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NFL Power Rankings Week 15: 49ers, Raiders Continue Up and Down Seasons

The Bay Area's NFL teams continued their wildly inconsistent seasons with some fairly explosive games. The Oakland Raiders took an early ten point lead but could not hold on in falling 38-31 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. One the other end of the spectrum, the San Francisco 49ers demolished the Seattle Seahawks 40-21 in a game that really was not as close as the score would indicate.

Although the Raiders loss hurts their playoff chances, it's not what one would qualify as a "bad loss" as going on the road to Jacksonville for an early game is not exactly a piece of cake. As for the 49ers, their win was huge in getting them back into the playoff chase from the brink of elimination, but it remains to be seen what can be taken from the game. The 49ers did handle the Seahawks with ease, but much of that was due to some horrendous miscues by the Seahawks and Matt Hasselbeck in particular. One could argue that Hasselbeck single-handedly lost this game for Seattle. Given that, I wouldn't expect either team to have too drastic a swing in their rankings following yesterday's results.

Sunday's results around the league were a mixed bag that allowed a few teams to assert their dominance. The Patriots and Steelers would appear to be the class of the AFC as the Jets continue to stumble and the Ravens remain a bit of a mystery. The NFC is dominated by its Southern division as the Falcons and Saints are pulling away from Tampa Bay and the wild card race. The NFC North is a close second with the Eagles handling their business on the road against Dallas. The Giants play tonight, and if they can beat Minnesota in Detroit they'll have a leg up on the Packers and Bucs for the second wild card spot.