NFL Power Rankings: Cardinals rise, Broncos fall in Week 15

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Dec 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) reacts during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


Last week: 5
Change: +2

Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola are back, and all is again well in New England. The Patriots rolled past the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football, and in the process regain the lead in the AFC.

Tom Brady was sacked three times against one of the league’s top defensive fronts, but still went 22-of-30 for 226 yards and two touchdowns. Gronkowski got one of them. The tight end’s status was up in the air before the game as he continues to recover from a knee injury, but he was able to move perfectly fine in Houston.

But while the Patriots’ health appeared to be trending in the right direction on offense, running back LeGarrette Blount exited the game with a hip injury and didn’t return. Brandon Bolden filled in.

So long as the Patriots are healthy, they will have a great shot at winning it all again in February. The injuries continue to pile up, however, and this is the team’s biggest concern. The first-round playoff bye could be crucial if the Pats can secure it, as it would give the entire team a week to freshen up and heal any lingering injuries.

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