Updated: December 10, 2013, 3:28 PM ET
2013 NFL Power Rankings: Week 15
Can the Seahawks be forgiven?
That was the question facing our voters (John Clayton, Ashley Fox, Dan Graziano, Jamison Hensley, Mike Sando and Kevin Seifert) coming off Week 14, when the Seahawks suffered a close road loss to NFC West rival San Francisco.
So is Seattle, which had won seven straight before Sunday, still No. 1? The answer is a resounding yes, as Russell Wilson & Co. earned five of six first-place votes. The Broncos remain at No. 2, followed by the Saints, Patriots and 49ers.
Was keeping the status quo the right decision? It's hard to argue with the logic. In this day and age, no team is immune from losing to a playoff-bound opponent in a tough environment. The Seahawks, who are tied for the NFL's best record at 11-2, remain on track for the NFC's No. 1 seed and boast the league's top defense.
When your body of work is as impressive as that, one slip-up can be forgiven.
Note: The comments below are provided by ESPN Stats & Information.
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|The 49ers rushed for 137 yards before contact and averaged 4.3 yards before contact per rush Sunday. Both numbers are the worst this season for the Seahawks defense.|
|Peyton Manning was 35-of-45 with four touchdowns when the Titans brought four or fewer pass-rushers Sunday. The Titans had allowed only three passing touchdowns with standard pressure all season.|
|Same old Saints. New Orleans is now 7-0 at home with a plus-122 point differential and plus-5 turnover margin. On the road? They're 3-3, minus-22 point differential and minus-2 turnover margin.|
|Shane Vereen had three targets in the first half Sunday, but Tom Brady was 10-of-14 for 141 yards targeting Vereen after halftime, including five plays of at least 10 yards.|
|A 39-yard touchdown catch by Luke Willson was the lone blemish on a strong day by the San Francisco pass defense. Russell Wilson was 2-of-8 deeper than 10 yards downfield.|
|Carolina won't wait long for a shot at redemption. After hosting the Jets this week, the Panthers get the Saints in Carolina before finishing at Atlanta, making 11-5 very realistic.|
|Jamaal Charles had 19 rushes for 151 yards and a touchdown Sunday, with 74 rushing yards after contact the second-highest total of his career (152, 2009, Week 17 vs. Broncos).|
|Andy Dalton completed 15 of 17 passes for 180 yards and three touchdowns with an 8-yard scramble touchdown against at least five rushers. Dalton entered Sunday with a 30.1 QBR vs. blitzes.|
|Nick Foles had one completion past the line of scrimmage in the first half Sunday. However, Foles went 5-of-9 after halftime, with all five completions more than 10 yards downfield.|
|Carson Palmer was 27-of-32 (84 percent), the most accurate game by an NFC quarterback this season (minimum 25 attempts). Palmer was 12-of-12 targeting Larry Fitzgerald for 96 yards and a touchdown.|
|Andrew Luck was 9-of-13 with all four touchdowns targeting LaVon Brazill or Da'Rick Rogers Sunday. Rogers, who hadn't been targeted all season, caught a 69-yard touchdown in the third quarter.|
|The Lions dropped 16.7 percent of targets Sunday (four drops total), their highest in a game since 2009 (Week 8, 18.8 percent). Three of the Lions' drops came in the second half.|
|Josh McCown was 10-of-16 for 182 yards and a touchdown on passes more than 10 yards downfield Monday. The 10 deep completions are McCown's season high and tied Dallas' season high.|
|Baltimore has a tough schedule to finish the year, with road games in Detroit and Cincinnati around hosting the Patriots. The last AFC wild-card spot is no given.|
|DeMarco Murray rushed for 111 yards before contact Monday night, his second most this season and the third most in his career. Imagine if Dallas actually committed to the run.|
|A win against New England would give the Dolphins the inside track for the wild card. Miami finishes against the Bills and Jets while Baltimore gets the Lions, Patriots and Bengals.|
|Philip Rivers completed 17 of 23 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns against four or fewer rushers. A sixth team has to make it in the AFC -- why not the Chargers?|
|The Falcons entered Sunday's game allowing the second-highest completion percentage on passes outside the numbers. Matt Flynn continued the trend, going 14-of-16 with a touchdown on such passes.|
|Ryan Tannehill was 8-of-10 with three touchdowns in the red zone Sunday, the second time in the past five seasons the Steelers have allowed three red zone passing touchdowns.|
|Watching Kellen Clemens hasn't been fun, but shifting focus to the draft will make St. Louis fans feel better. The RG III trade is looking better every week.|
|Geno Smith was 3-of-4 with a touchdown on passes at least 15 yards downfield Sunday. Smith had five interceptions and no touchdowns in the previous three games on deep throws.|
|Tennessee couldn't pressure Peyton Manning at all. Manning wasn't sacked Sunday and was under duress on two of 45 dropbacks against four or fewer rushers, his lowest percentage this season.|
|Eli Manning threw his eighth interception of the season targeting Rueben Randle. Of the five QB-WR combinations that have at least six interceptions, only Manning-to-Randle has fewer than 65 completions.|
|Tampa Bay has won four of five, but hosts the 49ers before traveling to the Rams and Saints. Four wins might be where the Bucs finish.|
|Jason Campbell deserved to win Sunday. Campbell was 9-of-11 for 205 yards and three touchdowns against the Patriots' blitz, including 4-of-5 for 122 yards and a touchdown to Josh Gordon.|
|Ouch. EJ Manuel became the fifth quarterback to throw at least four interceptions in a game this season, but the only one to do it without a touchdown.|
|Minnesota's quarterback situation gets headlines, but the defense has been the worst in the league. The Vikings defense has cost the team a league-worst minus-103.2 expected points this season.|
|Rich Gannon's not walking through that door. Sunday's loss ensured the Raiders would finish below .500, a mark Oakland hasn't finished above since 2002.|
|Jacksonville has won three straight and four of five. Only the Eagles have a longer active win streak (five) than the Jaguars.|
|Getting outdueled by Matt Flynn Sunday is just the latest episode of Matt Ryan's forgettable season. Ryan was 11-of-22 for 121 yards and an interception after halftime.|
|Robert Griffin's 46.2 completion percentage Sunday was the worst of his career, including 2-of-8 for 7 yards and an interception on throws 5 yards downfield or shorter.|
|The Colts, Broncos and Titans could all be losses, which would give Houston the first overall pick in May. Imagine rotating J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney around the front seven? Yikes.|