TheLines NFL Week 15 power rankings have dialed up notable movers. In Week 14, we witnessed the Detroit Lions continued resurgence with a dominant win over their division rival Vikings. The Los Angeles Chargers are getting healthy at the right time and seem to be solidifying themselves as a playoff contender in the AFC. Finally, the Carolina Panthers could actually still win the NFC South.
Just to remind you, we do NFL power rankings differently than the rest. These aren’t Super Bowl futures opinions. Instead, we only rank based on who we’d favor on a neutral field for this week. The ranks are a composite of eight staff members. Three intriguing teams are on the move-up this week.
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NO. 7 LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
For the first time all year in Week 14, Justin Herbert had his full arsenal of weapons on display from start to finish. Head Coach Brandon Staley has his offense operating at an electrifying pace. Los Angeles ran 78 total plays in Week 14, with 51 of them via the air. Mike Williams returned from his high ankle sprain and played efficiently hauling in all of his six targets for 116 yards and a score.
The Chargers held Miami to 219 yards despite not having safety Derwin James, cornerback Bryce Callahan and defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day because of injuries. The Dolphins came in with the league’s top-ranked pass offense. The Chargers (7-6) moved into a battling position for the final AFC playoff berth and took a sizable leap of six spots in our power rankings as a result.
After struggling to start the season, Los Angeles is finally moving up in our NFL Week 15 ranks. The Chargers upcoming schedule will be relatively easy as they are set to face the Titans, Colts, and Rams in their next three games.
Week 15 Spread: Chargers
Who’s highest on the Chargers? Eli Hershkovich (No. 6).
Who’s lowest on the Chargers? Brett Gibbons (No. 9).
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NO. 9 DETROIT LIONS
No one could have predicted the Lions as a top-ten team in 2022, but here we are. Detroit has looked excellent on both sides of the ball recently. Averaging 32.2 points over their last five games, the Lions are second to only the Dallas Cowboys (35.4) over that stretch. The defense has significantly improved, holding opponents to 20.3 points over the last six games compared to a 32.1 PPG clip in the first seven games.
Detroit (6-7) has won five of six, their best stretch since their last postseason appearance in 2016. They have scored 25-plus points in five straight games for the first time since 1954. The Lions will face the Jets, Panthers, and Bears in their next three games.
Week 15 Spread: Lions
Who’s highest on the Lions? Stephen Andress (No. 9).
Who’s lowest on the Lions? Brett Gibbons (No. 10).
NO. 25 CAROLINA PANTHERS
Another scenario no one saw coming was the Carolina Panthers winning the NFC South. Now 4-3 under interim HC Steve Wilks, Carolina sits only one game back of the division lead and a playoff spot. The Panthers’ defense has excelled recently, especially when they play on home turf. Carolina has surrendered only 6.1 first-half points per home game, the second-best mark in the NFL. Running the football has also been a theme, tallying at least 185 rushing yards back-to-back games.
The news gets even better for the Panthers, who control their destiny in the division. They face the Steelers, Lions, and Buccaneers next. But being back in playoff contention doesn’t mean our staff thinks this is a good football team, evidenced by No. 25 in NFL Week 15 power rankings.
Week 15 Spread: Panthers
Who’s highest on the Panthers? Nate Weitzer (No. 23).
Who’s lowest on the Panthers? Eli Hershkovich (No. 27).