NFL power rankings

By Brian Billick

Brian Billick is an acclaimed NFL game analyst for FOX Sports and a Super Bowl-winning coach.

The 49ers take a tumble after losing to the Rams, opening the door for the Texans to climb back into the top spot. I’ve got a line on who’s hot and who’s not going into Week 14.

1 Texans 11-1 +1

The Texans’ win on Sunday clinched the franchise’s second playoff appearance and set the record for most wins in franchise history.

2 Broncos 9-3 +1

With their win on Sunday, the Broncos clinched the AFC West, and it is the first time the Broncos have won back-to-back division titles since 1986-87. Just another day at the office for Peyton Manning …

3 Falcons 11-1 +1

The Falcons tore a monkey off their backs on Sunday as they snapped a four-game losing streak to the Saints, the only team to beat them this year. The next monkey they will rip off? A playoff win.

4 Patriots 9-3 +1

The Patriots have now secured the AFC East championship, their fourth in a row and ninth in the last 10 seasons. They are starting to look like the championship-caliber team we have been expecting to see.

5 49ers 8-3-1 -4

Colin Kaepernick’s 292 yards of total offense is far from a terrible outing, but when you are the starting quarterback on a team with a quarterback controversy, every mistake will be exacerbated, especially taking a safety and throwing an errant pitch.

6 Packers 8-4 +3

This season is reminiscent of the Packers’ Super Bowl championship team in regards to overcoming injuries and getting healthy at the right time. Greg Jennings played his first game since Week 4 and Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson are on the verge of returning, but most importantly, they need to get healthy along the offensive line.

7 Ravens 9-3 -1

It shouldn’t be surprising that the Ravens and the Steelers came down to the last second, as eight of Baltimore’s last 11 games have been decided by three points or less, but it should be somewhat concerning that the Steelers won with a third-string quarterback.

8 Seahawks 7-5 +6

The Seahawks finally got the impressive road win they were looking for … it might be time to start to take these guys seriously. Unfortunately for them, they could lose half of their NFL best defensive secondary to suspension come playoff time.

9 Bengals 7-5 +1

The Bengals have followed up a four-game losing streak with a four-game winning streak and are now as hot as any team in the AFC.

10 Bears 8-4 -3

When the Bears are on, they are on. But when they are off, they are really off. In the Bears’ four losses, they have averaged 10 points per game while giving up more than 22.

11 Steelers 7-5 +1

The Steelers are more deserving than the 11th spot on this list, but until they return a healthy Ben Roethlisberger, they will continue to slide.

12 Giants 7-5 -4

The Giants still lead the division with a 7-5 record, but the Redskins and Cowboys are breathing down their necks at 6-6.

13 Colts 8-4

There is something special about Andrew Luck, and the comeback win over the Lions is just another highlight of a very impressive rookie season.

14 Redskins 6-6 +2

The Redskins are now the first team in NFL history to have a rookie quarterback with 2,000 yards through the air and a rookie running back with 1,000 yards on the ground.

15 Buccaneers 6-6 -4

Doug Martin has now been held under 60 yards in two straight games … both losses.

16 Cowboys 6-6 +2

Hard to believe, but with his third-quarter touchdown pass on Sunday, Tony Romo surpassed Troy Aikman as the franchise leader in passing touchdowns.

17 Rams 5-6-1 +5

Last season, the Rams were 0-6 in the division, but this year, Jeff Fisher hasn’t lost a single divisional game at 4-0-1.

18 Saints 5-7 -3

The Saints are still alive in the NFC wild-card race, but will need to win out just to go 9-7, and only 10 of the 40 wild-card teams in NFL history have made the playoffs at 9-7.

19 Vikings 6-6 -2

To reach 2,000 yards on the ground, Adrian Peterson needs to average more than 138 per game over the next four games. He is currently averaging 157.8 over his last six.

20 Browns 4-8 +1

The Browns snapped a 12-game road losing streak and got their first road victory since Week 2 of last season. Too bad it was against the Raiders…

21 Dolphins 5-7 -1

Ryan Tannehill has outplayed my expectations, but the truth of it is that the Dolphins failed for reach 200 yards passing for the seventh time this season on Sunday. They need more productivity out of the passing game moving into next season.

22 Lions 4-8 -3

The Lions have lost four straight games and at 4-8 it is now impossible to finish the year with a winning record. The Lions haven’t had back-to-back winning seasons since 1994-95.

23 Bills 5-7 +1

Ryan Fitzpatrick only threw for 112 yards and C.J. Spiller failed to gain 100 yards from scrimmage for the first time since Week 5 … and they won?

24 Chargers 4-8 +3

The Chargers forced three turnovers but were only able to turn them into seven points and have now lost four straight and seven of their last eight games.

25 Jets 5-7 -2

Mark Sanchez was benched in favor of … Greg McElroy.

26 Cardinals 4-8 -1

The Cardinals are the only team that has a worse situation at the quarterback position than the Jets.

27 Titans 4-8 +2

The Titans turned the ball over six times and forced none of their own. Losing the turnover battle by -6 isn’t going to win you any games.

28 Jaguars 2-10

The Jaguars converted just one of 10 third downs and with their loss, they have now officially been eliminated from the playoffs.

29 Chiefs 2-10 +3

At eight games, the Chiefs snapped the second-longest active losing streak in the NFL with the win over the Panthers on Sunday. They scored touchdowns on all three of their trips into the red zone and converted 43 percent of their third downs. Quite possible Brady Quinn’s best game as a pro.

30 Eagles 3-9

The last time the Eagles lost eight consecutive games in a single season was in 1968. Nick Foles will get the rest of the year to prove he can be a starting quarterback in this league.

31 Panthers 3-9 -5

Cam Newton threw three touchdown passes for the first time this season and the third time in his career. Newton is showing flashes of the brilliance we saw as a rookie, but it is clear this team needs to find him a lot of help.

32 Raiders 3-9 -1

The Raiders only allowed 20 points to the Browns … an improvement over the 34-plus points they had allowed in the previous four games.