completions, 3062 yards passing, 19 TDs, 9 interceptions and 60.9 QB rating

30. Arizona Cardinals (3-10): The Cardinals are coming off their bye and will welcome the 49ers to State Farm Stadium in Glendale. Quarterback Kyler Murray is beginning to look more comfortable in the Cardinals west coast offense and Offensive Coordinator Drew Petzing thinks Murray is a franchise quarterback. Next: +12.5 vs San Francisco 49ers - Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U: 7-6)

31. New England Patriots (3-10): The Patriots stunned the Steelers in Pittsburgh, 21-18. This win may say more about the Steelers than the Pats. The win ended a five-game winning streak for the Pats, who somehow produced 21 points in offense. Next: +8.5 vs Kansas City Chiefs – Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 37 (ATS: 3-10 – O/U: 4-9)

32. Carolina Panthers (1-12): The Panthers are "Tanking for Caleb" although their first-round pick belongs to the Bears in a trade from last season. The Panther lost to the Saints 28-6, in a game that was not as close as the score might indicate. The Saints led the whole way, and the Panthers were unable to score an offensive touchdown. Next: +3 vs Atlanta Falcons - Sun, Dec. 17 – O/U: 34 (ATS: 2-9-2 – O/U: 4-9)

 

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