PackFan’s NFL Power Rankings 2018: Week 13

PackFan2005 Ah, just another week of football. As the season winds down, a plethora of teams are closing in on clinching their divisions, but where do they rank?

#1. New Orleans Saints (10-1)
No surprise that they beat the struggling Falcons, as this is the most complete team in the NFL. I haven’t seen an NFL team this balanced since the 2007 Patriots squad. Of course, New Orleans probably doesn’t want to meet a fate similar to that squad.

#2. Los Angeles Rams (10-1)
After a late season bye week, the Rams look to continue dominating to clinch their division in the coming weeks.

#3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2)
After a tough Monday Night loss to the Rams, a bye week came, and now, I see them going 14-2 the rest of the way.

#4. New England Patriots (8-3) +2 ⬆️
Closer game than expected against the Jets, but actually having Rob Gronkowski in the lineup benefited the Patriots hugely. Now they have the #2 seed in the AFC, but the also 8-3 Texans are closing in on them.

#5. Los Angeles Chargers (8-3)
Despite their win being against the Cardinals, Philip Rivers was an absolute beast. 25 straight completed passes?! That’s how an elite quarterback rolls. Rivers has been overlooked his whole career, and finally, heads are turning in his direction, but it took until the back end of his career to do so.

#6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1) -2 ⬇️
They’ve underperformed in recent weeks, and it really showed against the Broncos. James Conner has been a non-factor lately, Ben Roethlisberger has been struggling with accuracy, and the defense can’t seem to stop opposing offenses for certain periods of time. They’ve hit a road block with their season.

#7. Chicago Bears (8-3)
Even with a backup quarterback, the Bears are a very good team. Their defense may have carried them against the Lions, but Chase Daniel was solid. Now, he may have to play again against the Giants in place of Mitchell Trubisky again.

#8. Houston Texans (8-3)
The Texans capped off their 8th straight win against the teetering Titans. I never thought I’d say this, but this team is a contender.

#9. Minnesota Vikings (6-4-1)
They’re getting pretty close to managing to keep their wild card spot. However, they have a difficult schedule ahead, and the Seahawks are rising as well. They’d best be careful.

#10. Seattle Seahawks (6-5) +3 ⬆️
Welcome back to the top ten Seattle. It’s been quite a while since you’ve ended up here. These Seahawks have won game after game using a balanced system between passing and rushing. Their defense is also not as bad as most of us saw it being going into 2018. I sense a playoff run. I do.

#11. Baltimore Ravens (6-5)
Lamar Jackson has brought new life to this offense, and put Joe Flacco’s job in serious jeopardy at the same time. With Jackson at starter, and a balance with offense and defense now, they can make a big run at the wild card round.

#12. Indianapolis Colts (6-5) +4 ⬆️
From 1-5 to 6-5, the Colts of 2018 are actually very good. Their record compared to last year just shows how much Andrew Luck matters to this team. Where would they be without him?

#13. Carolina Panthers (6-5) -3 ⬇️
I honestly don’t know what has happened to this team. They once firmly held onto the 5th seed in the NFC, but have since slipped out and now sit in the 8th seed behind Seattle. The Panthers have lost three straight, and they appear to have no answers yet. Week 13 is critical for their playoff hopes. They need to find themselves again.

#14. Dallas Cowboys (6-5) +3 ⬆️
This was unexpected to say the least. Ever since Amari Cooper arrived in Dallas, he’s lit up the field week after week. His game against the Redskins was no exception. He has energized this once dormant team, looking for an answer. Now they are in prime position to win the NFC East.

#15. Washington Redskins (6-5) -3 ⬇️
Colt McCoy wasn’t terrible during his first game starting, but he wasn’t good either. Dallas picked him apart, as his injury riddled team fell to 6-5. I don’t see them making the playoffs anymore with Alex Smith gone.

#16. Cleveland Browns (4-6-1) +8 ⬆️
The Browns are #16. Yes, I kid you not, the Browns are at #16. Say all you want, but this is an average team right now. After Baker Mayfield and the whole team killing the Bengals, they definitely deserve this. Hue Jackson has been holding them back all these years. Now with Gregg Williams, they’re free at last.

#17. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) -2 ⬇️
The Browns demolished them in a Hue Jackson revenge game. To make matters worse, Andy Dalton is done for the season with a thumb injury. That leaves backup Jeff Driskel without star receiver A.J. Green. Another losing season perhaps, and it could be the nail in the coffin for Marvin Lewis.

#18. Denver Broncos (5-6) +4 ⬆️
Is there a playoff dash brewing at mile high? At 5-6, they’re smack dab in the middle of the AFC swamp. These are the teams that are contending for the #6 seed. After an upset of the Steelers, a week after beating the Chargers, this team looks way better. I don’t know what Vance Joseph did, but it seems to be working.

#19. Green Bay Packers (4-6-1) -5 ⬇️
It’s time to face the facts. The Packers are a bad football team. They can’t protect the quarterback, the quarterback himself is inconsistent along with the offense, and the defense often cracks on 3rd down. They definitely need a change at head coach.

#20. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)
At least they managed to keep their playoff hopes alive, but having to comeback just to win against the 3-8 Giants is pretty sad. This is one of the most injured teams in the NFL, and I don’t see them making a run at the postseason.

#21. Atlanta Falcons (4-7) -3 ⬇️
Well, they got thrashed by the Saints. The loss effectively ends their playoff quest after starting 1-4. I see them tanking the rest of the way to stock up on draft talent. After all, this is still a very talented team.

#22. Miami Dolphins (5-6) -3 ⬇️
They looked so promising to start the season, but injuries have since taken playmakers like Albert Wilson from them, and it’s taken a toll. With their loss to the Colts on Sunday, it pretty much ended their season. They’re stuck in a muddled AFC wild card race, and they almost certainly won’t come out victorious.

#23. Tennessee Titans (5-6) -2 ⬇️
They’ve been beaten by surging division opponents the last two weeks. This week, they succumbed to the Texans. Playoffs? Most likely not.

#24. Detroit Lions (4-7) -1 ⬇️
You know this team is inept when they get beaten by a backup quarterback who hadn’t started a football game since 2013. This season has been full of ups and downs, but they probably reached their lowest point against the Bears on Thanksgiving.

#25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) +2 ⬆️
The 49ers are so bad, they made this team look good. That’s a hard feat to accomplish, but the Buccaneers were actually very good on Sunday.

#26. New York Giants (3-8)
They nearly had the Eagles, but just missed. The late season surge of success has been noticeable however. It’s a sign I believe of great things to come for the Giants in 2019.

#27. Buffalo Bills (4-7) +2 ⬆️
With Josh Allen’s return, the Bills outdid the Jaguars, who somehow are worse than them this season. This just goes to show that Josh Allen is definitely the quarterback they’ve needed for years.

#28. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8) -3 ⬇️
Recognize this spot, Jacksonville? You should. It’s where you spent the 2009-2016 seasons in. Well anyway, welcome back.

#29. New York Jets (3-8) +1 ⬇️
Close game against the Patriots, even with Josh McCown as their starting quarterback. But a loss is still a loss. Now, the tanking begins.

#30. San Francisco 49ers (2-9) -3 ⬇️
They were absolutely embarrassed against the also bad Buccaneers, and Nick Mullens looked like a third string quarterback. Wait, he is. So... back to C.J. Beathard?

#31. Arizona Cardinals (2-9)
45-10. That score is Arizona’s season in a nutshell. They’re a shell of their 2015 selves.

#32. Oakland Raiders (2-9)
I have no need to explain this at this point in the season.