Only two weeks left to go in the NFL season prior to the playoffs hitting, and for NFL fans, there’s not likely a better time of the year.  Here at GuysNation, I’ve taken everything we’ve seen thus far in the NFL and tried to wrap it all up and put a bow on it (or in some teams cases, tie a lump of coal to it).  I’ve taken the outcomes for each of the games which have transpired, factored in the strength of opponent, location of the game as well as the margin by which the game was decided in order to find a way to rank each of the 32 teams in the NFL.

This is a very subjective process, and while I’ve provided some of the logic, I realize that these rankings aren’t perfect, and I welcome people’s opinions.

32 – Carolina Panthers (2-12) No Change from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 1 since Week 7 with a record of 2-7 since then)

Beating Arizona is nice, but this isn’t some tournament. You don’t get ranked ahead of someone just because you defeated them, especially when they had to cross the country to get there to even play the game. The wins on the Cardinals resume are far better than what Carolina has achieved.

31 – Denver Broncos (3-11) Dropped 1 from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 11 since Week 7 with a record of 1-7 since then)

Losing to the Oakland Raiders yet again by a significant margin just doesn’t look good.  At least now they’ve settled in with their decision at quarterback.  Whether or not they chose the right guy (Tebow over Orton) is a question yet to be answered.

30 – Cincinnati Bengals (3-11) Climbed 1 from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 11 since Week 7 with a record of 1-8 since then)

Sure, they beat Cleveland, but at home you have to win by more than two points to have the win mean anything more than a notch in the victory column.

29 – Arizona Cardinals (4-10) No Change from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 15 since Week 7 with a record of 1-8 since then)

Losing to the Panthers is a bad thing, but with a rookie quarterback in his first road start?  Not terrible.

28 – Minnesota Vikings (5-9) Dropped 5 from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 5 since Week 7 with a record of 3-6 since then)

Even though the game wasn’t played at the Vikings’ regular home field, it was played in Minnesota and the Viking fans got the first dibs at tickets and had a shorter distance to travel.  Against divisional opponents you can’t let the game end up that lopsided.

27 – Tennessee Titans (6-8) Climbed 1 from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 16 since Week 7 with a record of 2-6 since then)

Beating the Texans in a home game is a good way to get the Titans back on track for the final two games of the season.

26 – Washington Redskins (5-9) Dropped 2 from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 13 since Week 7 with a record of 2-6 since then)

The comeback might have fallen short, but it was more impressive than most people thought could happen with Rex Grossman under center.  Still, Washington is just in the 5 win club, which is NOT elite company.

25 – San Francisco 49ers (5-9) Dropped 5 from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 4 since Week 7 with a record of 4-4 since then)

I realize the Chargers are one of the better teams, but the big margin in outcome was just bad and it would’ve been worse if Bryan Westbrook hadn’t found pay dirt late in the contest.  The drop in rank has a lot to do with other teams taking steps forward either through wins or losses by narrow margins.

24 – Cleveland Browns (5-9) Dropped 6 from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 6 since Week 7 with a record of 4-4 since then)

Losing to the Bengals by 2 in Cincinnati is an acceptible outcome for a divisional game, though it’s still a loss.  I’m definitely losing faith in the Browns.

23 – Houston Texans (5-9) Dropped 2 from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 6 since Week 7 with a record of 1-7 since then)

Their three game losing streak looks even worse when you consider that they just lost to the only team they’ve beaten in the past 8 games.

22 – Detroit Lions (4-10) Climbed 5 from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 2 since Week 7 with a record of 3-5 since then)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have racked up their wins against very weak teams, and the fact that the Lions were able to pick up the victory, in Florida, speaks to what the Buccaneers and Lions are both capable of doing.

21 – Dallas Cowboys (5-9) Climbed 4 from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 6 since Week 7 with a record of 4-5 since then)

The Cowboys might have beaten their divisional rivals, but they only won by 3, in Texas, and they allowed a big comeback by Washington late in the game.

20 – Seattle Seahawks (6-8) Climbed 2 from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 8 since Week 7 with a record of 3-6 since then)

The only thing wrong with a loss to the Falcons is the fact that the game was played in Seattle… and the significant margin of victory by Atlanta

19 – St. Louis Rams (6-8) No Change from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 6 since Week 7 with a record of 3-5 since then)

The Chiefs are a fairly good team, and the Rams are just below average.

18 – Buffalo Bills (4-10) Climbed 8 from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 14 since Week 7 with a record of 4-5 since then)

I continue to be far too generous with the Buffalo Bills, but at least this week they got a quality win – on the road against a divisional opponent.

17 – Jacksonville Jaguars (8-6) Dropped 2 from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 1 since Week 7 with a record of 5-3 since then)

The loss to the Colts probably killed their potential for getting into the playoffs.  Road games in the division are acceptable losses, even if they do keep you from the post season.

16 – Miami Dolphins (7-7) Dropped 2 from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 5 since Week 7 with a record of 4-5 since then)

Losing to Buffalo at home?  That’s not a good thing, though it’s easier to take when considering what the Bills have been capable of this season, often in close losing efforts.

15 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6) Dropped 3 from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 7 since Week 7 with a record of 5-4 since then)

Losing to Detroit when the Lions come to Florida?  The outcome was only decided by 3 points, but Detroit only had 3 wins at the time.

14 – Indianapolis Colts (8-6) Climbed 2 from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 4 since Week 7 with a record of 4-4 since then)

The Colts keep themselves in the playoff hunt with a win here.  A loss would’ve taken them totally out of the running for the post season.

13 – Oakland Raiders (7-7) Climbed 4 from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 13 since Week 7 with a record of 5-3 since then)

The big win over the Broncos puts the Raiders into position for the sweep of the AFC West this season.   They’ve done well in their past 8 games, but they’ve still lost as many as they’ve won.

12 – Kansas City Chiefs (9-5) Climbed 1 from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 5 since Week 7 with a record of 6-3 since then)

Beating a below average team on the road still puts a notch in the win column.  Dropping out of the top 10 even while winning two-thirds of their games since Week 7 is due in part to initially being ranked too highly and other teams establishing themselves into the top spots.

11 – San Diego Chargers (8-6) No Change from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 11 since Week 7 with a record of 6-2 since then)

San Diego looked fairly dominant in the opening game of Week 15 and nearly got a shut-out.  Their road to get to the playoffs could be tough, but they could be a tough team to beat if they get there.

10 – New York Giants (9-5) Dropped 3 from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 2 since Week 7 with a record of 5-3 since then)

Losing to the Eagles on the last play of the game was likely demoralizing, but it wasn’t the worst loss ever.  It was played on the Giants home field, so that’s unfortunate for them, especially because it might mean they don’t make the post season, but they don’t drop too far because the Eagles are a good team and it was the final play of the game which swung the outcome in favor of the Birds.

9 – Chicago Bears (10-4) Climbed 1 from Week 15 Rank
(No change from Week 7, with a record of 6-2 since then)

The Vikings aren’t a good team, but this was a divisional road game for the Bears, and they got the big win to make up for the Week 14 loss to the Patriots.  Having just narrowly beaten the Lions in Detroit in Week 13, there was always a chance things could’ve gone south for Chicago.

8 – New York Jets (10-4) Climbed 1 from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 6 since Week 7 with a record of 5-3 since then)

Beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh is a very good notch on the Jets resume.  Given the rest of their outcomes, I can’t say that the Jets’ outcomes look as good as Pittsburgh’s.

7 – Green Bay Packers (8-6) Dropped 1 from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 1 since Week 7 with a record of 5-3 since then)

Given the inury to Aaron Rodgers, I really thought the Packers were going to lose to the Patriots by more, especially with the game played in Massachusetts, but Matt Flynn did far better than expected, and this speaks very highly of what the Packers are capable of doing.

6 – Philadelphia Eagles (10-4) Climbed 2 from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 10 since Week 7 with a record of 6-2 since then)

Sure, the Eagles beat the Giants in the New Meadowlands, but it came down to the last play and it was a lucky one at that.  Still, they’re in the 10 win club, and very likely the playoffs.

5 – New Orleans Saints (10-4) No Change from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 10 since Week 7 with a record of 6-2 since then)

There’s no shame in losing to the Ravens in Baltimore by less than a touchdown.  The reigning Super Bowl champions look to be returning to form.

4 – Pittsburgh Steelers (10-4) Dropped 1 from Week 15 Rank
(No change from Week 7, with a record of 6-3 since then)

Losing to the Jets in Pittsburgh should’ve probably dropped the Steelers further down the list, but when you compare what they’ve each accomplished, the teams they’ve beaten, and the outcomes, I just can’t find any reason to swap these two teams.

3 – Baltimore Ravens (10-4) Climbed 1 from Week 15 Rank
(Dropping 2 since Week 7 with a record of 6-2 since then)

Beating the 10-win New Orleans Saints is a very good thing for the Ravens to have on their resume, as it helps set them apart from some of the other 10 win club teams.

2 – Atlanta Falcons (12-2) No Change from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 1 since Week 7 with a record of 8-0 since then)

Traveling to the west coast to play Seattle isn’t an easy task for an east coast team, but the Falcons got a lopsided victory over the Seahawks.  The outcome isn’t nearly enough to put them ahead of the Patriots for the top spot, partially because the Patriots beat another high ranked team this week and Seattle isn’t even in the top half of the league.

1 – New England Patriots (12-2) No Change from Week 15 Rank
(Climbing 4 since Week 7 with a record of 8-1 since then)

The close game against the Packers helps keep the Patriots in the top spot for the sixth straight game, and it’s getting more and more likely that they’ll keep this spot even as the regular season ends.

Disagree?  Let me know.  Like some of my logic or have some of your own to add?  We welcome it.  That’s what the comments section is for!