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My 2016 NFL Power Rankings Week 13

Updated on December 6, 2016

NFL Power Rankings

Do you feel it? Is it the chill in the December air? Maybe. Depends on where you live I suppose. I think it’s more or less the intensity rising in the NFL season. Playoffs are just around the corner and every game is of the utmost importance. To some teams losing a game in this final month might seal their fate as being left behind once the postseason starts. To others, every win gets them one step closer to punching their postseason ticket. One such team can already make that claim: the Dallas Cowboys. Once again they are the top team in this week’s ranking. Is your team still in the playoff hunt? If so, buckle up and enjoy the ride that is the last quarter of the NFL season.

  1. Dallas Cowboys (11-1) ~ As I mentioned in the opening the Cowboys became the first team to clinch a playoff spot on Sunday by virtue of a few teams trailing them in the standings picking up a loss. If they can run their win streak to an even dozen this coming Sunday they will become the first team to clinch their division. It’s been a magical run so far for Dallas. (Last Week’s Ranking 1)
  2. New England Patriots (10-2) ~ Two hundred and one. 201. For number 12. Tom Brady became the winningest quarterback in NFL history on Sunday when the Patriots dispatched the visiting Los Angeles Rams. When all is said and done there is no way to keep Brady off of the Mount Rushmore of NFL quarterbacks. (LWR 2)
  3. Oakland Raiders (10-2) ~ Midway through the 3rd quarter the Raiders were down 24-9 to the visiting Buffalo Bills. It would have been understandable if they went on to lose that game. I certainly thought they would lose that game. But they didn’t. Oakland scored the next 29 points to win by two touchdowns and hold onto their lead as the top seed in the AFC. No matter how they get it done, they just win, baby. (LWR 3)
  4. Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1) ~ They thumped defending NFC champion Carolina which may have ended the Panthers’ season. Earl Thomas on the other hand? His season is officially over after he suffered a broken leg during the game. Thomas, for my money one of the best in the game, went on Twitter and said he was pondering retirement. Say it ain’t so. (LWR 4)
  5. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3) ~ Where’s the love for K.C.? The teams above them, and even a few below them, all get national praise but nobody is talking about the Chiefs. If they knock off the Raiders Thursday night that should all change. (LWR 6)
  6. Atlanta Falcons (7-5) ~ Oh what might’ve been. Atlanta scored the go ahead touchdown late in the 4th quarter and decided to go for two and extend their lead to three. Eric Berry had other thoughts and intercepted Matt Ryan’s pass and returned it for a pick two giving Kansas City the lead AND the ball. That’s right. Atlanta lost the lead and then had to kick-off to the Chiefs on the next play. That’s a hell of a way to lose a game. (LWR 5)
  7. Denver Broncos (8-4) ~ Kapri Bibbs became the second Denver running back to land on IR. That said, they were able to pick up Justin Forsett off of waivers. It will be Forsett’s third team this season after stints in Baltimore and Detroit although it will reunite him with former coach Gary Kubiak. (LWR 7)
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) ~ Three wins in a row for the Steelers and their defense is due a lot of the credit. They’ve allowed just 30 points across those three games after allowing 35 the week prior in a loss to Dallas. (LWR 9)
  9. Detroit Lions (8-4) ~ Four straight wins for the Lions is impressive. Holding four straight opponents under 20 points? Also impressive. Keeping Drew Brees without a touchdown pass IN NEW ORLEANS? Most impressive. This is the kind of statement game that might finally make people take Detroit seriously. (LWR 10)
  10. Baltimore Ravens (7-5) ~ The Ravens have been up and down all season. Three straight wins followed by four straight losses. Now its four wins in their last five. This most recent win, however, a 38-6 drubbing of a Miami team on a six-game win streak, is certainly an eye-opener. Up next? A Monday night road game against Mr. Brady and the Pats. Another win there will go a long way in the up-for-grabs AFC North. (LWR 13)
  11. New York Giants (8-4) ~ A lot of people seem to think that the Giants haven’t beaten anyone impressive all year. A lot of people might forget that the Giants are the only team to hand Dallas a loss. They’ll get a chance for the season sweep Sunday night in a game they need to win if they have any chance of winning their division. (LWR 8)
  12. Green Bay Packers (6-6) ~ Aaron Rodgers seems to have the Pack back on track but the left hamstring looks like it might be a lingering problem. If he is healthy, Green Bay is always a threat. If not, well, maybe next year. (LWR 15)
  13. Washington Redskins (6-5-1) ~ Jamison Crowder leads the team with 767 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Not Pierre Garcon. Not DeSean Jackson. Not Jordan Reed or Vernon Davis. Jamison Crowder. The second-year player looks to be a star in the making. (LWR 11)
  14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) ~ Don’t look now but the Bucs are in a virtual tie for the top spot in the NFC South. They are both 7-5 overall. They are both 5-3 in the conference. The difference? Atlanta has one more division win but they have also played one more divisional game than Tampa. Could the Bucs really rise up and take this division? (LWR 20)
  15. Miami Dolphins (7-5) ~ Last week I asked if the Dolphins were any good. This week Miami allowed a season-high 38 points while simultaneously scoring a season-low six points. Suffice it to say, the Dolphins are quite happy to leave Baltimore and I think I have my answer. (LWR 12)
  16. Minnesota Vikings (6-6) ~ Losing Adrian Peterson at the beginning of the season was bad. Everyone knew the Vikings would struggle to run the ball without the former MVP. Did they know they would struggle this badly? Minnesota is averaging a league-worst 72.4 yards per game. That puts a lot of pressure on Sam Bradford to lead this offense and over the past seven games they’ve topped 20 points just once. (LWR 14)
  17. Tennessee Titans (6-6) ~ The Titans did not play this past weekend as they were one of two teams (Cleveland) to enjoy the late season bye. Their bye week coincided with a week in which NFL players could support their charities on their cleats. The NFL has gone on record saying that the Titans cannot wear their special cleats this weekend. This, in my mind, is yet another reason why the NFL gets a bad rap. (LWR 19)
  18. Houston Texans (6-6) ~ When Houston plays at home they are pretty good. Their 5-1 record at home tells me just that. When they play on the road they are pretty bad. Their 1-5 record tells me that. If that pattern holds the Texans would finish at 8-8 which might just be enough in the AFC South. (LWR 16)
  19. Indianapolis Colts (6-6) ~ Another week and another Scott Tolzien sighting for the Colts. This time it was welcomed as Indy had run out to a huge lead against the Jets behind Andrew Luck’s four touchdown passes. The Colts are still my pick to win this division. (LWR 23)
  20. Buffalo Bills (6-6) ~ The Percy Harvin experiment is over almost before it started. The receiver, who came out of retirement just a few weeks ago, was placed on the season-ending reserve / non-football injury list. He played in just two games and caught two passes for six yards. He also ran the ball once for 11 yards. It’s safe to assume this is the last we will see of Harvin on an NFL field. (LWR 17)
  21. Arizona Cardinals (5-6-1) ~ With a 10-catch effort on Sunday Larry Fitzgerald moved into sole possession of 3rd place on the all-time receptions list. He now has 1,106 catches during his 13-year career which trails only Jerry Rice and Tony Gonzalez. One day we will see all three of them enshrined in Canton. (LWR 22)
  22. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) ~ Two straight embarrassing losses have all but eliminated any chance the Eagles had at the postseason. If they can muster up the energy and effort to grit out a win this weekend they could deal a crushing blow to the playoff hopes of the division-rival Redskins. (LWR 18)
  23. San Diego Chargers (5-7) ~ Philip Rivers threw his 14th interception of the season late in the game against Tampa Bay while the Chargers were driving and looking to tie the game. Interceptions aren’t anything new with Rivers but he has already surpassed last year’s total and could come close to his career-high of 20 set back in 2011. (LWR 21)
  24. Cincinnati Bengals (4-7-1) ~ The Bengals were without A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard but that didn’t seem to bother them on Sunday. They scored on their first six possessions and coasted to an easy win over the Eagles to keep their faint playoff hopes alive. (LWR 26)
  25. New Orleans Saints (5-7) ~ I mentioned earlier that the Lions held Drew Brees without a touchdown pass. I didn’t realize the gravity of it. Brees had thrown a touchdown in an NFL-record 61 straight home games until Sunday. I suppose all good things must come to an end. (LWR 24)
  26. Carolina Panthers (4-8) ~ A year ago the Panthers lost just one game in the regular season. Now they need to win out to avoid a losing season. My how things have gone south fast in Carolina. (LWR 25)
  27. Los Angeles Rams (4-8) ~ Where oh where has Todd Gurley gone? He burst onto the scene last year as a rookie with 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns on 229 carries. This season? Just 679 yards and four scores on 211 carries. Nearly half the production with just 18 fewer carries. The Rams will need him to snap out of his sophomore slump if their offense is going to get any better next year. (LWR 27)
  28. Chicago Bears (3-9) ~ It was a snowy, sloppy day in Chicago so that meant the teams had to rely on the ground game. Jordan Howard came up big for the Bears running for 117 yards and three scores. He is the bright spot during these dark times in Chicago. (LWR 29)
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) ~ Sure, they lost again securing yet another double-digit loss season, but they did have the champs on the ropes. That is enough to move them up one spot because...(LWR 30)
  30. New York Jets (3-9) ~ ...The Jets stink. On ice. Maybe on fire too. Who really knows? All I know is this: they got blowed out at home. By the Colts. The Jets are a bad, bad football team right now. (LWR 29)
  31. San Francisco 49ers (1-11) ~ The worst season in franchise history plods along. Colin Kaepernick was benched again. Nothing this team does is right. (LWR 31)
  32. Cleveland Browns (0-12) ~ Rumor on the street is that Robert Griffin III might be back in the starting lineup for the Browns. Could he be the spark needed to put one in the win column? I doubt it. (LWR 32)

That's all she wrote folks. Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them right here. Or if that's not good enough you can follow/harass me on Twitter @therichwhiteguy. It wouldn't be the biggest waste of your time.

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