Here are our NFL power rankings heading into week 13. What do you agree and disagree with?
1. New England Patriots (9-2)
2. Green Bay Packers (8-3)
R-E-L-A-X … What else is there to say other than, AARON “FREAKING” RODGERS! Well, we should probably mention that the defense has been playing nicely with especially great play from Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers.
3. Denver Broncos (8-3)
Peyton Manning and the Broncos got back on track against the Miami Dolphins and when you have one of the all-time greats at QB; you’re going to be a tough out on any day.
4. Arizona Cardinals (9-2)
Somehow these Cardinals are good at football…? Drew Stanton is now the starter at QB with Carson Palmer out for the year with a torn ACL. Rookie wide receiver John Brown gives the Cardinals a speedy “take the top off your defense” vertical threat. Linebacker Larry Foote, a 13 year veteran, is an impact player for this defense as he blows up plays in the backfield. They have one of the best secondaries in football with Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, and Tyrann Matheiu. At the end of the day, the Cardinals aren’t higher on this list because of Drew Stanton.
5. Dallas Cowboys (8-3)
The Dallas Cowboys have a dominant offensive line which makes everyone’s job on offense just that much easier. DeMarco Murray leads the NFL in rushing which opens up the passing lanes for Tony Romo to make easier and smarter throws. The Cowboys defense gets to rest while their offense chews up yards on the ground. Rolando McClain has found his love of football again and has been a dominant MLB this year for the Cowboys.
6. Philadelphia Eagles (8-3)
Mark Sanchez is in at QB for the Eagles and that’s never a good thing for your football team. However, the Eagles have a tremendous offensive mind in Chip Kelly and unbelievable talent on that side of the ball as well.
7. Indianapolis Colts (7-4)
The Colts have injuries at running back again and last years sack leader Robert Mathis is out for the year as well. Reggie Wayne is healthy this year though and Andrew Luck is getting better and better with each and every start he gets in the NFL. The Colts will be a very tough out come playoff time!
8. Seattle Seahawks (7-4)
The Seahawks just got back their stud linebacker Bobby Wagner last week who adds a tough play-maker in the middle that this defense was desperately missing. Beast-mode and Russell Wilson are a dynamic duo in the backfield with the read-option and Russell’s creativity at the quarterback position. The Legion of Boom is getting back healthy and looks like they are finding their stride and swagger at the right time.
9. San Francisco 49ers (7-4)
Linebackers Aldon Smith and Navarro Bowman are back? UH OH! The 49ers have tremendous offensive talent and a defense that is getting healthy at a great time for the Niners. Seattle and San Francisco battle this Thursday Night on Thanksgiving so we will see who will make a move toward challenging the Cardinals for the top spot in the NFC West.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (7-3-1)
The Bengals go as Andy Dalton goes and so far this season Andy has been up and down to say the least. Giovanni Bernard and rookie Jeremy Hill have had very good seasons running the football and with A.J. Green back healthy, this offense should flourish to close out the season.
11. Detroit Lions (7-4)
The Lions had the number 1 defense going into New England, but they got lit up by Thomas Edward Patrick Brady and the Patriots. However, the Lions offense didn’t do anything to help their defense out as they only scored 9 points. 9 points with Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, and Joique Bell? The ineptitude of this offense is mind boggling to say the least!
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4)
The Steelers have been up and down this year as two weeks in a row Ben Roethlisberger had 6 touchdowns then they lost to the lowly New York Jets. Big Ben, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell will determine where this team is going to go the rest of the way. The defense had been struggling this season until they brought back linebacker James Harrison, who had been retired, who seems to have given that unit a shot in the arm.
13. Baltimore Ravens (7-4)
Steve Smith Sr. has been a great addition to the Ravens offense and Justin Forsett has done beautifully taking over for Ray Rice after the domestic violence situation. The Ravens have had injuries in their secondary and that will be a challenge for them to make the playoffs.
14. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
Before we get into talking Chiefs we want to wish Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry the best as he was diagnosed with lymphoma on Saturday and is heading to Atlanta to see specialists. We hope for a full and speedy recovery for the vocal leader of a strong Chiefs defensive unit.
The Kansas City Chiefs just lost to the, at the time, 0-10 Oakland Raiders. That cannot happen! Alex Smith is his usual average self and Andy Reid is hit and miss on his creativeness in his play-calling.
15. Miami Dolphins (6-5)
Ryan Tannehill has been playing great football as of late, but couldn’t quite outlast the great Peyton Manning last week. The Dolphins are missing their top running back Knowshon Moreno and left tackle Branden Albert which is holding back their offense from being even better. Their defense has a talented and feisty defensive line and two good corners with Cortland Finnegan and Brent Grimes, but they don’t appear to have quite enough to make the playoffs this season.
16. San Diego Chargers (7-4)
Philip Rivers and the Chargers have been struggling with mass injuries to their offensive line and running backs. This past weekend they got Ryan Matthews back which was a shot in the arm for their running game, but the offensive line still struggled against a vaunted a St. Louis pass rush. The Chargers will have to get creative and get more from their running game to close out their very tough schedule in hopes of making the playoffs.
17. Cleveland Browns (7-4)
Brian Hoyer threw 3 interceptions against the Atlanta Falcons, but did lead them down to a game winning 37 yard field goal at the end. Browns star wide receiver Josh Gordon came back this week and had over 100 yards receiving which will give the Browns a chance to shock us all and make the playoffs.
18. Buffalo Bills (6-5)
The Buffalo Bills moved on from second year quarterback E.J. Manuel to go with the veteran Kyle Orton who provides stability and veteran wisdom. Bills rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins has been a sensation and their front four on defense is as dominant as their is in the NFL. The Bills will struggle to make the playoffs without enough weapons on the offensive side of the football and a ton of teams fighting for playoff spots in the AFC.
19. Houston Texans (5-6)
Ryan Mallet is done for the year with a torn right pectoral muscle so it’s back to Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Texans are carried by their defense, run game, and outstanding wide receivers Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins. We don’t see the Texans making the playoffs, but crazier things have happened and never count out J.J. Watt!
20. Chicago Bears (5-6)
Jay Cutler hasn’t been magically fixed by the quarterback “guru” Marc Trestman and the Bears defense is a sieve allowing teams to score at will. The Bears may have the most offensive talent in the NFL, but Jay Cutler and their awful defense haven’t allowed them to be as dynamic as they hoped to be.
21. New Orleans Saints (4-7)
Drew Brees has been under siege this season and the defense that was supposed to be a great compliment to their offense, has been a huge disappointment. They can’t even win at home where they are supposed to be almost unbeatable. Good news is that they’re still tied for 1st place with the Falcons. Wow!
22. Atlanta Falcons (4-7)
The Falcons can’t run the football with the broken down Steven Jackson and their left tackle Sam Baker out for the season. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are the lifeblood of this offense and can lead the Falcons back to the playoffs as they’re tied for 1st with the Saints right now.
23. St. Louis Rams (4-7)
The Rams have switched back to Shaun Hill which sparked them to a win over the Denver Broncos last week. This week they fell just short of beating the San Diego Chargers, but this is a quality football team looking to rain on another teams playoff aspirations.
24. Minnesota Vikings (4-7)
Teddy Bridgewater has been steady and shown some real promise for the Vikings’ future. The child neglect/abuse situation with Adrian Peterson put a stop to any playoff hopes that the Vikings may have had. They just gave the Packers a very good game and should challenge for a wild card spot next season. If only they were in the NFC South.
25. New York Giants (3-8)
Eli Manning has had another tough season and the running game hasn’t been up to Giants’ standards with the addition of Rashad Jennings. Jason Pierre-Paul hasn’t been the same game changing pass rusher as he was a few season ago. The loss of Victor Cruz and waiting for Odell Beckham Jr. to get healthy early on in the season have hurt the passing game and Eli’s numbers, but they should have a bright future with those two stud wide-outs for seasons to come.
26. Carolina Panthers (3-7-1)
The Panthers offensive line and running backs have been decimated this season while their receiving corps was decimated in the off-season with all their free agent losses. Cam Newton has been plagued by injuries as well which has hindered his mobile and physical style of play. Greg Hardy has been out due to his domestic violence situation which hurts the defense as he is one of their premier play-makers.
27. Washington (3-8)
RGIII fighting with another coach and can’t play his style of game due to all the injuries he’s sustained adds up to a huge mess in Washington. RGIII can’t seem to play from the pocket, but can’t be mobile like he once was due to all the injuries so that leaves Washington and RGIII in a state of limbo. After this season, Washington will have to decide whether or not to pick up RGIII’s 5th year option or to let him go which would be devastating because of what they gave up to acquire him and the hopes the franchise and fans had for him.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-9)
Before this 2014 season we were one of the few out there saying that the Bucs would not be one of the NFL’s surprise teams as many were proclaiming. We like Lovie Smith as their head coach, but we just don’t believe in Josh McCown and not having Doug Martin all season has hurt their running game for sure. Although they traded for Logan Mankins, their offensive line has struggled mightily which has been another huge issue for a team with an aging immobile quarterback.
29. Tennessee Titans (2-9)
Jake Locker is on injured reserve and Charlie Whitehurst wasn’t cutting it under center so the Titans are seeing what they have in their rookie quarterback out of LSU, Zach Mettenberger. The Titans are young and not especially talented in any area on their football team which shows in their 2-9 record.
30. Oakland Raiders (1-10)
The Raiders have only been beaten by 17+ points in 3 out of their 11 games this season. They have been in many of their games, but could not find a way to push through and finish off an opponent. Well, until last week on Thursday Night Football when they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 24-20 giving them their first win on the season.
31. New York Jets (2-9)
The Jets just lost to the Bills 38-3 and while the Raiders have a worse record; they got their first win against the now 7-4 Kansas City Chiefs, so for at least this week the Jets find themselves behind the silver and black. The Jets have awful quarterback play although there is not much talent around the quarterback. The Jets defense might as well not even have a secondary as the players out there are nonexistent anyway.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10)
Blake Bortles is struggling in his rookie campaign, but without Justin Blackmon for the year the Jaguars offensive talent pool is baron. The Jaguars have a nice defensive unit, but with an offense that can’t consistently move the chains and put points on the board; it’s too much to overcome.