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NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks lose, but who's gonna beat them at home?

The 49ers won this round, but the Seahawks still have home field working for them. (USATSI)
The 49ers won this round, but the Seahawks still have home field working for them. (USATSI)

How can Seattle lose and still remain No. 1? Well, it's hard to argue against anyone beating them at home.

And how can the Pats win and drop four spots? Well, that win in Cleveland wasn't pretty, and losing Rob Gronkowski hurts.

Meanwhile, the Niners' big win moves them up two spots while the Saints jump a spot after snapping the Panthers' win streak.

1. Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks lost a close game in San Francisco but are still the best team in the NFL. And ask yourself who can beat them in Seattle?

2. Denver Broncos: It may be time to dump the idea that Peyton Manning can't play in the cold. A strong wind may be another story but the Broncos, who are the best of the AFC, especially with Rob Gronkowski lost for the season in New England.

3. New Orleans Saints: The Saints are like a machine in their building, but can they do the same thing on the road against a top team?

4. San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers are back to their Super Bowl form of last year. But they will have to win on the road in the playoffs? They can do it, but it will not be easy if they need a 300-yard passing day from Colin Kaepernick.

5. Carolina Panthers: They learned a lesson in New Orleans this week and they must protect Cam Newton better. And Newton must rise to the level of his competition. Otherwise, he will have the same problems Andy Dalton and Tony Romo have had in the playoffs.

6. New England Patriots: The defense has been plagued with injuries and now Gronk is gone. The only QB in the NFL who can keep this team winning is Tom Brady. This is the biggest test of his career.

7. Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs looked solid on all fronts against a struggling Redskins team, but can they beat a team with an elite QB?

8. Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton has times when turnovers dominate his game but he is starting to look like a QB who can win in the playoffs. Upcoming Steelers and Ravens games will be good tests for his playoff run.

9. Indianapolis Colts: Things are starting to look shaky for the Colts. Since the loss of Reggie Wayne, and with a defense that struggles, this team looks beatable. Unless things change quickly it could be one and done in the playoffs.

10. Philadelphia Eagles: It should snow every week in Philly. LeSean McCoy was fantastic and the defense is improving. The last game of the year in Dallas should be for the division title.

11. Chicago Bears: Josh McCown is playing like an elite QB and he puts up enough points to cover up defensive woes.

12. Arizona Cardinals: They may be the best team to miss the playoffs. Carson Palmer looks great and the defense is downright nasty. The loss of the Honey Badger hurts.

13. Detroit Lions: The Lions may back into the division title. They simply can't go 1-3 this month and be a team to get excited about.

14. Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens pulled the old rabbit out of the hat this week to keep their No. 6 spot in the AFC playoff race. Their final three games are at Detroit, New England, then at Cincinnati. They may need all three to hold off the Dolphins.

15. Miami Dolphins: Not many people, including me, thought the Dolphins would make the playoffs after all the issues the club has faced. But here they are with three division games left.

16. Dallas Cowboys: That defense is going to prevent the Cowboys from making the playoffs. Tony Romo isn't the problem, but he will take the brunt of the blame.

17. San Diego Chargers: The Chargers are one of the most hot-and-cold teams in the NFL. They can score 35 points one week and come right back for a sub-20 point game. They haven't been able to win three in a row all year.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers: The season was on the line and they almost pulled off the Cal Bears' famous lateral play but failed. The season is lost and there could be changes at the end of the season.

19. Tennessee Titans: The Titans are a tough out but usually an out anyway. They are 1-4 in their last five games and have cracked the 30-point mark just once all year.

Should the Packers try to bring Aaron Rodgers back for a playoff push? (USATSI)
Should the Packers try to bring Aaron Rodgers back for a playoff push? (USATSI)

20. Green Bay Packers: The Packers have a decision to make about putting Aaron Rodgers back on the field. They beat Atlanta without him and may feel they can catch the Lions with their QB.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tampa Bay appears to have found its QB in Mike Glennon and has gone 4-1 in its past five. It looks like Greg Schiano will be back in 2014.

22. New York Giants: The Giants have some soul searching to do in the offseason. They looked like they were sleepwalking in the 37-14 loss to the Chargers. Seattle comes to New York this week looking to regain their edge.

23. St. Louis Rams: Many thought the Rams were the third-best team in the NFC West but the Cardinals showed them that isn't true. It's hard to win in the NFL with a backup QB, which explains why they are 2-5 in their past seven games.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Mental toughness, professional pride, guts -- call it what you want -- the Jaguars never gave up when they were 0-8. They have a few winnable games left and could find themselves not drafting in the top 10.

25. New York Jets: They beat a beat-up Oakland team this week at home and it isn't grounds to believe the Jets are turning things around. They go to Carolina this week and we will see if Geno Smith is on his way.

26. Cleveland Browns: The Browns put up a great fight against the Patriots and probably should have won the game, but the fact is they are 1-7 in their last eight games.

27. Atlanta Falcons: Falcons fans are frustrated with this lost season, but they can't complain that the team quit. I still wish Atlanta had kept DE John Abraham, who has 11 sacks for the Cardinals.

28. Minnesota Vikings: Without Adrian Peterson they could slide to No. 31. Matt Cassel gives them the best chance to win but I still want to see Josh Freeman.

29. Buffalo Bills: The Bills are 1-5 in their last six games and I feel they could be better than that, but they aren't. There are signs this team could take a big step in 2014, but for now that is just talk. They go to Jacksonville this week which is a solid test of where they really are right now.

30. Washington Redskins: The Skins have turned into a soap opera on every level. It's a shame things have gone south for a team that won the division last year.

31. Oakland Raiders: They will always get an A for effort, but they just don't have enough healthy talent to lineup every week.

32. Houston Texans: The coach has been fired ... enough said!!

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