Our updated NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus each team’s biggest improvement this season

Welcome to Week 15 of the 2023 NFL season. After this past weekend, we had some shuffling among the top 10 in this week’s Power Rankings. The Dallas Cowboys took down the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Buffalo Bills won a thriller against the Kansas City Chiefs. And the Cleveland Browns climbed up our list after their win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In addition to the updated rankings, our NFL Nation reporters named the biggest improvements on each team this season — from Week 1 to now.

Let’s get started with our No. 1: the 49ers.

Our power panel of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities evaluates how NFL teams stack up against one another, ranking them from 1 to 32.

Previous rankings: Preseason | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14

Jump to a team:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF


Week 14 ranking: 1sw ye 40

Biggest improvement: Pass rush productivity

The Niners racked up five sacks in Week 1 but had just 18 total sacks through their first eight games. What’s more, they were generating pressure on only 26.3% of dropbacks. Since the bye and trading for end Chase Young, San Francisco has 22 sacks with a 34.9% pressure rate, which ranks first and seventh in the NFL, respectively, over the past five games. San Francisco has invested heavily in its front with the idea that it can be the focal point of the defense, and it’s no surprise that the 49ers’ defensive resurgence has coincided with dominant play up front. — Nick Wagoner


Week 14 ranking: 5gn arrow

Biggest improvement: Red zone offense

We could say the entire offense, especially the passing game, comparing it to where the Cowboys were after the loss to San Francisco in Week 5, but the red zone improvement has been dramatic. In the first five games, the Cowboys converted touchdowns on 7 of 19 red zone trips (36.8%). Since then, they have scored touchdowns on 25 of 38 opportunities. Quarterback Dak Prescott‘s efficiency has matched perfectly with coach Mike McCarthy’s playcalling. This is how you lead the NFL in scoring (32.3 points per game). — Todd Archer



Stephen A.: This year feels different for the Cowboys

Stephen A. Smith outlines why this season feels different for the Cowboys to seriously make a run.


Week 14 ranking: 4gn arrow

Biggest improvement: Ball security

In the first five games, the Ravens turned the ball over eight times (two interceptions and six lost fumbles), which was tied for the eighth-most turnovers in the league. In the past eight games, in which Baltimore has gone 7-1, the Ravens have committed seven turnovers (four interceptions and three lost fumbles), which is tied for the fifth fewest in the league. The Ravens have proved that they are a difficult team to beat when they don’t give the ball away. — Jamison Hensley


Week 14 ranking: 2rd arrow

Biggest improvement: Third-down efficiency

The offense ranks third overall in this category with a 47.7% conversion rate. The Eagles got off to a slow start on third down, going 4-of-13 (30.8%) in the opener against the Patriots, but began to shoot up the charts after that. It helps that third-and-shorts are almost automatic thanks to the tush push, with Philadelphia converting on more than 90% of its sneak attempts. — Tim McManus


Week 14 ranking: 3rd arrow

Biggest improvement: Defensive efficiency

The Dolphins began the season by surrendering 233 rushing yards to the Chargers in a performance that didn’t reflect their offseason focus on the defensive side of the ball. Since Week 8, however, Miami ranks fourth in the NFL in defensive expected points added (43.57), second in rushing yards allowed per game (74.6) and first in yards allowed per game (237) heading into Monday night. The return of injured cornerback Jalen Ramsey, as well as the team’s overall familiarity with Vic Fangio’s system, has contributed to the defensive revival. — Marcel Louis-Jacques


Week 14 ranking: 6sw ye 40

Biggest improvement: Red zone efficiency

The Lions’ offense can score with the best of them, ranking in the top 10 in scoring for the past two seasons, but it wasn’t the best at capitalizing in the red zone to start the season. Through Week 9, Detroit’s red zone efficiency (48.1%) was in the bottom tier of the league, tied with the Texans for 24th. But in their five games after the Week 9 bye week, the Lions have the fifth-best red zone efficiency (72.2%), with the running back tandem of rookie Jahmyr Gibbs and veteran David Montgomery thriving in the backfield. — Eric Woodyard


Week 14 ranking: 7sw ye 40

Biggest improvement: WR Rashee Rice

The rookie went from a part-timer who was in the lineup for only a third of the snaps in Week 1 to the Chiefs’ only consistently productive wideout. Rice has 23 catches for 243 yards and two touchdowns in the past three games. The other wide receivers have 16 catches for 147 yards and one touchdown combined in that same span. The Chiefs have gone to Rice in some big situations, including a big third down in the fourth quarter of a Week 12 game against the Raiders while holding a slim lead — he scored on a 39-yard touchdown to break the game open. — Adam Teicher


Week 14 ranking: 9gn arrow

Biggest improvement: TE Dalton Kincaid

While the Bills’ first game of the season wasn’t a high, the team’s hottest streak of the season in terms of statistical production came in Weeks 2-4, so improvement here is nuanced. But one thing that certainly leaped forward for the team throughout the season is the rookie tight end’s role and involvement in the offense. Since Week 6, Kincaid has been targeted at least six times in every game, and he has developed into a reliable target for quarterback Josh Allen. Now with Dawson Knox back from injured reserve, the team can continue to find ways to fold in the two-tight end approach it envisioned when drafting Kincaid. — Alaina Getzenberg


Week 14 ranking: 11gn arrow

Biggest improvement: Passing offense

Surprisingly, Cleveland’s passing offense is better now with its fourth quarterback to start a game this season. Joe Flacco and his big arm have given Cleveland’s air attack a boost in these past two games in which he was the starter. Flacco already has more games of at least 250 passing yards and two passing touchdowns (two) than Deshaun Watson has had (one) since being traded to the Browns before last season. Cleveland is beginning to look like a playoff threat in a way that didn’t seem possible following Watson’s season-ending shoulder surgery. Flacco’s unforeseen emergence is a big reason. — Jake Trotter



Peyton Manning explains Joe Flacco’s success at 38

Peyton Manning credits Joe Flacco’s poise for his resurgence as the Browns’ quarterback.

Week 14 ranking: 8rd arrow

Biggest improvement: Third-down conversions

The Jaguars were one of the worst in the league at converting third downs in the first month — just 29.7%, which ranked 29th. From Week 5 on, however, they’re converting 40%, which ranks 15th. They’ve fared better at converting third-and-7 or longer since Week 5 (22.4%) than they did in Weeks 1-4 (11.8%), and that has been a big boost. — Michael DiRocco


Week 14 ranking: 10rd arrow

Biggest improvement: Passing offense

In Week 1 against the Ravens, rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud threw for only 242 yards, and the team scored only nine points. Since then, Stroud has caught fire, and entering Week 14, he was the leader in passing yards and the Texans are fourth in passing yards per game (258.2). He has elevated receivers like Nico Collins, who crossed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career, and rookie Tank Dell, who hit 709 yards with seven touchdowns before his season-ending fractured left fibula. — DJ Bien-Aime


Week 14 ranking: 18gn arrow

Biggest improvement: Defense

There can’t be another unit in the league with this kind of turnaround. From Week 2 to Week 5, the Broncos surrendered 164 points, including the infamous 70-20 loss to the Dolphins. Since Week 6, however, they have surrendered 12 touchdowns in eight games combined. They have 19 takeaways in those games, and the defense has powered the Broncos back into the playoff conversation. — Jeff Legwold


Week 14 ranking: 19gn arrow

Biggest improvement: Moving the sticks

In the first five weeks of the regular season, the Bengals had the highest rate of offensive drives that were three-and-outs (32.1%), according to ESPN Stats & Information. That number has dropped considerably since that span. Over the past nine weeks, the Bengals have reduced that rate to 21.2% and are ranked 14th in that category. And the improvement has continued even with Jake Browning at quarterback instead of an injured Joe Burrow (wrist). Cincinnati’s three-and-out rate is 15.2% in Browning’s three starts. — Ben Baby


Week 14 ranking: 12rd arrow

Biggest improvement: Rookie receivers

Jayden Reed (second round), Dontayvion Wicks (fifth) and Malik Heath (undrafted) combined for two catches for 48 yards in the season opener against the Bears. Three months later, Reed leads the Packers in receiving yards, Wicks leads the Packers in yards per catch and Heath has been a bigger part of the offense of late. GM Brian Gutekunst’s plan for the young receivers to grow as quarterback Jordan Love grows appears to have worked. — Rob Demovsky


Week 14 ranking: 14rd arrow

Biggest improvement: QB Matthew Stafford

It wasn’t until Week 6 against the Cardinals that Stafford had thrown more touchdowns (six) than interceptions (five) on the season. His numbers have steadily improved, even as he’s dealt with injuries to his hip and right thumb. Stafford has 10 passing touchdowns over his past three games, tied for the second most he has had in a three-game span in his career. The Rams have looked like a different team since returning from their Week 10 bye — they’re 3-1 in that stretch, including an overtime loss to the Ravens — and that’s in large part because of how Stafford has played. — Sarah Barshop



Demarcus Robinson gives the Rams the lead with a TD

Matthew Stafford avoids the pressure and finds Demarcus Robinson in the end zone for a Rams touchdown.


Week 14 ranking: 16sw ye 40

Biggest improvement: Pass rush

The Colts are tied for third in the NFL with 42 sacks, and exactly half of that total (21) has been accumulated in the past five games. The Colts had an underwhelming pass rush performance against the Bengals on Sunday, but they recorded six sacks in each of their previous two games against the Buccaneers and Titans. Interestingly, the Colts have done it by committee. Their sack leader, Samson Ebukam, has just eight. But the Colts have four players with five or more sacks in 2023. — Stephen Holder


Week 14 ranking: 13rd arrow

Biggest improvement: Run game

It’s hard to find an area to highlight after back-to-back losses to teams with two wins entering the matchup. But those games notwithstanding, the Steelers’ ground game is much improved from the first half of the season. Beginning with the Week 9 win against the Titans, the Steelers outrushed their opponents in four of their next five games. They also showed an ability to find the right balance between Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. The Steelers’ run defense also has showed improvement from the beginning of the season. — Brooke Pryor


Week 14 ranking: 17rd arrow

Biggest improvement: Defensive takeaways

The Vikings’ defense has improved in several ways since its shaky start to the season. But after forcing only two turnovers in the first three games of the season, tied for No. 22 in the NFL, the defense forced 17 in its next 10 games — tied for No. 7 during that period. That uptick, which includes nine fumble recoveries and nine interceptions, has coincided with seven victories in 10 games. — Kevin Seifert


Week 14 ranking: 15rd arrow

Biggest improvement: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba‘s usage

The way the Seahawks have been using the 20th pick of the 2023 draft might be the only thing they’re doing better since the opener. Smith-Njigba’s playing time and targets have increased following a slow start to the season, when he was coming off wrist surgery and the Seahawks leaned into multiple-tight end sets. They’ve gotten him more involved since then, though there’s still room for Smith-Njigba to make a bigger impact, especially on third down. — Brady Henderson


Week 14 ranking: 23gn arrow

Biggest improvement: Offensive scoring

Scoring has been a struggle for the Bucs, but they did muster 29 points in Sunday’s win over the Falcons. In Weeks 1-8 this season, they averaged 17.29 offensive points per game, and in Weeks 9-14, it’s picked up to 23.5 points per game. The biggest area of offensive improvement — which has allowed them to be more balanced and less predictable — has been the ground game with Rachaad White and some Chase Edmonds now that he’s healthy. In Weeks 1-8, they averaged 77.86 rushing yards per game. In Weeks 9-14, that average jumped to 104.17. — Jenna Laine


Week 14 ranking: 21sw ye 40

Biggest improvement: Run game

The Saints opened up the season with Alvin Kamara out on suspension and averaged a meager 2.6 yards per rush in the season opener. The running backs had only four rushing TDs through the first 11 games of the season (two by Tony Jones Jr., who is no longer on the team). Kamara has three rushing touchdowns in the past three games, and the Saints were able to use him and Jamaal Williams last week in tandem for the first time all season. — Katherine Terrell


Week 14 ranking: 20rd arrow

Biggest improvement: WR Drake London

London showed promise in his rookie season but was held catchless on one target in Week 1. It seemed like an anomaly then and proved to be now. He has become a clear No. 1 receiver for Atlanta, including a 10-catch, 172-yard game Sunday against Tampa Bay. He has 56 catches for 745 yards and two touchdowns on the year. He’s on pace to best his rookie year numbers of 72 catches for 866 yards and four touchdowns and is a clear player to build around for the future. — Michael Rothstein


Week 14 ranking: 26gn arrow

Biggest improvement: Interceptions

Defensive takeaways, in general, are up — a core tenet of coach Matt Eberflus’ H.I.T.S. principle and the Tampa 2 defense — after a slow start to the season (eight in Chicago’s past three games). But if you zero in on passes the Bears have picked off, you’ll find one category in which Chicago is performing better than the 31 other teams. The Bears have nine interceptions since Week 10, which is the most in the NFL during that stretch, after generating six in the first nine weeks of the season. — Courtney Cronin


Week 14 ranking: 25gn arrow

Biggest improvement: Red zone defense

Heading into Monday night, the Titans’ red zone defense topped the NFL in allowing opposing teams to score on only 37.2% of their visits inside the 20-yard line. What’s been most impressive about the red zone defense is how it has been able to keep teams from scoring despite possessing the ball inside Tennessee’s 10-yard line. Its best performance came in Week 12 against the Colts, when the Titans allowed only one touchdown on five red zone visits, including four that penetrated inside their 10-yard line. — Turron Davenport


Week 14 ranking: 22rd arrow

Biggest improvement: LB Khalil Mack

Mack had little impact generating sacks or pressures through the first three weeks of this season. He had a pass rush win rate at edge of 6.9% in that span, which ranked 53rd in the NFL. Then, in Week 4, Mack exploded for a career-high six sacks against the Raiders. He is now the NFL’s sack leader with 15 on the season, which ties his career high. In a season where the Chargers have fielded one of the league’s worst defenses, Mack has been a bright spot, playing like one of the league’s best outside linebackers since Week 4. — Kris Rhim



Schefter updates McAfee on Herbert’s injury

Adam Schefter tells Pat McAfee how long Justin Herbert’s fractured finger might keep him out.


Week 14 ranking: 27gn arrow

Biggest improvement: Pass rush

It got off to a sluggish start, with a mediocre 26.1% pressure rate over the first three games. For the next 10 games, the pressure rate jumped to 36.4%, second in the league over that span. Bryce Huff (23.5%) is generating pressure on the edge, while Quinnen Williams (14.4%) is among the top interior pass-rushers. Pressure from the front four is vital in the Jets’ scheme because they don’t like to blitz. In fact, they have the second-lowest blitz rate in the league. — Rich Cimini


Week 14 ranking: 28gn arrow

Biggest improvement: The linebackers

This is now the strength of the team in its 3-4 defense. Middle linebacker Bobby Okereke has proved to be a star in the middle of the defense, doing a little bit of everything (119 tackles, 9 TFLs, 2 INTs, 8 passes defended and 4 forced fumbles). Second-year inside linebacker Micah McFadden is a solid complement next to him, and Kayvon Thibodeaux, after a slow start, has 11.5 sacks. This gives the Giants something to build around moving forward. — Jordan Raanan


Week 14 ranking: 24rd arrow

Biggest improvement: Pass rush

While Maxx Crosby getting home has been a constant for the Raiders — he now has a career-best 13.5 sacks on the season — his getting help is a relatively new development. Consider: The five sacks Las Vegas had against Minnesota on Sunday were one more than the Raiders had the previous three games combined. Plus, 11 players other than Crosby have registered at least one sack this season. And finally, with four games to play, the Raiders’ 33 team sacks have already eclipsed last season’s total of 27. — Paul Gutierrez


Week 14 ranking: 29sw ye 40

Biggest improvement: Pass protection

Very little has improved in Washington — the Commanders are 4-9 for a reason — but the pass protection has at least stabilized. They allowed six sacks in the season opener vs. Arizona — and 40 in the first seven games combined. But in the past six games Washington has allowed 18 as quarterback Sam Howell has handled the pressure better, more calls have been designed for quick releases and the line has done a better job. It could still be better, but it has improved. At one point Howell was on pace to be sacked an NFL-record 107 times; it’s now at 75.8 — the current record is 76. — John Keim



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Jeremy Fowler explains the changes that could be coming for the Washington Commanders.


Week 14 ranking: 30sw ye 40

Biggest improvement: Passing offense

With Kyler Murray under center, the Cardinals’ passing game has improved in droves from Week 1, when Joshua Dobbs was operating an offense he had spent just two weeks in at that point. The Cardinals averaged 6.3 yards per completion in Week 1 and averaged 11.2 in Week 13, their most recent game. Arizona’s passing yards per dropback has also jumped more than two yards from 3.45 to 5.52 since Week 1. Murray’s return had a lot to do with that, as did offensive coordinator Drew Petzing’s experience in the system with this crop of players, giving him almost three months to figure out how his receivers, running backs, tight ends and offensive line can work in tandem. — Josh Weinfuss


Week 14 ranking: 31sw ye 40

Biggest improvement: Run defense

Allowing a league-low 3.2 yards per carry, the Patriots have been able to make opponents one-dimensional on offense, with nose tackle Davon Godchaux and outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings two key cogs. Godchaux is in his seventh NFL season and defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington said: “He is one of the best run defenders, as a nose tackle, in the game. Really good block recognition, run explosion, block destruction and overall making tackles [50]. He’s everything you want in a nose tackle.” — Mike Reiss


Week 14 ranking: 32sw ye 40

Biggest improvement: DT Derrick Brown

Most of the focus was on Pro Bowl OLB Brian Burns before the season, but it is Brown who has been the most consistent and improved defender. He showed on Sunday that he is, as Burns says, unblockable one-on-one. He had double-digit tackles and an interception off a ball he tipped against the Saints. He deserves serious Pro Bowl consideration. — David Newton

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