NFL power rankings: Next victim?
DEC 24, 2013 2:59p ET
Brian Billick is an acclaimed NFL game analyst for FOX Sports and a Super Bowl-winning coach.
1 49ers 11-4 +1
They don't have the best record and may not even win their own division, but the 49ers have the longest active winning streak and have won 10 of their last 12. I like them moving forward.
2 Broncos 12-3 +1
The Broncos' 572 points scored this season are the most ever for a team after 15 games, and they are going to have to continue that pace in the playoffs with their leaky defense â particularly without Von Miller for the duration.
3 Panthers 11-4 +1
The Panthers have clinched their first playoff appearance since they won the NFC South in 2008. With one more win, they will once again win the South and secure a first-round bye.
4 Seahawks 12-3 -3
The Seahawks have lost two of their last three . . . this Sunday's loss being their first at home since 2011, which is remarkable.
5 Patriots 11-4 +2
Tom Brady tied Dan Marino with the fourth-most wins for a starting QB since 1950 and Bill Belichick is currently 101 games above .500. This team just wins. Plain and simple.
6 Saints 10-5 -1
With the loss to the Panthers, the Saints can now miss the playoffs altogether with a loss and a Cardinals win in Week 17. Losing Kenny Vaccaro is going to have a major impact on this much-improved defense.
7 Bengals 10-5 +1
The Bengals are a perfect 7-0 at home this season and have scored 40-plus in each of their last four games played in Cincinnati. They are going to be a very tough out in the playoffs.
8 Chiefs 11-4 -2
Forget the offense, itâs the defense (once thought to be the best in the NFL) that is this team's Achilles heel heading into the playoffs. They are surrendering 27.8 points over the last six weeks.
9 Cardinals 10-5
The Cardinals could very well win next week and still miss the playoffs. They would be just the second 11-5 team to miss the playoffs since the NFL expanded to the 12-team format in 1990.
10 Colts 10-5
It looks as if the Colts will be hosting the Chiefs in the wild-card round of the playoffs, but beating them this weekend isn't necessarily good news. Teams that won the regular-season matchup played in Weeks 16 or 17 are just 15-16 in the postseason rematch.
11 Chargers 8-7 +2
Even if they don't make the playoffs, I'm not sure there is another team in the NFL that has done more with less than the Chargers this season.
12 Eagles 9-6 +4
With a win next week, the Eagles will barely slide into the playoffs. But I promise you, no one wants to face this team in the postseason. They are way too explosive.
13 Ravens 8-7 -2
The Ravens have now scored just one touchdown in the past two games. I've been there before!
14 Dolphins 8-7 -2
Of course QB Ryan Tannehill was briefly knocked out of last week's game with a knee injury . . . he was sacked seven times. That's 58 for the season . . . 58!
15 Cowboys 8-7 +3
It will be interesting to watch the fans go crawling back to Tony Romo once they see what life is like without him.
16 Bears 8-7 -2
To start Jay Cutler or to sit Jay Cutler . . . this is the question. For everyone but Marc Trestman.
17 Steelers 7-8 +2
It's a total long shot, but the Steelers still have a shot at the playoffs. All they need are losses from the Ravens, Dolphins, Chargers and a partridge in a pear tree!
18 Packers 7-7-1 -1
Paging Aaron Rodgers . . .
19 Rams 7-8 +1
The Rams are young and very explosive, and this team is on the verge of busting out. They will only get better with two first-round picks this offseason, one of which looks to be the second overall as their compensation for the RG3 swap.
20 Lions 7-8 -5
What a tragic collapse in Detroit . . . and I'm just talking about the football team.
21 Jets 7-8 +2
I love the way Rex Ryan can motivate his teams, even if it is telling them that he is going to get fired. Blaming him for Geno Smith would just be making him the scapegoat, and that shouldn't be on him.
22 Vikings 4-10-1 -1
The Vikings have now lost 10 or more games in three of the past four seasons. This is a young team with a lot of talent, but must find a consistent solution at the quarterback position to actually pull it all together.
23 Bills 6-9 +4
The Bills have beaten the Dolphins in three of their last four meetings . . . this time with a third-string quarterback.
24 Giants 6-9 +1
Albeit in a win, Eli Manning's one interception on Sunday broke his own franchise record for interceptions thrown in a single season.
25 Falcons 4-11 11
Sometimes the ball just doesn't bounce in your favor.
26 Titans 6-9 -4
Chris Johnson has very quietly placed himself in position to have his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season. By doing so, he would tie Eddie George and Tony Dorsett for sixth place for the most consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to begin a career. That's pretty good company.
27 Raiders 4-11 +1
The Raiders have 11 straight seasons without a winning record, the longest streak in the NFL.
28 Buccaneers 4-11 -2
Well, at least Mike Glennon didn't throw a pick â his first game without doing so since Week 12 after throwing only two in the seven weeks before that.
29 Jaguars 4-11
The Jaguars are now 1-7 at home this season and just 2-14 in Jacksonville since the beginning of 2012.
30 Browns 4-11
The Browns have lost three straight home games and are now officially eliminated from the playoffs.
31 Redskins 3-12
32 Texans 2-13
Houston has extended its franchise worst 13-game losing streak and are still one game ahead of the Redskins in the race for the No. 1 overall draft pick.