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NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: New-look Rams have potential

Baker Mayfield gives Rams more optimism with four games left

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams ended their six-game losing streak in dramatic fashion, scoring a go-ahead touchdown with 0:10 left to upset the Las Vegas Raiders at home. With Baker Mayfield under center, the Rams looked re-energized on offense. Sean McVay and the offense still have kinks to work out, but this 2022 team does not lack the potential to end the season on a strong note.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (Change: N/A)

Philadelphia’s run game overwhelmed another opponent, this time the Giants were the recipient. It amazes me how the league has yet to focus on countering with defensive schemes to slow down the Eagles. It might take a great one-time performance from a team like San Francisco or Dallas.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (Change: N/A)

Patrick Mahomes threw three interceptions to the Broncos secondary. But he also created plays like this...

I still think Kansas City is the AFC favorite and fully expect Mahomes to make it to another Super Bowl.

3. Dallas Cowboys (Change: N/A)

Dallas was almost taken down by the Houston Texans in a narrow 27-23 victory. Dak Prescott did not play mistake free football, throwing two interceptions. They need him to play better at the quarterback position to survive and advance in January.

4. Cincinnati Bengals (Change: N/A)

Burrow and the Bengals are 9-4 and a tiebreaker away from being the #3 seed. However, they will need to navigate a tough four-game stretch to end the season, facing TB, NE, BUF, and BAL. What people may not know about Cincinatti is that they have a solid defense that is getting stronger with each passing week.

5. San Francisco 49ers (Change: N/A)

The 49ers smacked Tampa Bay with their third-string quarterback. The defense held Tom Brady and the Bucs to seven points and just 4-16 on third down. The 49ers are the NFL’s hottest team. Could San Francisco be better with Purdy instead of Garoppolo or Lance?

6. Buffalo Bills (Change: +1)

7. Baltimore Ravens (Change: +4)

8. Minnesota Vikings (Change: -2)

9. Miami Dolphins (Change: -1)

10. Tennessee Titans (Change: -1)

11. New York Jets (Change: -1)

12. Washington Commanders (Change: +1)

13. Detroit Lions (Change: +5)

Look at Detroit! A top-15 team! I don’t see any reasons they should not be. Taking down the Minnesota Vikings in impressive fashion should give the fanbase confidence that 2023 could be a year where Detroit has aspirations to win the division.

14. New York Giants (Change: -2)

15. New England Patriots (Change: -1)

16. Green Bay Packers (Change: +1)

17. Los Angeles Chargers (Change: +4)

18. Seattle Seahawks (Change: -2)

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Change: -4)

20. Atlanta Falcons (Change: N/A)

21. Los Angeles Rams (Change: +5)

It took only 48 hours for the excitement of Baker Mayfield to engulf the city of Los Angeles. The recent waiver claim lifted LA to their first win since mid-October. The offense even showed significant positives despite Mayfield’s limited knowledge of the playbook. I do see a scenario where Los Angeles finishes the season 8-9. Their remaining schedule is GB, DEN, LAC, and SEA.

The next four games will determine a lot. Will LA want to bring back Mayfield for next year? Is there a scenario where Stafford retires and LA turns to Mayfield as QB1?

22. Jacksonville Jaguars (Change: +3)

23. Carolina Panthers (Change: +4)

24. Arizona Cardinals (Change: -5)

25. Cleveland Browns (Change: -3)

26. Pittsburgh Steelers (Change: -2)

27. New Orleans Saints (Change: +1)

28. Las Vegas Raiders (Change: -5)

I definitely echo Richard Sherman’s thoughts: “why did the defensive coordinator have the secondary in press-coverage with 0:15 remaining?”

29. Indianapolis Colts (Change: N/A)

30. Chicago Bears (Change: N/A)

31. Denver Broncos (Change: N/A)

32. Houston Texans (Change: N/A)