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Week 15 NFL Power Rankings

Very late to the party on this, but I think it was fine Ben Roethlisberger played on Monday. My understanding of his injured ankle is that there is no structural damage, it just hurts like hell, and he wasn’t likely to hurt it worse by playing. The possibility did exist for him to hurt it more — the difference being he would feel more pain but wouldn’t necessarily worsen the injury. Had he hurt it more and been forced to miss weeks 16 and 17, who cares? The Steelers should be able to beat the Rams and Browns with Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon. There was no way they could have beaten the 49ers with Batch or Dixon. To me it was worth the risk to potentially secure a week off and two home playoff games than to basically give up and accept no week off and three road playoff games. That’s a huge difference for a team that’s beaten up and has a 6-1 home record to a 4-3 road record.

That said, it sort of goes against what Mike Tomlin always seems to preach, which is, “Just get into the tournament.” On Sunday while on a plane to San Francisco the Steelers got themselves into the tournament thanks to the Colts somehow defeating the Titans. With that being the case I figured Tomlin would bench Roethlisberger. Although the more I think about it the more I’m unconvinced that Mike Tomlin has the final word on anything Roethlisberger does.

As for the game itself, the Steelers turned the ball over four times and didn’t sack Alex Smith once (he’d been sacked something like 13 times in the previous two games). Shaun Suisham missed a field goal and 49er punter Andy Lee has a leg made out of C4 that is also somehow as accurate as a sniper rifle that managed to pin the Steelers inside their own 15 yard line all night. Aside from this the Steelers played a pretty decent game. They outgained the 49ers significantly, the defense was spectacular on third down. But every time they had a chance to put some points on the board they squandered the opportunity, and the 49ers are making a living this season on capitalizing on opponent miscues.

So we’re all freaking out, man, that the Steelers will likely be the five seed. But I’m not willing to give up on the Ravens ineptitude that quickly. And there is a really good chance the Bengals will be playing for their playoff lives week 17 when Baltimore heads to Cincinnati. I love the idea of the Ravens choking that one away and possibly having to travel cross country again to San Diego for round one while the Steelers get to rest. Of course for the Steelers to get a bye the Texans would have to lose one more game as well, and with games against the Colts tonight and the Titans in week 17 that doesn’t seem too likely. But anything is possible, T.J. Yates.

****

Because the Steelers are the best team in the world ever, any team that beats them automatically gets to be number one in the Power Rankings. Except the Ravens. Pittsburgh Sports Cuts does not recognize credit hours from Ball So Hard University.

BIGGEST MOVERS:

  • Up: Eagles (19 to 15) and Panthers (25 to 21)
  • Down: Jets (9 to 13) and Jaguars (21 to 25)

 TEAM

LAST_WEEK

RECORD

RANKINGS_INDEX

1.

49ers

 3

(.7110)

 11-3

.6933

2.

Packers

 2

(.6928)

 13-1

.6778

3.

Texans

 1

(.7177)

10-4

.6636

4.

Ravens

4

 (.6803)

 10-4

.6265

5.

Saints

6

(.6119)

 11-3

 .6224

6.

Steelers

5

(.6551)

 10-4

 .6161

7.

Patriots

 7

(.5945)

 11-3

 .6047

8.

Falcons

10

 (.5407)

 9-5

 .5682

9.

Lions

8

(.5724)

 9-5

 .5631

10.

Cowboys

 11

(.5395)

 8-6

 .5486

11.

Chargers

 14

(.4891)

 7-7

 .5116

12.

Bengals

12

  (.5139)

 8-6

 .5099

13.

Jets

9

 (.5466)

 8-6

 .5034

14.

Seahawks

16

(.4595)

 7-7

 .4903

15.

Eagles

19

 (.4479)

 6-8

 .4752

16.

Bears

13

(.5124)

 7-7

 .4709

17.

Titans

15

(.4852)

 7-7

 .4531

18.

Giants

17

 (.4516)

 7-7

 .4312

19.

Dolphins

20

 (.4205)

 5-9

  .4259

20.

Broncos

18

 (.4512)

 8-6

 .4159

21.

Panthers

25

(38247)

 5-9

 .4076

22.

Raiders

22

 (.4172)

 7-7

 .4013

23.

Cardinals

24

 (.3867)

 7-7

 .3960

24.

Redskins

27

 (.3591)

 5-9

 .3895

25.

Jaguars

21

 (.4174)

4-10

 .3741

26.

Bills

23

 (.3915)

5-9

 .3715

27.

Chiefs

28

 (.3435)

6-8

 .3660

28.

Browns

26

(.3813)

4-10

 .3656

29.

Vikings

29

 (.3145)

 2-12

 .2837

30.

Buccaneers

30

 (.2785)

 4-10

 .2595

31.

Rams

31

 (.2440)

 2-12

 .2465

32.

Colts

31
(.1459)
 1-13  .1777
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