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NFL Power Rankings After Week 15

Breakout stars ruled the day in Week 15, and it led to some serious shakeups in the latest NFL power rankings.

From Drew Lock throwing a perfectly placed touchdown pass to hand the Eagles a third consecutive loss, to Ty Chandler running wild for the Minnesota Vikings, and Gardner Minshew carving up the Pittsburgh Steelers, the week that was, was the week of the underdog story.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills embraced their physical side while tallying impressive victories, the former cementing their status as team to beat and the latter keeping postseason hopes alive.

Here's a look at where things stand for all 32 teams in this week's FanBuzz NFL Power Rankings:

1. San Francisco 49ers (11-3)

Previous: No. 1

Christian McCaffrey strengthened his MVP case Sunday, both of the NFL and the 49ers' offense, continuing to be a focal point on the most dominant team in football. The 49ers are in the midst of a six-game winning streak, with a three-game skid with Trent Williams and Deebo Samuel sidelined merely a distant memory. Amid the 49ers' Wrecking Ball tour of the NFL, San Francisco has knocked off the Eagles, Cowboys, Seahawks (twice), and Jaguars. A potential Super Bowl preview awaits in Week 15 for the newly crowned NFC West champions.

2. Baltimore Ravens (11-3)

Previous: No. 3

After outclassing the Jacksonville Jaguars, including Lamar Jackson putting on a clinic both from the pocket and while on the run, the Ravens seem head and shoulders above the rest of the AFC. John Harbaugh has a roster at his disposal that's capable of bullying its way through the AFC, including a defense that seems to get better and better each week.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-5)

Previous: No. 6

In the latter stages Sunday in New England, Patrick Mahomes once again reminded what makes him the premier quarterback in the sport. Mahomes passed for 122 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the second half, with the pick bouncing off Kadarius Toney's hands on an otherwise perfectly placed pass. Once the postseason begins, there aren't many teams who are going to be confident with Mahomes and Andy Reid staring from across the sideline.

4. Buffalo Bills (8-6)

Previous: No. 5

Buffalo still has its work cut out for it to actually make the playoffs, but after the Bills steamrolled the Cowboys with James Cook running roughshod, this is unequivocally the team that AFC opponents do not want to see in the postseason. If the Bills ever find a balance of Cook as a battering ram and Josh Allen stretching the field with Stefon Diggs, there's no telling how prolific this offense can be.

5. Philadelphia Eagles (10-4)

Previous: No. 4

Philadelphia's defense appeared to go to sleep in the second half of Monday night's game, after a fast start in Seattle. The Eagles have now lost three consecutive games, and will need significant help just to overtake the Cowboys for the NFC East lead, let alone to climb back into the NFC's top seed, after losing to the 49ers two weeks ago. After replacing defensive coordinators, there's only so much more rearranging of the furniture that the Eagles can do at this juncture while leaking oil down the stretch.

6. Detroit Lions (10-4)

Previous: No. 7

The Lions came roaring back, and Jahmyr Gibbs seized Detroit's backfield in a blowout victory of the Denver Broncos. Gibbs rushed for 100 yards with a touchdown while adding eight receiving yards and a second score as Detroit showed that it is capable of handling a fellow playoff contender. It's now becoming obvious that Jared Goff and the Lions are a dangerous team to be taken seriously in the NFC Playoffs ... So long as Detroit is at home.

7. Miami Dolphins (10-4)

Previous: No. 8

Call it a mini-bye week, or a get-right game, call it whatever you'd like, but the Dolphins made easy work of the lowly Jets by knocking off New York 30-0. Even without Tyreek Hill. Miami has shown that it can batter bad competition, but with the Bills charging, might need to win out, including beating the Ravens in Week 18, just to survive and make the postseason.

8. Dallas Cowboys (10-4)

Previous: No. 2

One week after humiliating the Eagles, the Dallas Cowboys had two major truths exposed during a blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills. It seems that if the Cowboys aren't able to jump out to a lead, forcing teams to throw which allows Dallas' edge rushers to terrorize opposing quarterback, and/or are playing at home, this is a very beatable team. The Cowboys better figure out how to stop the run, or this thing could quickly come off the rails.

9. Houston Texans (8-6)

Previous: No. 13

No C.J. Stroud, no problem, DeMeco Ryans' band of overachievers continues to get the job done while emerging as the team to beat in the AFC South. If anything underscores the value of the culture Ryans has already instilled in Houston it is that they were able to beat the Titans, in overtime, in comeback fashion, without Stroud, or wide receivers Nico Collins or Tank Dell on offense or rookie edge rusher Will Anderson. The Texans have the pieces to make a plucky AFC run this year and the resources to be even better in the future.

10. Cleveland Browns (9-5)

Previous: No. 10

CLEVELAND, OHIO - DECEMBER 17: David Njoku #85 of the Cleveland Browns scores a touchdown over Jaquan Brisker #9 of the Chicago Bears during the second quarter Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Perhaps most impressive about the Browns' win over the Bears is the fact that it didn't matter that Joe Flacco threw three interceptions. Cleveland's defense might actually be good enough to lock down a playoff berth, and if the Browns get in, all bets are off on how far they can carry them.

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-7)

Previous: No. 19

The Buccaneers' defense stifled and stymied Jordan Love, while Baker Mayfield authored one of the finest performances of his career. Mayfield lit up the Packers' defense, posting a perfect 158.3 passer rating with 381 yards and four touchdowns. Tampa's star power at wide receiver is starting to flex its muscle as its chemistry strengthens with Mayfield and the Bucs are physical enough along both lines to ruin someone's day when the playoffs begin.

12. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-6)

Previous: No. 11

Jacksonville desperately needs to do something about Trevor Lawrence's fumbling problem. Even Parker Washington's emergence at wide receiver couldn't quite make up for the inconsistency of the Jaguars' offense. Granted, not every team is as dominant in all phases as the Ravens are, and the Jaguars can still get right, but it all starts with Lawrence being significantly more consistent.

13. Indianapolis Colts (8-6)

Previous: No. 15

Suddenly, and even with Gardner Minshew leading the charge, the Colts look the part of the team to beat in the AFC South. The Colts are all in on Minshew, who passed for 215 yards with three touchdowns with many of his top weapons sidelined. Look out for the Colts.

14. Cincinnati Bengals (8-6)

Previous: No. 14

Jake Browning has established himself now either as the Bengals' No. 2 quarterback for 2024 and beyond or a top trade candidate this offseason. Meanwhile, the Bengals came roaring from behind to survive a scare from the Minnesota Vikings. Injuries continue to mount, with the latest concern being Ja'Marr Chase's availability moving forward, which could make actually making the postseason a daunting task.

15. Los Angeles Rams (7-7)

Previous: No. 20

Los Angeles might be the most dangerous 7-7 team in the NFC, and are surging at exactly the right time. Kyren Williams' return from injury has ignited the Rams' offense and Matthew Stafford has been a maestro in the backfield leading Los Angeles' young talent around him. The Rams still need to get through tough matchups against the 49ers and Saints, but could be a tough out should they make it in.

16. Seattle Seahawks (7-7)

Previous: No. 17

Kenneth Walker ran wild over the Eagles, which should become a chief tenant of the Seahawks' offense the rest of the way, posting 86 yards and a touchdown while adding 26 receiving yards. Meanwhile, safety Julian Love stole the victory with a pair of second half interceptions, including one in the game's final minute.

17. Denver Broncos (7-7)

Previous: No. 9

The Broncos are coming undone as the games have become more meaningful down the stretch. Detroit exposed some major flaws in Denver's defense and Russell Wilson couldn't get anything going offensively.

18. Minnesota Vikings (7-7)

Previous: No. 16

Ty Chandler was a revelation for the Vikings, and proved that he belongs as part of a backfield timeshare alongside Alexander Mattison, once Mattison gets back on the field. But, the Vikings' defense left much to be desired, especially late, against the Bengals.

19. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7)

Previous: No. 18

Pittsburgh is limping across the finish line of this season, and now must turn to Mason Rudolph at quarterback. In Kenny Pickett's absence, it has become obvious that the Steelers must completely revamp the offense this offseason, because Pittsburgh has no real identity on that side of the football right now.

20. New Orleans Saints (7-7)

Previous: No. 21

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 17: Derek Carr #4 of the New Orleans Saints throws during the first half of the game against the New York Giants at Caesars Superdome on December 17, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Saints defense took it to the Giants from the opening kickoff onward, which served as a worthy complement to one of Derek Carr's best performances since arriving in New Orleans this offseason. New Orleans' win sets the stage for a mad dash for the NFC South crown.

21. Green Bay Packers (6-8)

Previous: No. 12

So much of the previous optimism around Jordan Love's chances of leading the Packers to the postseason have evaporated as the defense folded in consecutive losses to the Giants and Buccaneers. Even Aaron Jones returning wasn't enough to get the offense going. Now, it's an uphill climb for the Packers just to get back into the NFC Wild Card race.

22. Las Vegas Raiders (6-8)

A week after being shutout by the Minnesota Vikings, quarterback Aidan O'Connell led a 63-point explosion against the Chargers, that led to Brandon Staley's firing. Antonio Pierce is certainly authoring a compelling argument for owner Mark Davis to remove the interim tag as head coach.

Previous: No. 28

23. Atlanta Falcons (6-8)

Previous: No. 22

Few teams are as inconsistent or have underachieved more than the Falcons this season. Rock bottom for Atlanta might be letting the lowly Panthers off the mat to beat them in a game the Falcons had to have in order to keep pace in the mediocre NFC South. One has to wonder if head coach Arthur Smith is on the hot seat.

24. New York Jets (5-9)

Previous: No. 23

For the 13th consecutive season, the New York Jets will miss the playoffs, following Sunday's humiliating 30-0 shutout loss to the Miami Dolphins. New York's defense finally broke, even without Tyreek Hill on the other side. Conventional wisdom would suggest this loss ends any chance of Aaron Rodgers playing in 2023, but Rodgers is anything but conventional.

25. Chicago Bears (5-9)

Previous: No. 26

Justin Fields continues to play his way into the conversation as a franchise quarterback, potentially even with the Bears in 2024 and beyond. Even in a losing effort, Fields passed for 166 yards with one touchdown to two interceptions, and his total could have been much more impressive had it not been for an egregious drop by tight end Robert Tonyan. Fields has three more games to prove to Ryan Poles he can carry the Bears to the promised land in the future.

26. Tennessee Titans (5-9)

Previous: No. 25

Will Levis' injury was a disappointing end to an encouraging performance that saw the Titans take the Houston Texans to overtime. Tennessee is going to need to make fortifying the offensive line in front of Levis a top priority this offseason.

27. Los Angeles Chargers (5-9)

Previous: No. 27

The Chargers completely quit on Brandon Staley last Thursday night, in all phases, and then Staley was fired by Friday morning on the west coast. This should be one of the most sought after head coaching vacancies, primarily because of Justin Quarterback's presence. But, the Chargers have to get this hire right, or else risking their high-priced quarterback's prime.

28. New York Giants (5-9)

Previous: No. 24

The New Orleans Saints smacked Tommy DeVito and the Giants around, dousing some cold water on what had become a runaway New York Cinderella story. Tommy DeVito was evaluated for a concussion during Sunday's game and the Giants managed just 3.2 yards per play and six points in a blowout loss. Sunday's performance is probably way more indicative of where the Giants are at this stage of their roster development than the past month of DeVito punching above his weight.

29. Arizona Cardinals (3-11)

Previous: No. 29

The Cardinals came out and took their best shot against the 49ers, but quickly found out how difficult it is to keep Christian McCaffrey under wraps, and that the offense just isn't capable of keeping pace in a shootout against an offense as loaded as San Francisco's. But, Arizona should be encouraged by what Kyler Murray has shown over the past month, and should have some premium draft picks to build around him in 2024.

30. Washington Commanders (4-10)

Previous: No. 30

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 17: Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Commanders reacts during the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Inglewood, California.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Washington fought back in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 unanswered points to cut the deficit to an eventual 28-20 defeat. However, whether it is in the coming days or by season's end, it is becoming apparent that Ron Rivera is in his final days as the Commanders' head coach.

31. New England Patriots (3-11)

Previous: No. 31

New England's defense threw some early haymakers against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, before ultimately folding amid Kansas City's onslaught. It continues to be obvious that the Patriots do not have a long-term solution at quarterback and that the end of the Bill Belichick era is nigh.

32. Carolina Panthers (2-2)

Previous: No. 32

Bryce Young led a game-winning drive, as the Panthers upset the division rival Atlanta Falcons amid a Charlotte monsoon. Whether Young can build on this performance the rest of this season remains to be seen, but it represents the high-water mark of an otherwise forgettable rookie season for the No. 1 overall pick, and maybe a bit of a drawing card for potential head coaching candidates.

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