Offensive player rankings, Week 15: Tom Brady falls from No. 1

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Over the weekend, it was brought to the football world's attention that there's tension in Tampa Bay between quarterback Jameis Winston and head coach Dirk Koetter. Even though Winston has since denied the rift -- about the offense's poor performances this season -- with his head coach, there's definitely some trouble in the water. And let me remind you that the Buccaneers fired Lovie Smith just to keep Koetter as Winston's guy in the organization.

Honestly, I get why there's frustration in the building. While Winston has talent, leadership ability (although that is not always delivered well) and a desire to win, the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft lacks in decision-making, accuracy and knowledge of situational football. In his first two NFL seasons, Winston threw a total of 33 interceptions and didn't complete more than 61 percent of his passes in either year. During "Hard Knocks" in the 2017 preseason, we saw this issue come to the fore once again when Koetter got after Winston on the sideline:

"Jameis, you're f-----' playing a great game. You're playing a great game. And then your greed takes over. If this is real football, that's so f-----' stupid. ... You're so much better than that. You're so much better."

Four months later, nothing's changed. The Bucs were one of the most hyped-up teams in the preseason. Now, Winston's inconsistency has defined the Bucs' 4-9 record. The quarterback -- who also missed three weeks with a shoulder injury -- is completing just 62.6 percent of his passes (19th in the NFL), with a 14:8 TD-to-INT ratio and a passer rating of 89.7 (18th). Even with all of the weapons at his disposal (Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard), the Bucs have struggled to get into the end zone (23rd in scoring).

Winston's lack of on-field growth under Koetter might lead to an organizational makeover far before the Super Bowl is played in Tampa Bay in 2021. If Winston doesn't show improvement over the final three weeks of this season, with both parties not seeing eye to eye, something's got to change, and it's likely Koetter will be the first to go (possibly after this season). Winston will get another chance to improve in these aspects under a new coach/mentor, but he must do it quickly.

Winston will be on his rookie contract through 2018 (with a fifth-year option in 2019). I think the Bucs will give him one year with a new coach to prove he's their franchise quarterback for the long haul. For Winston to get rid of old habits and make the changes that'll take him to the next level, he'll need to work with someone whose offensive scheme is structured. Winston's a solid quarterback, but he will never be great until his situational football is better than his physical play.

Winston's running out of time. If there's not a noticeable improvement, he could have a new home before too long.

Each week in the 2017 campaign, former No. 1 overall pick and NFL Network analyst David Carr will take a look at all offensive players and rank his top 15. Rankings are based solely on this season's efforts. Now, let's get to it -- the Week 15 pecking order is below.

NOTE: Arrows reflect changes from last week's rankings.

RANK

1

Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers

1

Brown's making it nearly impossible to keep him at second on this list, so the time has come for a new No. 1. Sunday night's whopping 11 catches for 213 receiving yards just confirmed how valuable he is to this Steelers' offense.

RANK

2

Tom Brady, QB, Patriots

1

Jay Cutler outplayed Tom Brady in the Patriots' loss to the Dolphins on "Monday Night Football." Yes, you read that correctly. Brady was less than impressive against Miami, completing 24 of 43 passes for 233 yards, a TD, two INTs and a season-low 59.5 passer rating.

RANK

3

Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers

1

Bell and Brown complement each other so well and make life so much easier for Ben Roethlisberger. The running back totaled 125 yards from scrimmage (77 receiving, 48 rushing) and scored three times. They don't beat the Ravens without him.

RANK

4

Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks

1

Wilson wasn't able to dice up the Jaguars' top-ranked defense like he has others this season. Despite throwing three picks in Sunday's loss, he still had great moments in the contest. And make no mistake, Seattle wouldn't have even been in the game without him.

RANK

5

Todd Gurley, RB, Rams

1

Gurley gave fits to the Eagles' defense all day and reached the end zone twice, putting him at first in the league in rushing touchdowns with 10. Another game with at least 100 yards from scrimmage -- his 10th this season -- is promising for the third-year back, as the Rams will want to lean on their strong run game as we head toward winter.

RANK

6

Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints

1

Losing Kamara to a concussion on the first drive of last Thursday's clash with the Falcons really hurt Sean Payton's offense, and it was evident. Per Next Gen Stats, New Orleans averaged 7.8 yards per play when the rookie was on the field and 5.6 without him. He should return this week.

RANK

7

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans

1

We know the ball is going to Hopkins, and still, he can't be stopped. In the loss to the Niners, he had 11 catches on 16 targets for 149 yards and two TD receptions.

RANK

8

Drew Brees, QB, Saints

1

The Saints should've beaten the Falcons. Injuries plagued them, but hats off to Atlanta, which made plays when it counted. With Kamara out, Brees was forced to do more, something he's accustomed to doing in the past but hasn't needed to do this season. Other than the pick that ended the game, Brees was solid.

RANK

9

Jared Goff, QB, Rams

1

The Rams' offense played well overall against the Eagles on Sunday, but Goff was unable to mount a comeback victory. Goff's worst quarter statistically is the fourth, as he has the same amount of INTs (three) in the fourth quarter as he does in the first three combined this season. I like the way he's playing right now, but this will be an area he needs to address if he wants to hang with the big dogs.

RANK

10

Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings

1

Right when the Vikings seemed to come up short on offensive answers, Thielen beat defenders for a 52-yard touchdown reception -- which should've been at least his second score of the day. The breakout receiver ended the contest -- Minnesota's first loss since Week 4 -- with six receptions for 105 yards and a TD. He's on pace to have 98 catches for 1,429 yards by season's end. If Thielen hits that mark, he'd join Randy Moss as the second Vikings player in franchise history to have more than 1,400 receiving yards in a season. (Moss did it three times: in 1999, 2000 and 2003.)

RANK

11

Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers

4

You can tell Philip Rivers loves having a healthy Allen on the field every week, and the Chargers are gelling at the right time, with three weeks remaining in the regular season. Since Week 11, Allen has posted 39 receptions -- tied for most in the league in that span -- for 547 yards, after finishing with six receptions for 111 receiving yards in Sunday's win.

RANK

12

Mark Ingram, RB, Saints

Ingram wasn't quite as effective without his partner in crime, Alvin Kamara. Ingram had 12 carries for 49 rushing yards and four receptions for 43 receiving yards in the loss to Atlanta.

RANK

13

Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs

Kelce continues to be the Chiefs' most-targeted pass catcher. Of his 13 targets Sunday, Kelce hauled in seven receptions for 74 yards. After losing six of their previous seven games, the Chiefs needed this win over the Raiders. They still didn't look like the dominant team we saw early on, but they got the job done.

RANK

14

Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots

What a boneheaded move ... but looking forward to seeing him take the field against the Steelers in Week 15.

RANK

15

Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers

NR

Rivers' play over the last month makes him deserving of this spot. Since Week 11, Rivers ranks first among NFL quarterbacks in passing yards per attempt (9.7), TD-to-INT ratio (8:0) and passer rating (119.2). His Chargers built such a comfortable lead against the Redskins that Anthony Lynn pulled the veteran QB in the fourth quarter.

Dropped out: Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (previously No. 5).

JUST OUTSIDE THE TOP 15:

Julio Jones, WR, Falcons: His performance vs. the Saints was one of his better outings in an inconsistent season for him. He finished with five catches for 98 yards; however, Matt Ryan posted two INTs in the game when targeting Jones. These guys must get in sync.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts: Hilton only had two receptions for 20 yards in the Blizzard Bowl, but I can't fault him for that. I mean, that was ridiculous.

Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs: Hill followed a huge Week 13 performance with a solid showing against the Raiders. He finished with four receptions for 75 yards in the win.

Follow David Carr on Twitter @DCarr8.

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