NFL Power Rankings: 2008 Week 14 Edition

Updated: December 3, 2008, 2:27 PM ET
ESPN.com
Week:

The New York Giants and Tennessee Titans retain the No. 1 and 2 spots, respectively, in the latest ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings.

The league's pair of 11-1 teams passed Week 13 tests easily and gave our panel of experts little cause for pause in the weekly poll. The Giants, seemingly undeterred by anything Plaxico Burress does, could solidify their standing atop the poll by defeating the seemingly rejuvenated Philadelphia Eagles in Week 14. Should the Giants falter, however, the Titans could vault ahead of them in the next poll if they dispatch the quarterback-thin Cleveland Browns, as expected.

The real Week 14 tests involve the rest of the top 5.

The No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers are hosts to the No. 8 Dallas Cowboys. This revival of the classic Super Bowl rivalry should provide a litmus test for the Cowboys, resurgent behind Tony Romo 's return to the lineup.

The Carolina Panthers re-entered the top 5 on the strength of their thrilling 35-31 victory over the host Green Bay Packers. The Panthers, up two spots to No. 5, play host to the No. 4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the next edition of ESPN's "Monday Night Football" (8:30 ET). The No. 4 Bucs survived a visit from the New Orleans Saints in Week 13 and now face another NFC South showdown with a trip to Charlotte, N.C. -- this time with first place in the division on the line.

ESPN.com's Power Rankings
The rankings were determined by a poll of ESPN.com's NFL staff: writers John Clayton, Jeffri Chadiha, Tim Graham, Matt Mosley, James Walker, Kevin Seifert, Paul Kuharsky, Pat Yasinskas, Bill Williamson and Mike Sando, and Scouts Inc. Insiders Jeremy Green and Matt Williamson.


Apparently a top-5 ranking was too much, too soon for the New York Jets. They dropped four places to No. 7 overall thanks to their 17-point loss at home to the Denver Broncos. The Chicago Bears (from No. 15 to No. 19) also dropped four rungs in the wake of a rout by the Minnesota Vikings.

On the strength of their upset victory in the Meadowlands, the Broncos enjoyed the biggest boost in the poll. Denver vaulted five spots from No. 19 to No. 14. The Kansas City Chiefs were the other big movers, leaping four spots from No. 31 to a virtual tie with the Oakland Raiders at No. 27. The Chiefs were awarded the berth in wake of their 20-13 Week 13 victory at Oakland.

The winless Detroit Lions remained mired at the bottom of the survey at No. 32.

• Rank 'em | Our voting | Zoom Gallery | Watch: Blogger's Blitz NFC East

• Football Today: Green | Week 14 Pick 'em | Rate your coach

(Editor's note: LW indicates each team's ranking last week.)

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