NFL Power Rankings

John Arlia
Last Updated: Dec 14, 2023

There are four weeks remaining in the 2023 NFL season, and still much remains to be decided over the final month.

However, the San Francisco 49ers became the first team to clinch a playoff berth with their victory last week, while two teams at the bottom of the standings have already been eliminated from postseason contention.

Here are my latest NFL power rankings as we head into the season’s final stretch.

2023 NFL Power Rankings

32. Carolina Panthers (1-12)

Having the worst record in the NFL wouldn’t be such a bother for Carolina if it hadn’t traded its 2024 first-round pick to Chicago as part of the deal to move up and select Bryce Young.

The Panthers have already fired head coach Frank Reich, and it wouldn’t be surprising if GM Scott Fitterer follows him out the door at the end of the year.

31. New England Patriots (3-10)

Speaking of new regimes, there are plenty of rumors surrounding the future of Bill Belichick in New England.

Some reports believe owner Robert Kraft has already made the decision to move on. If that’s the case, these last few weeks will signify the end of an incredibly fruitful era.

30. Arizona Cardinals (3-10)

After knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13, the Cardinals will continue to try to play spoiler down the stretch.

However, another top-five pick looks likely.

29. Las Vegas Raiders (5-8)

The initial jolt provided by interim head coach Antonio Pierce has faded, leaving Las Vegas with plenty of decisions to make in the offseason.

Finding a franchise quarterback will be the most important one.

28. Washington Commanders (4-11)

Trading away key defensive linemen before the deadline seems to have backfired on the Commanders, who have the worst defense in football (30.4 PPG allowed).

Head Coach Ron Rivera is squarely on the hot seat, especially with new ownership, led by Josh Harris, looking to stamp their authority on the franchise.

27. Los Angeles Chargers (5-8)

Another season, another year of disappointment for Chargers fans.

Justin Herbert’s season-ending finger fracture put to bed any lingering hopes of reviving a campaign that offered so much promise.

Now, it’s just a matter of seeing how many players quit on coach Brandon Staley.

26. Tennessee Titans (5-8)

It hasn’t been a pretty year in Tennessee, but at least rookie QB Will Levis has shown flashes.

Still, this season has been another disappointment for Titans HC Mike Vrabel. He should remain in the job but expect a significant roster upheaval this offseason.

25. New York Giants (5-8)

Tommy DeVito aka “Tommy Cutlets” is one of the best stories in the NFL right now.

The Giants have racked off three straight wins and are just a game out of the NFC playoff places.

Still, this team isn’t going anywhere, and an improved record just means a worse draft pick and another year of Daniel Jones.

24. New York Jets (5-8)

After getting benched in the midst of a five-game losing streak, Zach Wilson returned to the lineup and delivered his best game as a pro.

Go figure.

The Jets have to run the table and get help to make the playoffs, so this feels like another lost season in New York.

23. New Orleans Saints (6-7)

Sure, the Saints have a shot at making the playoffs via the putrid NFC South, but this season has been a massive disappointment.

Derek Carr hasn’t played well, and it feels like his contract is going to be a problem down the line. (Check out our NFL QB rankings.)

22. Atlanta Falcons (6-7)

I could repeat much of the same sentiment for the Falcons, who continue to try to skate by without consistent quarterback play.

If Atlanta misses the playoffs, Arthur Smith’s job could be in serious jeopardy.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7)

Tampa Bay entered the season with a win total of 6.5 wins, so to be occupying first place in the NFC South via tiebreaker is a success with four weeks to play.

Can Baker Mayfield and Co. see another division title over the line?

Only time will tell.

20. Chicago Bears (5-8)

Despite their record, the Bears are one of the biggest winners of this season.

Chicago is likely to own the No. 1 overall pick (via Carolina) and is actually playing some inspired football of late.

This late stretch will help GM Ryan Poles decide on whether to use that pick on a quarterback or trade it for a king’s ransom and continue with Justin Fields.

19. Seattle Seahawks (6-7)

After a 6-3 start, Seattle has lost four straight and is currently outside the NFC playoff places.

Many expected the Seahawks to compete with the 49ers for the NFC West title, but there’s still a significant gap between Seattle and the NFC’s elite.

18. Los Angeles Rams (6-7)

After an abysmal 2022 campaign, expectations were low for Los Angeles this season.

However, HC Sean McVay has masterminded a top-10 scoring offense (23 PPG), and a defense that lacks talent outside of Aaron Donald has held up well enough.

If the Rams make the playoffs, they’ll be a tough out.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6)

Considering the talent on their roster, the Steelers have exceeded expectations. Mike Tomlin continues to get the most out of his team, but the offense remains a problem.

It’s pretty clear Kenny Pickett isn’t the long-term answer at quarterback.

16. Green Bay Packers (6-7)

If there’s a team that emanates the phrase “Any Given Sunday” more than the Packers, please let me know.

After back-to-back wins over the Lions and Chiefs, Green Bay had its three-game win streak snapped by the Giants.

With four games remaining against uninspiring opposition, Jordan Love and Co. still have a shot at the postseason.

15. Minnesota Vikings (7-6)

Well, the Joshua Dobbs story was nice while it lasted.

Minnesota is handing the reins to backup QB Nick Mullens after back-to-back starts in which the Vikings managed a combined 13 points.

Still, DC Brian Flores has worked wonders with this defense, and making the playoffs without Kirk Cousins would be an impressive accomplishment.

14. Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

Given the injuries his team has had to overcome this season, you’ve got to give credit to first-year HC Shane Steichen.

The Colts aren’t the most talented team in football, but they’re gritty. With winnable games on the horizon, Indy should take its playoff chase to the wire.

13. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)

Joe Burrow’s season-ending wrist injury was one of the biggest shames of the season, especially since he was finally playing his best football after a slow start.

However, Cincinnati has persevered with Jake Browning and still has an outside shot at the postseason.

12. Denver Broncos (7-6)

This season has been a rollercoaster for the Broncos, who have turned things around after a 1-5 start.

Sean Payton deserves plenty of plaudits, but part of me thinks Denver has been skating by against an easy schedule of late.

Still, at least there’s hope in Denver as we head into the season’s final stretch.

11. Houston Texans (7-6)

Regardless of whether the Texans make the playoffs, this season has been an overwhelming success.

Houston has found its franchise quarterback in C.J. Stroud, the far and away favorite in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds.

And while injuries have derailed the Texans lately, there’s still time to sneak into the postseason field.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5)

Instead of taking a step forward this season, it feels like the Jaguars have taken a slight step back.

Their defense is a significant concern, and Trevor Lawrence has been inconsistent from week to week.

Jacksonville is in pole position for another AFC South title, but I’m not expecting a deep playoff run at this point.

9. Kansas City Chiefs (8-5)

Speaking of a team with some concerns, the Kansas City Chiefs still haven’t figured things out on offense.

KC’s wide receivers have endured much of the blame as drops and penalties have played their part in a significant scoring dropoff (22.5 PPG).

Counting Patrick Mahomes and Co. out seems like a bad idea, but all isn’t well in the Chiefs Kingdom right now.

8. Buffalo Bills (7-6)

Knocking off the Chiefs in Kansas City was a significant result for Buffalo’s defense, which has struggled mightily to close out games this season.

The Bills still have work to do just to make the postseason field, but they would be a wild-card team that no one would want to face.

And with a Week 18 date in Miami still on the schedule, another AFC East title isn’t quite out of reach just yet, either.

7. Cleveland Browns (8-5)

Welcome back, Joe Flacco.

With Deshaun Watson out for the year, the Browns have finally found a solution to their QB problem in the form of the former Super Bowl champion.

Flacco has thrown for 565 yards and five touchdowns in two starts, giving a team with arguably the best defense in the NFL a chance to compete down the stretch.

6. Detroit Lions (9-4)

The Lions have looked dominant for stretches of the season, but the last few weeks have raised concerns.

Detroit has lost games against the Bears and Packers and gave up 28 points to a Saints offense that has struggled to score points in bunches this season.

Dan Campbell has his squad in line for a first NFC North title, but this defense will have to step its game up to make a postseason run.

5. Miami Dolphins (9-4)

Speaking of teams with recent concerns, the Miami Dolphins just dropped a game to the Titans after leading by 14 with less than three minutes remaining.

And if that wasn’t concerning enough, now add in that Tyreek Hill isn’t at 100%.

Miami has a brutal stretch of games to end the season, which should tell us plenty about where this team sits in the AFC hierarchy.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (10-3)

The Eagles have endured back-to-back blowout defeats at the hands of the Cowboys and 49ers, losing their grasp on the NFC East and the conference’s No. 1 seed in the process.

And honestly, this wasn’t much of a shock. Philly’s offense has looked out of sorts for weeks, and its defense has been pretty putrid.

An easy remaining schedule could help their postseason season, but the Eagles have some things to sort out if they want to make another Super Bowl run.

3. Dallas Cowboys (10-3)

The Cowboys have won five straight, own the highest point-differential in the league (plus-188), and are absolutely dominant at AT&T Stadium.

Mike McCarthy has this offense humming, and Dan Quinn’s defense can get after opposing quarterbacks with the best of them.

Home-field advantage for at least part of the postseason would be huge for Dallas, so keeping this winning run going down the stretch will be paramount.

2. Baltimore Ravens (10-3)

The Ravens look like the total package.

Baltimore’s defense allows 16.8 PPG (second-best in the NFL), Lamar Jackson is playing at an MVP level, and Chris Horton’s special teams unit features arguably the best kicker of all time.

It’s no surprise that the Ravens have the inside track to the AFC’s No. 1 seed.

1. San Francisco 49ers (10-3)

When healthy, no team has been better than the San Francisco 49ers.

Kyle Shanahan’s offense has a plethora of weapons, NFL MVP odds favorite Brock Purdy continues to progress, and San Francisco’s defense somehow got scarier at the trade deadline by acquiring Chase Young.

The Niners are the first team in the postseason field, and they’re going to be a problem for any opposition come January.


John Arlia

Before joining The Game Day, John served as the National Writer for the United Soccer League, where he primarily covered the USL Championship out of the league’s headquarters in Tampa, FL. A devout soccer fan, John attended the men’s World Cups in Brazil and Russia and can’t wait for the 2026 edition to come to North America. Having also written for Sporting News Canada since getting his master’s from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU, John has acquired a diverse sporting background, but considers football, golf, and soccer his three strong suits.

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