NFL Power Rankings Week 13: Chiefs top the table, as Eagles, Dolphins, Bills and Cowboys stay Top five
Kansas City reigns supreme for a second straight week, as out top five in this week’s NFL Power Rankings remain the same, but the Niners are knocking on the
By now the Thanksgiving leftovers have been polished off, the scrapes and bruises from Black Friday are starting to heal, but one thing remains the same. The Kansas City Chiefs are still the best team in the league. Their win over the Rams was a comfortable one, but the Chiefs are making all of their wins look comfortable against bad teams like the Rams and good teams like the Niners.
Here are our newest edition of the Power Rankings after Week 12.
1) Kansas City Chiefs 9-2, last week 1
Business as usual for the leagues best team against the dismal Rams on Sunday. If they needed to blow out the Rams, there’s no doubt they would have been able to. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs were in control from the very start in a game in which LA didn’t have a shot in hell. They surely had one eye on their AFC Championship rematch with the Cincinnati Bengals next week, but the game against an inferior opponent allowed them to shift the focus in the second half.
2) Philadelphia Eagles 10-1, last week 2
Every week the Eagles add to their claim as the top team in the NFC and the NFL by coming up with different ways to win. Last week it was with a last minute drive capped off by a a game winning TD run by Jalen Hurts in Indy. This week they posted a season high 40 points as the ground game ran wild. Hurts had 157 of the 363 rushing yards against the Packers as Philly became the first team with double digit wins this season.
3) Miami Dolphins 8-3, last week 3
Ok. The Dolphins strength of schedule hasn’t been the greatest over the last month, I will admit. But they have been beating all the teams they need to beat and they have been doing it in style. They knew they had to bury the Texans early, with a game against the Niners this week and they had it in the bag in the first half scoring 30 straight points, two of those TDs coming from defensive turnovers that were taken to the house.
4) Buffalo Bills 8-3, last week 4
There may have been doubts still surrounding the Buffalo Bills heading into their Thanksgiving Day game against Detroit, but there should be no doubt about what a quality win that was on Thursday. Going into Ford Field, on Thanksgiving is never an easy task and Josh Allen delivered in the clutch to silence those claiming he can’t win tight games late.
5) Dallas Cowboys 8-3, last week 5
Dallas looks to be taking flight at just the right time. Remember in Week 1, when Dak Prescott broke his finger, and was booed off the field against the Bucs? How the tides have turned in Arlington over the last few months. The Giants came into AT&T Stadium hoping to put an end to a late season skid on Thanksgiving, but the Cowboys gave them nothing to be thankful for in the second half, scoring 21 unanswered points and burying their dangerous division rivals to take sole possession of second place in the division.
6) San Francisco 49ers 7-4, last week 9
For those fans who are still complaining about the 49ers’ lack of offensive consistency on a week-to-week basis, I say relax and be happy that you have such a dominant defense that allows their offense to have a week off. All the experts got way too excited about the Niners offensive explosion against the Cardinals in Mexico, and now they are back to questioning if this team is a real contender in the NFC with their sometimes spotty offense. They shutout the Saints in a game that was never in question to win their fourth straight game and now sit on top of the NFC West.
7) Minnesota Vikings 9-2, last week 7
The Vikings needed to respond after their 40-3 drubbing at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys in the week leading up to their Thanksgiving showdown with the Patriots. Justin Jefferson proved yet again that he is the best receiver in the league, and is best in big games played on the national spotlight. Kirk Cousins showed his resilience after struggling the week before, going 30/37 with 3 TDs. The Vikings continue to prove that they are one of the top teams in the league, but will need the Eagles to lose two games if they are going to have a chance at the top seed in the NFC.
8) Cincinnati Bengals 7-4, last week 10
For all of the ups and downs the Bengals have had this year, their game against the Titans should be all the proof we need that this team is for real, and ready to make another deep playoff push. They put up almost 80 points in their previous two games, but on Sunday they did it with their defense against a tough, rugged team in Tennessee. Burrow summed it up perfectly after the game. This was a game that great teams win and the Bengals are on the verge of becoming a great team.
9) Baltimore Ravens 7-4, last week 6
Coming out of their bye week we were talking about how easy the Ravens schedule was. They must have been talking about the same thing, because in the last two games they have come out flat and looking far from the teams we know they are capable of being. We have seen the defense let the Ravens down late in games, and they did it again on Sunday against the Jags.
10) Tennessee Titans 7-4, last week 9
The Titans have been a team that have hung around the top of the AFC standings all year, but I’m still not convinced that this is a team that compete with the top teams in the conference. All of their wins have come against teams that had losing record when they played. Their four losses came against teams with winning records that will most likely be around in the playoffs.
11) Washington Commanders 7-5, last week 13
How long before we start talking about the Washington Commanders as the hottest team in the league? They have won six of their last seven games, and five of those wins have been orchestrated by Taylor Heinicke with their only loss coming at the last second against the Minnesota Vikings. Their destiny might be determined in the next two games, when they take on the Giants in a home and away series with a bye week in between.
12) New York Giants 7-4, last week 11
This is a very slippery time in the Giants right now. In the beginning of the season it looked like Brian Daboll and New York could do no wrong. Now they have lost two straight and three of the last four. This is a team that has grown used to winning in the first half of the season, but these rough patches have a way of defining a team. If the Giants can snap out of this slump, it will make them a better team down the road, but if they can’t it could cost them a trip to the playoffs.
13) New York Jets 7-4, last week 14
Robert Saleh has made all the right moves this resurgent season in New York. Mike White made him look like a genius on Sunday, after the Jets coach decided to bench Zach Wilson and started their one time third string quarterback. In just his fifth game ever in the NFL he went 22/28 with 315 yards and 3 TDs. You usually see teams make changes at the QB position when they are losing, but this change might just help a winning team get even better. The question is what happens to White if the Jets start losing?
14) Los Angeles Chargers 6-5, last week 15
It took a big pair huevos to go for the two point conversion with the game on the line, but that’s the kind of coach Brandon Staley is. There is a big difference between being 5-6 and 6-5 going into the final six weeks of the season and Staley knew that. He showed the faith he has in his quarterback by putting the ball in his hands and saying “go win the game.” Herbert delivered and the Chargers pulled off the dramatic win, but they still sit on the outside of the Wild Card picture looking in.
15) Seattle Seahawks 6-5, last week 12
Are the wheels starting to fall off in Seattle after their shocking start to the season had them at the top of the NFC West for the first half of the year? They lost both games on each side of their Week 11 bye, and their loss this week is inexcusable for a team looking to make the post season. The Seahawks defense gave up 576, including 283 yards on the ground and Josh Jacobs put them to the sword with his 86 yard overtime game winner. Seattle’s path to the post season will most likely be through the division but right now they are sliding down the standings as San Fran is just hitting stride.
16) New England Patriots 6-5, last week 16
The Patriots gave the Vikings everything they had in a Thanksgiving shootout in Minnesota. Mac Jones and the Pats didn’t score a TD in Week 11 against the Jets, but moved the ball well against he Vikes defense. Unfortunately, for Pats fans their inefficiency in the red zone is what cost them on the road and dropped them out of the Wild Card spots in the AFC.
17) Indianapolis Colts 4-7-1, last week 17
The Colts offense was putrid in the first half against the Steelers, and it seems like the Jeff Saturday steam is starting to fade away already. The Colts waited way too long to get Jonathan Taylor into the game, and paid the price as the Steelers climbed all over the Colts in the first two quarters. The boo birds even started to sing at Lucas Oil Stadium. They were directed at the stagnant offense rather than at the head coach, but if they don’t start winning games soon the Saturday experiment could come to an end even sooner than many expected.
18) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-6, last week 18
The Tampa Bay Bucs don’t seem like they have any interest in running away with their division. For the first time all season they built up a little momentum only to have the rug ripped from under them by the Nick Chubb and the Cleveland Browns. Up by seven with two and a half minutes to go they got the ball and according to ESPN Analytics they had a 94% win probability. A three and out that took just 20 second off the clock allowed the Browns to send the game into overtime, and win it with a Nick Chubb TD to send the Bucs crashing below .500. They still lead the NFC South, but they continue to leave the door open for the rest of the teams in the division.
19) Atlanta Falcons 5-7, last week 19
Cordarrelle Paterson never really got going against the Commanders, and when he struggles the Falcons struggle. Atlanta still rushed for 167 yards as a group, but scored just one TD and were held to three second half points. The way the NFC South is going, the game against the Bucs on the last week of the season might be what decides who is moving to the post season.
20) Green Bay Packers 4-8, last week 21
The Packers playoff chances were squashed by Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night, as Aaron Rodgers missed the final quarter and a half with a rib injury. If the Packers are out of the playoffs, and Rodgers is banged up then it wouldn’t make much sense for the No. 12 to finish off the season but Rodgers maintains that if he gets the OK, he will be under center against the Bears next week.
21) Detroit Lions 4-7, last week 20
After winning three straight games for the first time in a half decade, the Lions hosted a hungry Buffalo Bills team on Thanksgiving. Dan Campbell’s team have been growing in confidence and belief over the last month and they went into Ford Field fully expecting to beat the Bills on Thursday. They came up just short, and their playoff chances might have slipped through their fingers with the loss but this is another team (like the Jags) that you can see changing the narrative of the franchise.
22) Arizona Cardinals 4-8, last week 23
After a couple weeks on the sidelines, Kyler Murray finally came back to a Cardinals team that was desperate for a win to stay in the playoff picture. Arizona had the game in the bag against the Chargers with a balanced attack of James Connor on the ground and Murray through the air, but lost it in very Arizona fashion. After taking a seven point lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter, they would go three and out on their next three possessions and allow a last minute TD and two point conversion to drop to 4-8. Will Kliff Kingsbury survive the bye week and be on the sidelines in Week 14?
23) New Orleans Saints 4-8, last week 22
Somehow, someway, the Saints are still in the chase for the NFC South. They have won just one of their last four, and look like a team that has no direction. They got shut out against the Niners on Sunday, after fumbling on their opening possession and their penultimate possession. That being said they are still within arms reach of the Bucs, who lead the division at 5-6. The Saints can make major moves in the final 5 games of the season, with three of them coming against their three division rivals.
24) Pittsburgh Steelers 4-7, last week 25
Little by little there is more and more reason to believe in the future of this franchise under Kenny Pickett. On Monday night, the rookie QB made his primetime debut and looked like a season vet to start the game. He was 14/18 in the first half for 133 yards and moved the chains with his feet as much as his arms. The defense is always going to be the Steelers biggest asset, but as the season goes on the offense is steadily improving and Pickett’s chemistry with his receivers is getting better and better.
25) Cleveland Browns 4-7, last week 27
The clock is ticking on Jacboy Brissett’s time as the Browns QB1, and he gave the Browns fans a rare moment of joy this season. The Tampa Bay Bucs were riding a winning streak and coming off of a bye week, but the Browns came in ready for a battle and rode their horses to the finish line. Nick Chubb led a rushing attack that totaled 189 yards, and the Cleveland RB1 won it in over time after Brissett hit Amari Cooper on a 46 yard dime to put Cleveland inside the 5.
26) Jacksonville Jaguars 4-7, last week 29
When you are a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are good enough to be in games, but not quite good enough to compete for a post season spot these games where they get to play spoiler are as good as gold. The Jags scored 18 fourth quarter points and went for a two point conversion to win the game. We say it every time the Jags win a game, but it seems like Doug Peterson is building something special for the future as this team continues to learn how to win.
27) Carolina Panthers 4-8, last week 28
Sam Darnold finally got his first start of the season under center for the Panthers, and he made a triumphant return in the Mile High City. For as terribly as this season has gone for the Panthers, they are still in the hunt in the NFC South, and Darnold may be the man to lead them for the final stretch of the season.
28) Las Vegas Raiders 4-7, last week 30
When Josh Jacobs is given the green light to run wild, the Raiders have a much better chance of wining game. The Raiders should have a much better passing game with an offensive mastermind directing Derek Carr and a stacked wide receiving corp, but Josh McDaniels has found out that the only way the Raiders are going to win games is feeding their beast. Jacobs ran for 229 yards including his 89 yard game winner in overtime.
29) Los Angeles Rams 3-8, last week 24
If the Rams had a latch to pull like a jet pilot in an ejection seat, Sean McVay and the Rams would pull it immediately. Their title defense chances have disappeared as Cooper Kupp and Matthew Stafford have been sidelined with injuries. The Rams already have trouble filling their stadium with their own fans, and now that the season is over away fans will flood Sofi Stadium.
30) Chicago Bears 3-9, last week 26
It’s quite simple for Chicago. With no Justin Fields, winning games because next to impossible. They aren’t a very good team even with the face of the franchise under center, and without him their chance of beating the Jets on Sunday went from slim to none.
31) Denver Broncos 3-8, last week 31
It’s a good thing for Denver that the Houston Texans exist, because if not they would be the worst team in the league. Russell Wilson has been no help to the Broncos this season, and Nathaniel Hackett will be lucky if he makes it through his first year in Denver. I can’t remember a team with such high expectations coming into a season crash and burn like the Broncos are doing this year.
32) Houston Texans 1-9-1, last week 32
The Texans ran into the unstoppable force that is the Miami Dolphins and got steam rolled by Tua and the Miami offense. Davis Mills was benched after winning just one game in the first 10 tries, and Lovie Smith decided to make a change. Kyle Smith didn’t really turn things around for Houston, as the Texans totaled just 210 yard. Against the Dolphins that is not going to cut it, and the worst team in the league go smoked 30-0 in the first half.