NFL Power Rankings Week 13: Niners top Eagles, Lions hold off comeback, Chiefs drop in Lambeau
We have a new top team in town after the San Francisco 49ers took down the Philadelphia Eagles in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship.
We saw a whole lot of movement at the top of the standings after a wild Week 13. Sunday afternoon’s matchup in Philly showed us that there is a new top team in the league, while the Chiefs loss at Lambeau drops them out of the first four. Green Bay continues to soar up the standings amidst their three game win streak, and Jacksonville hold their collective breath while they await news about Trevor Lawrence’s injured ankle.
Here are our Power Rankings after Week 13:
1. San Francisco 49ers 9-3, last week 3
The planets aligned for the Niners who were counting down the days to get their revenge on an Eagles team that KO’d them from the playoffs last year. San Fran came into the game rolling, with a few extra days rest after their Thanksgiving win over Seattle, and the Eagles were on the heels of back-to-back-to-back-to-back tough games. The Niners took no pity on the Eagles, as Brock Purdy got his vengeance to the tune of four TDs and Deebo Samuel had a hat trick of touchdowns as the Niners proclaimed themselves to be the best team in the league on Sunday, and I can’t help but to agree.
2. Philadelphia Eagles 10-2, last week 1
You knew threre had to be a let down at some point or another. The Eagles played too many good teams in too many consecutive weeks. They had some incredible wins with a lot of minor details breaking their way late in games. The Niners brought the day of reckoning to Philly on Sunday afternoon by beating the blinds off the Birds. Philly’s D looked worn down against the San Fran offense that put up 6 straight TDs to demolish the Eagles. Philadelphia’s one time rock solid grip on the one seed now hangs in the balance going into their matchup with Dallas next week.
3. Baltimore Ravens 9-3, last week 4
4. Dallas Cowboys 9-3, last week 5
We were treated to a second straight Thursday night feast courtesy of the Cowboys this week. Dak Prescott and Dallas welcomed a sliding Seahawks team desperate for a win in the midst of a late season losing streak. Seattle came out swinging but the Cowboys didn’t miss a beat. Dak had another 300 yard game, while CeeDee Lamb pulled in another double digit catch for 116 yards as the Cowboys finally beat a team with a winning record (or at least what used to be a winning record before they dropped to 6-6 in Dallas). That makes it four straight wins for Big D, but there is a gauntlet of games awaiting them during the final stretch of he season, starting with Philly next week.
5. Kansas City Chiefs 8-4, last week 2
It has been highlighted thousands of times this season. The Chiefs are a team that let their defense dominate while their offense comes up with ways to win games. What happens when the defense doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain? That’s exactly what occurred in Lambeau on Sunday night. KC’s D made Jordan Love look like Aaron Rodgers, and the offense was incapable of stepping up and winning the game. It’s troubling to see Mahomes with the ball in his hands, with an opportunity to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, and throw a game changing interception. It’s even more troubling to look at the standings and see the Chiefs a game behind the Dolphins and the Ravens for the top spot in the AFC. Will Patrick Mahomes have to play his first playoff game on the road this season?
6. Detroit Lions 9-3, last week 6
No team this season started a game as hot as the Lions did in New Orleans on Sunday. They were up by three touchdowns less than seven minutes into the game, but really what it did was set them up for what would have been a cataclysmic implosion that would have sent the Lions spiraling at the wrong time of the season. Detroit’s D let the Saints get back to the game, but also came up with a game changing fumble right when New Orleans pulled to within one score late in the second half. Luckily for the Lions Jameson Williams TD on a reverse saved the day and kept the Lions on pace with the rest of the front runners in the NFC.
7. Miami Dolphins 9-3, last week 8
I don’t think anyone was surprised to see the Dolphins run up the score on the Washington Commanders. Tyreek Hill had another MVP worthy performance as he continues to build his case for the otherwise quarterback driven award. The question was whether the Dolphins were going to be able to contain Sam Howell, and they made it look easy. The second year QB was limited to just 127 yards and an interception as Miami cruised to another comfortable win over another weak team. The Jets and Titans are up next, but Miami will have to end the season against the Dolphins, Ravens and Bills. A lot will be determined in the final three weeks of the season.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars 8-4, last week 7
Losing to the Bengals in overtime with a chance to take the outright lead in the AFC hurts. Losing Trevor Lawrence for an extended amount of time would be devastating. The QB was injured late in the fourth quarter on Monday night visibly shaken and concerned about the severity of his ankle injury. He was carried off the field on the shoulders of two medical team members and now all the Jags can do is hope and pray that tests comeback negative.
9. Houston Texans 7-5, last week 10
There was a moment that the Texans looked like they were going to blow out the Broncos who came into Sunday’s game as the hottest team in the league. C.J. Stroud was nearly flawless again, and one of the coolest things to see coming out of the game was him not backing down to Alex Singleton after a little push after the whistle. He stood his ground and his hogs on the line came crashing in just to make sure Singleton knew they have their guy’s back. Oh and by the way, the Rookie QB now has more yards than anyone in the league after Week 13. We’ve seen the offense come up with game winning plays late in games and we’ve seen the defense do the same thing. On Sunday it was the defense that kept the Texans level with the rest of the pack chasing a Wild Card spot in the AFC.
10. Denver Broncos 6-6, last week 9
The formula hasn’t changed for the Broncos. Play great defense to start the game as the offense putters along and strikes when they have a chance to sentence their opponent in the fourth quarter. It worked in the previous five games, and looked like Wilson wasn’t going to pull another rabbit out of his hat in the final drive of the game, but the Texans picked him off in the end zone and handed Denver their first loss since mid October.
11. Buffalo Bills 6-6, last week 13
12. Cleveland Browns 7-5, last week 12
If you only saw the score and not the Browns game in LA, you might think they got blown out by the Rams, but that was far from the case. It didn’t take Joe Flacco very long to lock into Cleveland’s offense, leading them into the end zone on their first drive of the game and staying neck and neck with the Rams for the first 55 minutes of the game. This is still a team with plenty of playoff options, but Kevin Stefanski is going to have to sort out who the QB1 will be for the rest of the season once DTR comes back.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-5, last week 11
Games like the one Pittsburgh had against the Cardinals were ones that they have been avoiding all season long. At a certain point, your defense can’t handle all of the heavy lifting without the offense stepping up once in a while. Things might have been different if Kenny Pickett didin’t injure his ankle, but the Steelers offense wasn’t having much success before he was sidelined. Watching your starting QB get knocked out of the game and getting stopped on 4th and Goal from the 1 on back-to-back plays was a devastating blow that the Steelers couldn’t recover from. What makes matters worse is Pickett is going to miss 2-4 weeks and nine teams are in the hunt for a Wild Card spot currently occupied by Pittsburgh.
14. Minnesota Vikings 6-6, last week 14
15. Indianapolis Colts 7-5, last week 16
Indy’s game in Tennessee was the perfect personification of who and what this team really is. They have no business being in playoff position with just five weeks left in the season, just like they had no business beating the Titans, but two blocked punts and a missed Titans PAT gave them a chance in overtime and that’s all Garner Minshew needed to win it with a game winning TD pass to Michael Pittman.
16. Green Bay Packers 6-6, last week 18
Yes, I remember ripping Jordan Love earlier this season after the Packers lost to the Lions and then the Raiders in primetime games. I said he wasn’t ready for the spotlight. He wasn’t ready for the bright lights. My apologies to him and all Packers fans, although I wouldn’t be surprised to know some of them were thinking the same during that particular moment of the season. Last week we talked about the near identical numbers both he and Aaron Rodgers posted through their first 11 games with the Packers, but beating the reigning champs on primetime TV means much more than any sort of statistical graphic that some geek with too much time on his hands came up with. The cheeseheads are loving them some Love, and Love is loving him some Lambeau.
17. Cincinnati Bengals 6-6, last week 17
Jake Browning looked like Joe Burrow in the flesh on Monday Night in Jacksonville. The Bengals started slow with their back up to their franchise QB, but then unleashed the former Washington Husky. He had a game that quarterbacks who play an entire career might never have, completing 32 of his 37 passes for 354 yards, 1 TD and another TD on the ground. Chase was his favorite target with 149 yard receiving, but it was Evan McPherson who sealed the deal in an overtime classic that keeps the Bengals in the Wild Card hunt.
18. Los Angeles Rams 6-6, last week 20
The Rams have rattled off three straight wins to revive their post season chances, and while that comeback is anchored by Matthew Stafford’s return under center, we should not underestimate the effect that Puka Nacua has had on this team. Nacua toughed it out after suffering a nasty looking injury to his ribs in the second quarter, and would have come up with what could have been the game winning 45 yard rush midway through the fourth quarter if it weren’t for a holding call that brought the play back. LA are in the thick of the playoff mix after winning their last three, but have to travel to Baltimore next week.
19. Seattle Seahawks 6-6, last week 15
Did we just see the Seahawks empty the tank agains the Cowboys on Thursday night? They gave Dallas all they could handle, but came up short and have now lost three straight games at a critical juncture of the season. They are now on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, with the Niners and Eagles awaiting them over the next two weeks.
20. Las Vegas Raiders 5-7, last week 19
21. Atlanta Falcons 6-6, last week 21
In Week 13′s UGHH game of the week, the Falcons flew north to New York, and won a stinkfest of a football game. If you watched it for any other reason then taking the Under, then shame on you. Desmond Ridder’s TD pass to MyCole Pruitt was the one and only TD of the game, and was enough to bring the Falcons back to .500. At 6-6 the Falcons are division leaders, and we’ve season it before, wins in the NFC South are a priority, but any win you can get outside of the division is icing on the cake.
22. New Orleans Saints 5-7, last week 22
The Saints got flattened like roadkill in the first seven minutes of the game. They somehow scraped their carcass off the pavement and gave the Lions a fight despite being battered and bruised. Their red zone problems didn’t plague them in the Super Dome on Sunday, and if they hadn’t spotted Detroit 21 first quarter points, they might have been coming out of Week 13 at 6-6, like the division leading Atlanta Falcons.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-7, last week 24
It was far from a pretty game for the Buccaneers, but their Week 13 matchup against the Panthers was one they could not lose if they are going to have any hope winning the division. Mike Evan’s 75 yard TD catch and run and Chirs Godwin’s 19 yard sprint to the end zone was just enough to squeak past a Carolina team that is not ready to win tight games late in the fourth yet.
24. Los Angeles Chargers 5-7, last week 23
LA kicked two measly second quarter field goal on Sunday in Foxborugh. I’m not sure what’s more embarrassing, that, or the fact that they won the game. This certainly will not be one of the game tapes Brandon Staley turns into the front offices of Sofi Stadium to convince the team he is the man for the job.
25. Chicago Bears 4-8, last week 25
26. Arizona Cardinals 3-10, last week 28
There was a lot to overcome for the Cardinals in James Connor’s return to Pittsburgh. The former Pitt Panther and Steeler made sure to leave his mark on the stadium he used to call his own. The defense never missed a beat and made the game changing goal line stand late in the first half. Kyler Murray, Conner and the Cards would go 99 yards the other way and lock in a 14 point swing before the halftime break. The only thing that would slow down the Cards was the weather in Pittsburgh, but Connor’s two second half TDs secured Arizona’s first road win of the season.
27. Tennessee Titans 4-8, last week 26
The Titans really had to cook up something special to blow that game against the Colts. They had Derrick Henry finally looking like the Derrick Henry we are used to seeing beat up the Colts, and the defense was doing a good job holding Indy to field goals. But with the offense is grooving and the defense is locked in, how could they figure out a way to blow this game? Special teams! And boy, did they go down in a blaze of glory. Two blocked punts and a missed PAT that would have put the Titans up one with 5:26 to go in the fourth quarter. If Tennessee wins that game, they still have an outside chance to dream about the playoffs, but a team that loses a game in such a fashion doesn’t deserve to be thinking about the playoffs.
28, Washington Commanders 4-9, last week 27
Crazy to think that this team started the season with a fair share of hope. They won their first two games, and had a rookie quarterback that was slinging the ball all over the field. Little did Sam Howell know he would wind up being the most sacked QB in the league, and the defense would just disappear midway through the season. Washington has lost six of their last seven including four straight. In that four game stretch they are giving up over 37 points a game.
29. New York Giants 4-8, last week 29
30. New York Jets 4-8, last week 30
News came out this week that the only reason Aaron Rodgers is considering a comeback this season is to save the jobs of Robert Saleh and more importantly his buddy Nathaniel Hackett. I would assume the front offices would do what ever Rodgers wants whether he is on the field or no, but if nothing else his return will save the Jets fans from the seemingly endless misery that comes with watching a game quarterbacked by Zach Wilson or Tim Boyle.
31. Carolina Panthers 1-11, last week 31
I must admit I’m glad the Panthers didn’t win their soggy game in Tampa Bay. Not because I want to see the team and that fan base suffer, they’ve done enough of that over the last decade. I wanted to see the Panthers lose so their owner wouldn’t get the slightest sense of satisfaction after axing Frank Reich last week. Only thing that would have made me happier was to see him suffering in the torrential downpour, and not in a heated box with champagne and caviar at his disposal.
32. New England Patriots 2-10, last week 32
In this weeks addition of sad but true facts: the Patriots have given up just two touchdowns in their last three games and they have lost each of those three games. They are the first team in professional football to give up 10 points or less in three straight games, but that slice of history is impossible to enjoy when you have to watch the offense sludge through four quarters of pathetic, toothless football. They have scored a combined 13 points over those three games. Hard to fathom this is the same team, the same franchise, and the same coach to lead the most dominant dynasty the NFL has ever seen.