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NFL Power Rankings: Week 13 (2021)

by November 30, 2021
Joe Burrow

Week 12 was a little less hectic at the top of the power rankings, something we haven’t been able to say in quite some time.

The top five teams all remained static – perhaps mainly because two of them had byes, but the Patriots, Buccaneers, and Packers all took care of business against fellow top-12 teams. With impressive wins, the Bills climbed back into the top 10, and the Bengals re-entered the top 10 for the first time in a month.

On the flip side, a third-straight loss for the Rams sent the once number-one overall team tumbling down to 10th, another puzzling performance from the up-and-down Chargers slid them down to 13th, and the mounting injuries in Tennessee have nearly rendered the Titans non-competitive. Check out Week 13’s power rankings to find out where everyone else landed.

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NFL Power Rankings Week 13

Team Rank (Δ) Last Week Next Week Notes
Arizona Cardinals 1 Bye @ CHI Uh-oh. Kliff Kingsbury to Oklahoma?
New England Patriots 2 W 36-13 vs. TEN @ BUF (MNF) Six in a row for the Pats.
Kansas City Chiefs 3 Bye vs. DEN (SNF) Suddenly a huge game with divisional implications upcoming against Denver.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4 W 38-31 @ IND @ ATL Playoff Lenny came early.
Green Bay Packers 5 W 36-28 vs. LAR Bye Good bounce-back from the Packers heading into a late bye.
Buffalo Bills 6 (+5) W 31-6 @ NO vs. NE (MNF) The Bills have been streaky, but they can’t afford a letdown on Monday hosting New England.
Cincinnati Bengals 7 (+6) W 41-10 vs. PIT vs. LAC Cincy has now hung 41 on both the Ravens and Steelers.
Dallas Cowboys 8 (-2) L 36-33 vs. LV @ NO (TNF) Dallas can’t get the offense and defense clicking at the same time.
Baltimore Ravens 9 W 16-10 vs. CLE @ PIT Ugly but important divisional win.
Los Angeles Rams 10 (-3) L 36-28 @ GB vs. JAC Three losses in a row for the Rams.
San Francisco 49ers 11 (+6) W 34-26 vs. MIN @ SEA Don’t look now, but the 49ers are the sixth seed in the NFC playoff picture.
Indianapolis Colts 12 L 38-31 vs. TB @ HOU The Colts fought hard, just came up a bit short. This team is going to fight until the end.
Los Angeles Chargers 13 (-3) L 28-13 @ DEN @ CIN Crucial loss all but eliminates the Chargers from AFC West contention.
Tennessee Titans 14 (-6) L 36-13 @ NE Bye The Titans freefall is far from over. This team is incredibly banged up.
Cleveland Browns 15 (-1) L 16-10 @ BAL Bye What a mess this season has turned into.
Minnesota Vikings 16 (-1) L 34-26 @ SF @ DET The ups and downs continue, and they just lost Dalvin Cook too.
Las Vegas Raiders 17 (+3) W 36-33 @ DAL vs. WSH A thrilling, much-needed win for Vegas.
Denver Broncos 18 (+6) W 28-13 vs. LAC @ KC (SNF) Denver continues to hang around the playoff race.
Washington Football Team 19 (+2) W 17-15 vs. SEA @ LV Three in a row for Washington.
Pittsburgh Steelers 20 (-3) L 41-10 @ CIN vs. BAL Yikes. Pittsburgh just buried themselves in a stacked division.
Philadelphia Eagles 21 (-3) L 13-7 @ NYG @ NYJ Not a great way to start a stretch of very winnable games.
Miami Dolphins 22 (+2) W 33-10 vs. CAR vs. NYG Four in a row for Miami.
New Orleans Saints 23 (-4) L 31-6 vs. BUF vs. DAL (TNF) Injuries have submarined the Saints year.
Carolina Panthers 24 (-2) L 33-10 @ MIA Bye Cam Newton’s return was fun while it lasted.
New York Giants 25 W 13-7 vs. PHI @ MIA The defense was great, but the removal of Jason Garrett did nothing to improve the offense.
Seattle Seahawks 26 L 17-15 @ WSH vs. SF It’s hard to drop them much lower, but this is the worst team Seattle has had in a long, long time.
Chicago Bears 27 W 16-14 @ DET vs. ARI At least they didn’t hand Detroit their first win.
Atlanta Falcons 28 W 21-14 @ JAC vs. TB Atlanta may have the weakest group of wins in NFL history.
New York Jets 29 (+2) W 21-14 @ HOU vs. PHI Somebody had to win, I guess.
Houston Texans 30 (-1) L 21-14 vs. NYJ vs. IND And somebody had to lose.
Jacksonville Jaguars 31 (-1) L 21-14 vs. ATL @ LAR It didn’t lead to a win, but the Jags looked like they played with a bit more tempo.
Detroit Lions 32 L 16-14 vs. CHI vs. MIN The Falcons may be Detroit’s last chance to win a game.


Big Movers

Buffalo Bills
I seemingly move the Bills up or down five spots every week, but that’s the nature of finally being the hunted as opposed to the hunter – you’re going to get everyone’s best shot. There’s no denying this is one of the six or seven most talented teams in the league. They need to play like it every week – which they haven’t of late. They can’t afford any missteps the rest of the way because their schedule is demanding, starting on Monday when they host the Patriots for first place in the AFC East.

Cincinnati Bengals
The upstart Bengals skidded into their bye, losing games to the Jets and Browns, and allowed 75 points in the process. It was clear they needed a breather, and it’s proven true. Cincinnati dominated the Raiders in Vegas coming out of the bye, and rocked the Steelers on Sunday, beating them for the second time this year. The offense has been impressive, scoring 73 points in the two wins, but the defense bouncing back has been the key to Cincinnati’s success. They’ve allowed just 23 combined points over the last two weeks.

San Francisco 49ers
How about this turnaround from San Francisco. They’ve been aided by a bit of a soft schedule but mixed in. There are two very impressive wins over the Rams and now the Vikings. Their offense is looking dynamic again, Deebo Samuel is every bit of the Swiss Army knife that Kyle Shanahan drafted him to be, and thanks to the Seahawks implosion, the injury to Kyler Murray, and the Rams losing streak, the 49ers are right in the thick of this division race. It’s not likely they will win it, but if the season ended today, they’d be a Wild Card team and a dangerous one at that.

Denver Broncos
The Broncos aren’t exactly the most talented team in the NFL and maybe the least talented team in their division, but they keep finding ways to hang around the playoff race. They’ve lept back over .500 yet again after beating the Chargers in Denver. While the Chiefs look to be running away with the AFC West crown, the Broncos’ recent strong play coupled with the inconsistency of Los Angeles and bad streak from Las Vegas is keeping Denver within striking distance. Like the 49ers, the division is probably unlikely, but a Wild Card spot is firmly within reach.

Random Musings

Miami Dolphins
If the NFL season started in November, the Dolphins would be tied for the league’s best record. They’ve won four in a row and have a decent shot at extending their streak to five when they host the Giants next week. Miami’s defense has suddenly come to life, Tua Tagovailoa is rounding into form, and the Dolphins look like the hungrier team each week. If only they played this way from the start of the season, the AFC East race could be even more interesting than it already is.

Tennessee Titans
You’ve got to feel bad for the Titans. They were the top seed in the AFC and were rolling coming into their meeting with the Texans last week. They fell flat on their face in a clear letdown spot and followed it up with another dud against the Patriots. The mounting injuries are just too much to overcome, as Tennessee had to add A.J. Brown to the shelf next to Julio Jones and Derrick Henry. Ryan Tannehill only threw for 93 yards against New England. They split carries between Dontrell Hilliard and D’Onta Foreman. Their leading receivers were Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Cody Hollister, and Dez Fitzpatrick. That’s not going to get it done.

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