Week 15 NFL power rankings: 49ers, Ravens at the very top after clutch wins

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Neville Hewitt, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins, Jets
Neville Hewitt #46 of the New York Jets sacks Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Miami Dolphins (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

NFL power rankings, Nos. 32-21

32. team. 56. . 1-12. Previous: . Cincinnati Bengals

L, 27-19 @ Browns

So much for the Bengals putting together a win streak this season.

Running back Joe Mixon went off, which is promising for next year. But Cincinnati is thinking solely about that No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Will it be Ohio State EDGE Chase Young or LSU quarterback Joe Burrow? Hmm…

. 2-11. Previous: . New York Giants. 31. team. 31

L, 23-17 @ Eagles

Quarterback Eli Manning’s swan song with the Giants went off with a whimper, as New York and the scuffling Eagles finished off the week on Monday Night Football.

At least Manning tossed two touchdowns in what is likely his final game in a Giants uniform, perhaps in the NFL.

team. 59. . 3-10. Previous: . Miami Dolphins. 30

L, 22-21 @ Jets

The Dolphins may be lousy, but at least they’re resilient. And no one will convince quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick the team wants to tank, even though he wasn’t good on the road against the lowly Jets.

Late calls on the field might be safe to blame this time.

Previous: . Detroit Lions. 29. team. 50. . 3-9-1

L, 20-7 @ Vikings

Quarterback David Blough being under center again meant the Lions weren’t going to have much of a chance to play road spoilers against the Vikings, who picked him off twice and held him to a 24-of-40 mark through the air.

Lots of questions for Detroit this offseason.

. 3-9-1. Previous: . Arizona Cardinals. 28. team. 32

L, 23-17 vs. Steelers

It looks like the Cardinals’ hopeful surge is coming to a close, as quarterback Kyler Murray was picked off three times and looked more like a rookie than an up-and-coming star.

Arizona’s defense let Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges be effective on the road, which isn’t a good look.

Washington Commanders. 27. team. 58. . 3-10. Previous:

L, 20-15 @ Packers

Give some credit to rookie Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins for making some plays in the cold up in Green Bay in Week 14, which boosts Washington slightly in our NFL power rankings.

Running back Derrius Guice suffered an apparent MCL sprain, which stinks and he’ll likely be shut down for the rest of the season to prepare for 2020.

52. . 4-9. Previous: . Jacksonville Jaguars. 26. team

L, 45-10 vs. Chargers

Boy, what an ugly home loss to the Jaguars, who are en route to their seventh double-digit loss season in the last nine years. Perhaps Jacksonville should have game planned against Chargers running back Austin Ekeler. That might have been a good idea, and head coach Doug Marrone is feeling the heat on his seat.

A two-spot fall for the Jags in our NFL power rankings.

. 5-8. Previous: . New York Jets. 25. team. 30

W, 22-21 vs. Dolphins

Wide receiver Robby Anderson was about the only bit of excitement in this otherwise-meaningless contest between the Jets and Dolphins, which only influences the jockeying for NFL Draft positioning.

How about game-winning field goals, though?

44. . 4-9. Previous: . Atlanta Falcons. 24. team

W, 40-20 vs. Panthers

This was the kind of performance Falcons fans had been hoping from their team all season long.

Too bad it’s yet another example of “too little, too late,” although any late-year surge could help head coach Dan Quinn save his already precarious hold on his job.

Atlanta will look to spoil the 49ers playoff plans on the road next week.

87. . 5-8. Previous: . Carolina Panthers. 23. team

L, 40-20 @ Falcons

Interim head coach Perry Fewell’s debut with the Panthers certainly didn’t go well in the wake of Ron Rivera’s firing.

light. Related Story. Panthers fire Ron Rivera, these 3 coaches could be next to go

Outside of running back Christian McCaffrey, Carolina was completely outclassed. Quarterback Kyle Allen looked awful, which might convince the Panthers to think twice about trying to trade Cam Newton this offseason.

22. team. 54. . 6-7. Previous: . Philadelphia Eagles

W, 23-17 vs. Giants

The Eagles kept their strangely intact playoff hopes alive by pulling off an ugly come-from-behind win over the Giants.

Philly is missing its offensive weapons, for sure, but at least the Cowboys are struggling in a bad way. If the Eagles win out, they’ll represent the lowly NFC East in the playoffs.


team. 45. . 5-8. Previous: . Denver Broncos. 21

W, 38-24 @ Texans

Wow, what a win for the Broncos, who haven’t had much to cheer about this season. Playing the spoiler role on the road against a surging Texans team wasn’t going to be easy, but someone forgot to tell that to rookie quarterback Drew Lock, whose three touchdowns were impressive. Could he finally be the answer for general manager John Elway finally?

Nice climb for the Broncos in our NFL power rankings.