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My Week 13 NFL Power Rankings 2017 Edition

Updated on December 6, 2017

NFL Power Rankings

With Eli Manning riding the pine this past weekend it marked the first NFL week in which a Manning didn’t start a game since 1997. That’s twenty years ago. That’s crazy. That won’t happen again this week, however, as Eli has been reinstated as the starter. Gone are Head Coach Ben McAdoo and General Manager Jerry Reese. With McAdoo out the door, it opens the way for Eli to return to where he has been since 2004: starting games for the New York Giants. Whether he will be doing that beyond 2017 remains to be seen. That’s enough about the Giants, though, so on to the rankings!

1. New England Patriots (10-2) ~ The Patriots are back in a familiar spot: the top of an NFL power rankings list. They may be the top team at the moment, but it looks like they will be without one of their top players the next time they take the field. Star tight end Rob Gronkowski has been suspended for one game stemming from his late hit in a win over Buffalo. Gronk leads New England with 55 catches and seven touchdowns. He did appeal the suspension, but it was upheld. (Last Week’s Ranking 2)

2. Philadelphia Eagles (10-2) ~ When you go on the road in the NFL and play in a hostile environment you can’t make mistakes. The Eagles made plenty in Seattle including a fumble out the back of the end zone which resulted in a touchback instead of a game-tying touchdown as well as a non-challenge on a lateral that was clearly a forward pass during a drive in which the Seahawks scored to put the game away. Philly will have to wait until at least Sunday to clinch a playoff spot. (LWR 2)

3. Minnesota Vikings (10-2) ~ That’s eight straight wins for Minnesota which is in a virtual tie with the Eagles for the top spot in the NFC. They can run the ball. They have one of the stingiest defenses in the league and Case Keenum is making plays when they are needed. I would not want to see the Vikings in the playoffs. (LWR 3)

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-2) ~ They came back from a 17 point deficit to win a divisional game on the road. That is the sign of a team who doesn’t give up. That’s the kind of play the fans have grown accustomed to seeing in Pittsburgh. They retain their tie with New England atop the AFC and can clinch the North division with a win Sunday against Baltimore. (LWR 4)

5. Los Angeles Rams (9-3) ~ Sunday’s win not only pushed the Rams closer to their first playoff berth since 2004, but it clinched their first winning record since 2003. That’s right. Those ’04 Rams snuck in to the playoffs at an even 8-8. I wonder how the fans in St. Louis feel about the success of this Rams squad. (LWR 5)

6. New Orleans Saints (9-3) ~ Alvin Kamara is second in the NFL with 1,220 yards from scrimmage. Mark Ingram is averaging more than five yards per carry and has nine rushing touchdowns. Remind me again why this team signed Adrian Peterson in the offseason. Sure, they traded him to Arizona, but why did the even start the season with him on the roster? (LWR 6)

7. Seattle Seahawks (8-4) ~ Russell Wilson is making a strong case for the MVP award. He has accounted for 29 of the 30 offensive touchdowns Seattle has scored this season. He already has five more scores through the air than he had all of last season. He also just led the way in the takedown of the steamroller that was the Philadelphia Eagles. With a banged up secondary, and no running game to speak of, how far can Wilson carry Seattle? (LWR 10)

8. Carolina Panthers (8-4) ~ Their four-game win streak came to an end in New Orleans and it doesn’t get any easier this weekend when the Vikings come to town. Another loss could spell trouble for Carolina. Perhaps a healthy Greg Olsen will help as the stud tight end is expected to return after missing yet another game last week. (LWR 7)

9. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4) ~ I mentioned that Minnesota is scary because they have a stingy defense and can control the clock running the ball. Well, Jacksonville may be even scarier in those regards as the lead the league with nearly 150 yards per game on the ground while simultaneously leading the league by giving up less than 15 points per game. I’ve wondered all year if the Jags were for real. Those two bits of info lead me to believe that they are. (LWR 9)

10. Atlanta Falcons (7-5) ~ Let’s be honest. Thursday night football games are usually duds. Save for the traditional Thanksgiving games I like my football on Sundays and Monday nights. This Thursday, however, I’ll be tuning in as Atlanta hosts New Orleans in a must-win game for the Falcons if they want any chance at winning the NFC South. Matt Ryan vs Drew Brees in primetime? Count me in. Thursday or not. (LWR 8)

11. Tennessee Titans (8-4) ~ It’s safe to say that Marcus Mariota misses his top target in wideout Rishard Matthews. In the last two games, Mariota has thrown for 334 yard combined. It is still uncertain whether or not Matthews will suit up this weekend in Arizona. What is certain, is that despite my lack of trust in this team, they have won six of their last seven games to remain firmly in the playoff picture. (LWR 13)

12. Los Angeles Chargers (6-6) ~ That’s now three straight games with at least 10 receptions, 100 yards and a score for Keenan Allen. He’s the first player in NFL history to go on such a streak. Dare I say en fuego? Here’s hoping he keeps it up for the fantasy playoffs. And for the Chargers. I guess they are rooting for him to continue to dominate as well. (LWR 14)

13. Baltimore Ravens (7-6) ~ Don’t look now, but the Ravens are showing signs of life. That’s three straight wins to revive a team I thought was left for dead at 4-6. Danny Woodhead is back and he figures to help out Joe Flacco who has struggled mightily all season. If the Ravens can take care of business Sunday night in Pittsburgh, I’ll believe they are back to being a threat come playoff time. (LWR 15)

14. Oakland Raiders (6-6) ~ Marshawn Lynch is finally starting to look like the player the Raiders thought they would have in their backfield. The former Super Bowl champion had his first 100-yard rushing day and added a score as the Raiders evened their record at 6-6 which is good for a three-way tie atop the AFC West. A big reason for that is the Raiders are giving Lynch the ball. He has 43 carries over his past two games which is the most over any two-game span this season. (LWR 17)

15. Detroit Lions (6-6) ~ The big concern here is that Matthew Stafford left Sunday’s game against Baltimore with a hand injury. He isn’t practicing and his status for Sunday’s game is iffy. If he is forced to miss time it’s safe to say Detroit’s season is done. No offense to backup Jake Rudock, but I never even heard his name until Stafford was forced to leave that game. (LWR 12)

16. Kansas City Chiefs (6-6) ~ Rob Gronkowski isn’t the only big name player suspended this week. Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters will miss Sunday’s contest after he threw a penalty flag into the stands during a loss to the Jets. We’ve seen a serious injury to a player in the past after being hit with one of those so it’s nice to see nobody in the stands was hurt by Peters’ act. (LWR 16)

17. Dallas Cowboys (6-6) ~ The offense finally showed up as Dallas tallied 38 points in a win over the Redskins after scoring just 22 combined points over the past three games. Their next two are on the road against the Giants and Raiders which are winnable games. After that they get Zeke back for the home stretch and potential playoff push. They aren’t dead yet. (LWR 20)

18. Washington Redskins (5-7) ~ Has there been a bigger free agent bust in recent memory than Terrelle Pryor? The big bodied receiver was brought in to help fill the void left when Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson left town. He’s mustered just 20 receptions for 240 yards and one touchdown. That’s not what Washington envisioned when they paid him $8 million. He’s been on injured reserve for two weeks and it’s an open question as to whether he will return to the Redskins or head somewhere else via free agency. (LWR 11)

19. Cincinnati Bengals (5-7) ~ Just when it looked like Joe Mixon was ready to run wild down the stretch, the rookie running back was felled by a concussion. Mixon, coming off his first 100-yard day in the NFL, was off to a fast start against the Steelers with 34 yards on the ground and another eight through the air before leaving early in the second quarter. Here’s hoping he will be OK for this weekend’s game against the Bears. (LWR 18)

20. Buffalo Bills (6-6) ~ If you live in the Buffalo area and don’t yet have plans for Sunday, how about checking out the Bills/Colts game? Tickets are going for as low as four dollars. That’s right four bucks. For an NFL ticket. I kind of wish I was a little bit closer because I wouldn’t pass that up. (LWR 19)

21. New York Jets (5-7) ~ Josh McCown needs just 120 yards passing to notch his first 3,000 yard campaign in the NFL. His 18 touchdowns are also a career-high. Not bad for a 38-year-old journeyman quarterback who played in more than 10 games just twice in his 15-year career prior to this season. (LWR 23)

22. Green Bay Packers (6-6) ~ It seems the Packers are serious about having Aaron Rodgers return this year. The future Hall of Famer has been practicing and is eligible to be activated next week. Whether or not he will be re-inserted into the lineup may depend on if the Packers have a realistic shot at the playoffs. If he’s available in your fantasy leagues, it’s time to scoop him up. (LWR 25)

23. Arizona Cardinals (5-7) ~ Adrian Peterson missed last week’s game against the Rams and isn’t certain to play this week when the Titans come to town. Arizona’s season has been a disaster, yes, but not many teams would still be competitive when they are on their third quarterback and third running back. Head Coach Bruce Arians and his squad deserve some credit. (LWR 21)

24. Houston Texans (4-8) ~ Bruce Ellington has been a nice find for the Texans. With Will Fuller unable to stay in the lineup, and Braxton Miller still transforming himself into a receiver, Ellington has provided a bright spot with 29 catches for 330 yards and two scores opposite DeAndre Hopkins. Ellington had just 19 career catches in his two seasons as a 49er. (LWR 22)

25. Miami Dolphins (5-7) ~ Head Coach Adam Gase is catching a lot of flak for his decision to try an onside kick in the fourth quarter with his team up by 24 points. I kind of have to agree with it. The flak that is. There’s no reason to do this. If you want to practice it, that’s what practice is for. I think this is a petty move by a coach who hates the Denver Broncos organization. (LWR 27)

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-8) ~ If the Raiders are the biggest disappointment in the AFC, the Bucs have to be considered for the biggest disappointment in the NFC. A trendy playoff pick (and yes, I too thought they would be playing deep into January) the Bucs have invoked their early days when they were fondly referred to as the yuks. Putrid football being played in Tampa right now. It’s made even worse considering the success of the rest of that division. (LWR 24)

27. Denver Broncos (3-9) ~ They’ve lost nine of their last ten, including eight straight. That fearsome defense is giving up over 26 points per game which is more than every team not named the Colts. I’d say you can smell the tire fire from here, but I think there’s something else in the air up there blanketing the stench. (LWR 26)

28. San Francisco 49ers (2-10) ~ Let’s face it. By the time you get this far down in the rankings all the teams stink on ice. So, let’s try and find the one that stinks less, shall we? I think it’s the 49ers. They’ve been competitive in most games this season. They just picked up their first road win of the season. Jimmy Garoppolo should be the starter from here on out. It’s a process in San Fran and the players have bought in. Results will come. (LWR 31)

29. Chicago Bears (3-9) ~ The writing is on the wall, isn’t it? There’s no way John Fox keeps his job. He’s had less wins (12) in his nearly three years at the helm than his predecessor Marc Trestman had (13) in just two years. And we all think Trestman was awful. What does that say about Fox? (LWR 28)

30. Indianapolis Colts (3-9) ~ Not much is going right in Indy. Frank Gore is still going, however. Gore surpassed Jerome Bettis and LaDanian Tomlinson on the all-time rushing list. He is now fifth in league history. Every player in the top 10, aside from Gore, is in the Hall of Fame. (LWR 29)

31. New York Giants (2-10) ~ Geno Smith wasn’t terrible in his first start as a Giants quarterback. He went 21-for-34 for 212 yards and a score. He will be back to the bench, however, as Eli returns to his starting position. What a shame that consecutive games streak came to an end. (LWR 30)

32. Cleveland Browns (0-12) ~ Hue Jackson is now 1-27 as Head Coach of the Browns. I’ll just leave it at that. (LWR 32)

That’s it. Shows over. Or at least the column is. Blog? That’s more accurate I suppose. Anyway, that’s all I have this week. Any questions or comments, as always, please leave them below. I'll respond as soon as I can. You can also follow/harass me on Twitter if that's your thing. Handle is in my profile. Until next time kids.

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    • Rich White profile image
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      Rich 2 days ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks JOC! I appreciate the read and comment! I hope you come back next week!

    • Valeant profile image

      JOC 3 days ago from Syracuse, NY

      Spot on this week.