Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs sneak into the top three

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For the first time in five weeks, there's a new No. 1 in ESPN's NFL Power Rankings. The New England Patriots have wrested away the top spot from the Dallas Cowboys this week.

ESPN's power panel (a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities) completely shuffled the top 10, with the Kansas City Chiefs moving up to No. 3 and the New York Giants leaping nine spots to cap off the top five.

Methodology note: These rankings reflect which teams voters think would win head-to-head matchups. Higher-ranked teams would be favored against lower-ranked teams. Coming off a win doesn't guarantee a jump, and coming off a loss doesn't guarantee a fall.

Check out the rest of the league and where each team ranks.

Previous rankings: Week 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | Preseason

ESPN Stats & Information contributed the following research.

1. New England Patriots

2016 record: 11-2 | Week 14 ranking: 2

Tom Brady has now thrown 11 touchdowns with one interception with Rob Gronkowski off the field this season. Brady and the Patriots are still thriving without their top offensive weapon, but they could miss him against the Broncos this week. Brady is 2-7 overall in his career at Denver, including playoffs.

2. Dallas Cowboys

2016 record: 11-2 | Week 14 ranking: 1

The past two weeks the Cowboys have averaged 12.0 points per game, committed five turnovers and converted two of their 24 third-down plays (8.3 percent). Is this just a blip on the radar or is it cause for concern? We'll get a better idea this week when the Boys play the Bucs.

3. Kansas City Chiefs

2016 record: 10-3 | Week 14 ranking: 7

The Chiefs are now 20-3 since Week 7 of last season, best in the NFL. The Chiefs have a plus-27 turnover margin in that time. Next closest? The Raiders at plus-16. The Chiefs look to keep on rolling against the Titans in Week 15.

4. Oakland Raiders

2016 record: 10-3 | Week 14 ranking: 3

Derek Carr posted a career-worst 9.4 Total QBR in Week 14 against the Chiefs. Why did Carr struggle so much? Was it his finger? The cold? The Chiefs' defense? We'll uncover some answers when the Raiders head to San Diego in Week 15.

5. New York Giants

2016 record: 9-4 | Week 14 ranking: 14

The Giants are 9-4 but currently have a minus-5 turnover differential this season. It's not easy to win when you don't win the turnover battle, but the Giants have found a way. The Giants take on the Lions, a team with the fourth-fewest giveaways (10), on Sunday.

6. Atlanta Falcons

2016 record: 8-5 | Week 14 ranking: 10

The offense continues to light it up, but Vic Beasley Jr. has been lighting up opposing quarterbacks for the Falcons this season. Beasley has 13.5 sacks, tied for most in the NFL, and six forced fumbles (most in the NFL), and could pad those stats against Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers this Sunday.

7. Seattle Seahawks

2016 record: 8-4-1 | Week 14 ranking: 4

Russell Wilson lost by more than 10 points for the first time in his career Sunday, thanks to a career-high five interceptions. Wilson now has two touchdowns and eight interceptions his past three games, and this week he plays a team he has lost three straight against: the Rams.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

2016 record: 8-5 | Week 14 ranking: 5

Since his return from suspension, Le'Veon Bell has accounted for about 58 percent of the Steelers' touches (rushes and receptions) and 43 percent of the Steelers' yards from scrimmage. Bell looks to rack up more offense this week against the Bengals, the team that ended his 2015 campaign.

9. Detroit Lions

2016 record: 9-4 | Week 14 ranking: 8

The Lions have won five straight and eight of their past nine. During the five-game winning streak, the defense has allowed 15.6 points per game. If the defense can keep it up, especially against the Giants this week, it will help the Lions compensate for QB Matthew Stafford's injured finger.

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2016 record: 8-5 | Week 14 ranking: 12

Jameis Winston's sophomore success has been a great story, but the Buccaneers have forced 25 turnovers this season, tied for most in the NFL. Tampa's defense will look to disrupt the host Cowboys on Sunday night.

11. Green Bay Packers

2016 record: 7-6 | Week 14 ranking: 11

The Packers are 3-0 since QB Aaron Rodgers said the team could run the table. Rodgers has been great during the stretch (73.9 completion percentage, 7-0 TD-INT), but give credit to the defense too. The defensive unit has allowed an average of 12.0 points per game the past three weeks, and will look to stifle a lackluster Bears offense in Week 15.

12. Baltimore Ravens

2016 record: 7-6 | Week 14 ranking: 6

Joe Flacco is averaging a career-high 42 passes per game this season, and the Ravens are averaging 86.0 rushing yards per game, second fewest in team history. It's not the balance that brought the Ravens their most success, but it has them in the hunt. The Ravens look to balance things out against the Eagles on Sunday.

13. Denver Broncos

2016 record: 8-5 | Week 14 ranking: 9

The Broncos are not only in real danger of missing the playoffs following their loss to the Titans, but also of losing out. Their next three games are against the Patriots, Chiefs and Raiders, teams who are a combined 30-8 this season. Good luck, champs.

14. Washington Redskins

2016 record: 7-5-1 | Week 14 ranking: 13

When the Redskins run well, they win. They are 5-1-1 this season when topping 100 yards rushing and 2-4 when they don't. The Redskins take on the Panthers in Week 15, who have allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards this season (90.2 per game).

15. Minnesota Vikings

2016 record: 7-6 | Week 14 ranking: 15

Did you know? Sam Bradford has completed at least 70 percent of his passes in six straight games, something only Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Joe Montana have done since the AFL-NFL merger. The Vikings are 2-4 in those games. Can Bradford keep it going against the Colts in Week 15?

16. Tennessee Titans

2016 record: 7-6 | Week 14 ranking: 19

Marcus Mariota went 6-of-20 in Sunday's win, but the Titans' defense showed it can win games too. Brian Orakpo (10.0) and Derrick Morgan (9.0) each had a sack Sunday, and are the only pair of teammates with at least 9.0 sacks each this season. They'll be chasing after QB Alex Smith at Kansas City this week.

17. Houston Texans

2016 record: 7-6 | Week 14 ranking: 22

The Texans are 4-0 in division games this season, one of three teams undefeated in division play, which gives them a nice leg up in the AFC South race. Another division foe in the Jaguars awaits them Sunday.

18. Miami Dolphins

2016 record: 8-5 | Week 14 ranking: 16

Ryan Tannehill's season could be over, but don't write off the Dolphins just yet. Matt Moore is 13-12 in his career as a starter (.520 winning percentage), which is a better record than Tannehill (.481). Moore's last start and win were against the Dolphins' Week 15 opponent: the Jets.

19. Arizona Cardinals

2016 record: 5-7-1 | Week 14 ranking: 17

The Cardinals keep digging themselves holes they can't crawl out of. The Cardinals have been outscored by 42 points in the first and third quarters this season, but have outscored opponents by 64 in the second and fourth quarters. Arizona looks to buck that trend in their home finale against the Saints.

20. Cincinnati Bengals

2016 record: 5-7-1 | Week 14 ranking: 24

The Bengals have their first winning streak of the season! That's two straight wins for Cincy, and two straight games in which they allowed zero points in the first half. That might be tougher to do against the Steelers this week than against the Eagles and Browns though.

21. San Diego Chargers

2016 record: 5-8 | Week 14 ranking: 21

Melvin Gordon and Joey Bosa were both hurt Sunday, and hopefully neither is serious. The Chargers' injured reserve is currently 17 players deep, so the team could use some good news on Gordon and Bosa. What's left of the Chargers will host the Raiders this Sunday.

22. Carolina Panthers

2016 record: 5-8 | Week 14 ranking: 23

QB Cam Newton has completed 43.0 percent of his passes the past four weeks, but the Panthers are 2-2 in that stretch and averaging a respectable 22.5 points per game. Imagine what the Panthers could be doing with Newton playing at even an average level. Carolina heads to Washington for Monday Night Football in Week 15.

23. New Orleans Saints

2016 record: 5-8 | Week 14 ranking: 26

Drew Brees has thrown no touchdowns and three interceptions in each of his past two games, the first quarterback to do so in back-to-back games since Tyler Palko in 2011. No quarterback has done it in three straight, so expect a better day for Brees against the Cardinals in Week 15.

24. Indianapolis Colts

2016 record: 6-7 | Week 14 ranking: 25

Here are the Colts' points scored their past three games: 7, 41, 17. Granted the seven-point effort was without Andrew Luck, but still, the Colts can't seem to string together consecutive strong efforts, and it has them sitting at 6-7 and on the outside looking in. Road games at Minnesota and Oakland the next two weeks could decide their season.

25. Buffalo Bills

2016 record: 6-7 | Week 14 ranking: 18

The Bills have allowed 28.3 points per game since Week 7, third most in the NFL in that time, besting only the Browns and 49ers. The Bills "fixed" the offense by firing their offensive coordinator, which means the defense-minded Ryan brothers could be next. If the Bills give the Browns their first win this week, that could happen sooner rather than later.

26. New York Jets

2016 record: 4-9 | Week 14 ranking: 29

Bryce Petty just led the largest road comeback in Jets history. Seriously. Don't get too excited though. The Jets' past two wins have come against the Browns (0-13) and 49ers (1-12). The Dolphins, Patriots and Bills remain on the Jets' schedule.

27. Philadelphia Eagles

2016 record: 5-8 | Week 14 ranking: 20

Carson Wentz is on pace to throw 613 passes this season, which would be an Eagles franchise record. Having a rookie throw that much is not a recipe for success, and with four straight losses, it obviously hasn't been. The Eagles head to Baltimore in Week 15.

28. Chicago Bears

2016 record: 3-10 | Week 14 ranking: 28

The Bears might not be winning every week, but they're hanging in there. They have five losses by six or fewer points, including each of their past two losses. The Bears will have their hands full with the Packers this week.

29. San Francisco 49ers

2016 record: 1-12 | Week 14 ranking: 31

Colin Kaepernick has failed to complete 50 percent of his passes in seven of the eight second halves he has played in this season. He has a 71.7 completion percentage in first halves this season, but his post-halftime struggles aren't helping the 49ers.

30. Los Angeles Rams

2016 record: 4-9 | Week 14 ranking: 27

The Rams' defense was the team's saving grace early on this season, allowing the fifth-fewest points per game through Week 11. Since then, the Rams have allowed a league-worst 39.0 points per game. The Rams held the Seahawks to a field goal the last time they played, but will that happen again this week?

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

2016 record: 2-11 | Week 14 ranking: 30

The Jaguars have held a lead on only 11.7 percent of their offensive plays this season. That's worse than the 0-13 Browns (13.2 percent) and the 1-12 49ers (21.1 percent). Can the Jags hold a lead against the Texans on Sunday?

32. Cleveland Browns

2016 record: 0-13 | Week 14 ranking: 32

This edition of the Power Rankings runs on Dec. 13. That will mark the one-year anniversary of the Browns' last win, a 24-10 victory over the 49ers with Johnny Manziel starting at QB. The Browns have lost 16 straight since, and look to avoid 17 straight in Buffalo this week.