NFL Power Rankings for 13 Weeks

The last place is not what it used to be.

AFC West – all four teams have winning records – and AFC North – all four teams have at least .500 records – have changed how the basement is viewed. It is no longer reserved only for teams looking like the Lions, Texans and Jets.

Is it possible to make an all-division playoff (with one champion plus three wild cards) in an extended era of seven teams per conference? Maybe in the future, though the AFC East’s two-horse race probably won’t allow it this year. But it only takes a hot streak or a cold streak to turn the standings on their head.

Here are the post’s power rankings for week 13:

1. Arizona Cardinals, 9-2 (1)

Kyler Murray must return after a 2-1 lead to the Cardinals before bidding a good-bye to quarterback Colt McCoy. Coach Cliff Kingsbury did not dismiss rumors that he might be tempted back into college games in Oklahoma after Steelers’ Mike Tomlin dismissed rumors of him linking to USC.

2. Kansas City Chiefs, 7-4 (2)

The Chiefs come out with three straight divisional games by byes. Four of the last six are against AFC West rivals, against whom coach Andy Reid has been 37–13 since 2013. It’s really impressive to be 7-4 when the defense was historically poor. Steve Spagnuolo’s best defense often takes half a season to find a foothold.

3. Green Bay Packers, 9-3 (4)

Days after Aaron Rodgers caught his injured toe in front of reporters on Zoom, he threw 307 yards and two touchdowns in a playoff rematch against the Rams. A red-hot defense added a pick-six to build a 19-point third-quarter lead, and the Packers didn’t lose consecutive games during coach Matt LaFleur’s three seasons. Toe-Gate takes a break for a week as Rodgers reportedly refused surgery.

4. New England Patriots, 8-4 (3)

The Patriots have won six straight (with a plus–148 point margin) after defeating the Titans and 6–1 against the AFC (a one-week loss to the Dolphins). Mack Jones threw for 310 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Kendrick Bourne, scoring on nine of his first 10 possessions. The defense shut out the second half.

Mack Jones and the Patriots’ offense scored on nine of his first 10 possessions against the Titans.
AP

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8-3 (10)

Tom Brady improved to an all-time 16-4 against the Colts, who were on the other side of the deflated Black Mark on his career. Leonard Fournette scored four touchdowns, including a tie-breaking 28-yard run with 20 seconds remaining. The NFL’s best running defense came against MVP candidate Jonathan Taylor (83 yards in 16).

6. Baltimore Ravens, 8-3 (8)

The Ravens have an edge in the AFC North because of two of the NFL’s best weapons: double-threat Lamar Jackson and automatic kicker Justin Tucker. It wasn’t Jackson’s best game against the Browns, but the Ravens became the first of 53 teams to win, throwing at least four interceptions in a game since 2015.

7. Buffalo Bills, 7-4 (12)

Chicken wings on gumbo on Turkey Day. The decoded version of that sentence is: The Bills Beat the Saints on Thanksgiving. Josh Allen looked unstoppable with a walk in the first half and three touchdown passes in the second half. Moving on is the performance of the AFC East against the Patriots.

8. Tennessee Titans, 8-4 (5)

No Derrick Henry, AJ Brown or Julio Jones is the start of a long list of injury problems for the Titans, who are minus-9 in turnover difference in back-to-back losses to the Texans and Patriots. It’s a reminder of what went wrong with the Dolphins in Ryan Tanhill’s days, when he was forced to do too much.

9. Los Angeles Rams, 7-4 (6)

Make it back-to-back-to-back losses for the Rams, who have scored seven turnovers (including three interceptions returned for touchdowns) in that segment against the Titans, 49ers and Packers. Matthew Stafford is truly under fire, but the rescue is not living up to expectations. Former coordinator Brandon Staley (Chargers head coach) is sorely missed.

10. Cincinnati Bengals, 7-4 (16)

The Bengals defeated the Steelers for the third consecutive time in 11 months and won the series for the first time since 2009. And in dominating fashion (41-10), no less. Joe Mixon ran a career-high 165 yards. Imagine how good the record would look (and how many more entries would survive in the knockout pool) if the Bengals didn’t lose to the Jets on Halloween.

Bengal
Joe Mixon had a career day against the Steelers.
USA TODAY SPORTS

11. Dallas Cowboys, 7-4 (7)

12. San Francisco 49ers, 6-5 (15)

13. Indianapolis Colts, 6-6 (9)

14. Las Vegas Raiders, 6-5 (20)

15. Denver Broncos, 6-5 (21)

16. Minnesota Vikings, 5-6 (11)

17. Los Angeles Chargers, 6-5 (13)

18. Pittsburgh Steelers, 5-5-1 (14)

19. Cleveland Browns, 6-6 (19)

20. Washington Football Team, 5-6 (22)

21. Atlanta Falcons, 5-6 (25)

22. Miami Dolphins, 5-7 (27)

23. New York Giants, 4-7 (26)

The Giants have won three straight at home (Panthers, Raiders and Eagles) despite not achieving 300 yards of total offense in those two games under two different coordinators (Freddie Kitchen replaced Jason Garrett). It’s all about red-zone defense, turnover margin and field positions for the Giants. Is this a permanent formula? The schedule in the last six games is very favorable.

24. Philadelphia Eagles, 5-7 (17)

25. New Orleans Saints, 5-6 (18)

26. Carolina Panthers, 5-7 (23)

27. Seattle Seahawks, 3-8 (24)

28. Chicago Bears, 4-6 (29)

29. New York Jets, 3-8 (31)

Zack Wilson’s return from a four-game absence with a knee injury was the pregame story. But the Jets beat the Texans as the offensive line blocked for a season-high 157 rushing yards, and the defense noted five sacks and didn’t allow a point on the Texans’ last seven possessions. It’s easy to swallow Wilson’s blooper-reel interception from a receiver’s back after a win.

jet
John Franklin-Myers and the Jets’ defense dominated the Texans down the stretch.
AP

30. Houston Texans, 2-9 (28)

31. Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-9 (30)

32. Detroit Lions, 0-10-1 (32)

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