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.
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.|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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