NFL Power Rankings, Week 14: 49ers Inch Up With Clinching, Raiders Struggling

Week 13 of the 2011 NFL season has come to a close, which means it is once again time for weekly power rankings. The week 14 power rankings do not feature a ton of change at the top or bottom, but much of the middle is churning around. The Broncos, Titans, and Cardinals all pulled off some solid victories to get some juice in the rankings.

I moved the 49ers up a notch from No. 6 to No. 5 and dropped the Patriots from No. 3 to No. 6. In reality, spots two through six are virtually interchangeable at this point. Well, almost all of them. Baltimore's sweep of Pittsburgh keeps them ahead of the Steelers barring a four game losing streak to end the season. Baltimore beat San Francisco and Pittsburgh beat New England, but if you match them up on a neutral field, both teams could easily win those games.

I dropped the Raiders from No. 10 to No. 12, and could have been justified dropping them further. They didn't fall further in part because of the host of losses around them. The Raiders have managed to keep winning in spite of their injury issues, but they finally ran out of gas in Miami against the Dolphins. The road only gets more difficult as they have to travel north to Green Bay to face the undefeated Packers. With the Broncos evening things up in the division and hosting a weakened Chicago in Week 14, the Broncos could be in sole possession of first place a week from today.

On to the Week 14 NFL Power Rankings (previous week in parenthesis). As always, feel free to tweet your disagreements to @sbnbayarea:

1. (1) Green Bay Packers (12-0)
2. (2) New Orleans Saints (9-3)
3. (4) Baltimore Ravens (9-3)
4. (5) Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3)
5. (6) San Francisco 49ers (10-2)
6. (3) New England Patriots (9-3)
7. (8) Houston Texans (9-3)
8. (7) Atlanta Falcons (7-5)
9. (13) Denver Broncos (7-5)
10. (9) Dallas Cowboys (7-5)
11. (16) Tennessee Titans (7-5)
12. (10) Oakland Raiders (7-5)
13. (11) Chicago Bears (7-5)
14. (17) New York Jets (7-5)
15. (15) New York Giants (6-6)
16. (12) Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)
17. (14) Detroit Lions (7-5)
18. (20) San Diego Chargers (5-7)
19. (21) Miami Dolphins (4-8)
20. (18) Philadelphia Eagles (4-8)
21. (19) Buffalo Bills (5-7)
22. (25) Carolina Panthers (4-8)
23. (28) Arizona Cardinals (5-7)
24. (22) Cleveland Browns (4-8)
25. (27) Seattle Seahawks (5-7)
26. (23) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-8)
27. (24) Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9)
28. (29) Kansas City Chiefs (5-7)
29. (26) Washington Redskins (4-8)
30. (30) Minnesota Vikings (2-10)
31. (31) St. Louis Rams (2-10)
32. (32) Indianapolis Colts (0-12)

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