Green Bay Packers  

 

Are Packers best team in football? Not after Week 15

  • By Joe Theismann NFL Network
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John Rieger / US Presswire
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers suffered their first loss of the season to the Chiefs on Sunday.

The Green Bay Packers didn't just have the title as the NFL's lone undefeated team stripped away Sunday in Kansas City, they lost their status as the best team in the league as well.

Now, I understand why some of you might raise an eyebrow at seeing a one-loss team sitting behind a bunch of three- and four-loss squads. However, you need to understand one thing about how I put together my list: My power rankings are based upon where a team fits in the given week.

That's why we rank the teams on a week-to-week basis. If I wanted to put out a power rankings based on where I thought every team would be at the end of the season, I'd simply release two sets of rankings: one right before Week 1, and the other right after Week 17.

That being said, the Packers team I saw lose to the Chiefs on Sunday did not resemble a team I could justifiably place in the top spot of my rankings. Wideout Jordy Nelson was non-existent and tight end Jermichael Finley dropped too many balls. They couldn't really mount a running game, and I didn't think their offensive line protected Aaron Rodgers very well.

What I saw defensively was a team that got run on -- there were gaping holes in the middle of the Packers defense. Green Bay also didn't put a lot of pressure on Kyle Orton at all.

When you take all of those things into consideration, you have to ask: Is this the best team in football in Week 15? No. No, they're not.

I just can't rank them No. 1. I think the Ravens are better overall, even after their loss to the San Diego Chargers. The Saints are my No. 1 team, and I'd pick New Orleans to beat the Packers if the two squads squared off next weekend.

What concerns me about the Packers is that they still have no interior pass rush. Their pass rush consists of linebacker Clay Matthews and no one else. Their defense has been somewhat of a liability all season, but that's been masked largely by the exceptional play of their offense.

Green Bay's offense certainly was not exceptional against the Chiefs, which was more of a product of wideout Greg Jennings being sidelined with a sprained knee than the rash of injuries to the Packers' tackles.

Jennings influences what everyone else does in that offense, and he's such an important weapon for Rodgers because he has so much trust and confidence in him.

I don't believe necessarily that the Chiefs suddenly unveiled a new blueprint to take down the defending champs -- not many teams have the pass defense of Kansas City's caliber. As I've said multiple times this year: The only team that can beat the Packers is the Packers. That's exactly what we saw on Sunday, and ultimately, the reason why I dropped them was because they didn't deserve to be there this particular week.

Follow Joe Theismann on Twitter @Theismann7.

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