We’re back a bit earlier this week with NFL Power Rankings. I thought it would be better to get these in before Thanksgiving so it still felt like a genuine Week 13 type of thing. I now have more time to work on a project this weekend (and watch football), and you get my amazing rankings 3 days earlier than normal… a win-win.
There are some really, really good games over the next week, so as long as you don’t watch Bears-Lions, you should be fine! To those celebrating the holiday, have a happy Thanksgiving (and get ready for shopping on Friday)
Biggest rise: New York Jets (up 4 spots)
Biggest fall: Oakland Raiders (down 5 spots)
1. Baltimore Ravens (PR: 1)
Record: 9-2 (2nd in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: San Francisco 49ers (home)
I think you know by now that I’m very low on the Rams this season, but my god… Lamar Jackson and the Ravens did it again. Jackson now has 2427 passing yards and 876 rushing yards this season… unlike anything we have ever seen, plain and simple. Everything is clicking right now, the question is can anyone figure out how to stop them this season.
2. San Francisco 49ers (PR: 3)
Record: 10-1 (1st in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Baltimore Ravens (away)
This is more of a sign of respect for the 49ers completely shutting down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers than anything else. They had been 8-2 entering the game, but Kyle Shanahan put on a coaching clinic, and the defense made Rodgers look like another NFC North QB. Jimmy G had a solid game, and maybe it’s a product of scheming at times, but he’s producing. Still want to see them win a close game similar to the one they lost to Seattle, but I won’t hold that against them right now.
3. New England Patriots (PR: 2)
Record: 10-1 (1st in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: Houston Texans (away)
I know, I know, this is treason, but hear me out: as I’ve said, the Ravens are on another level right now, and the 49ers just shut down Aaron Rodgers (in perfect weather), so they get the edge for now. The Patriots are still my pick to win it all, but I have to respect Baltimore and San Fran, and I need to see the offense come around. I am not saying it can’t (it probably will), and the foundation of this team is their defense, but I won’t advance them paced on assumptions and hypotheticals.
4. Seattle Seahawks (PR: 4)
Record: 9-2 (5th in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Minnesota Vikings (home)
I think we’re used to their wins looking sloppy, but Russell Wilson didn’t look that good, which is not typical (does this give Brady a pass for his performance during Week 11?). They’ll need Clowney to be healthy in order for their defense to be its best… but it will still hold them back, and lead to more close games. I still believe in Wilson, but Seattle will have a good test on Sunday.
5. New Orleans Saints (PR: 5)
Record: 9-2 (2nd in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Atlanta Falcons (away – Thanksgiving)
They won, and Brees was good, but I’m beginning to worry about their defense. It hasn’t been the same since the bye week, and that’s fine when you’re playing inferior NFC South teams (and playing in the Superdome), but can you win against the better teams in the NFC with it? We’ll see in Week 14, but for now, I’m more concerned about this team than I was when Bridgewater was starting. They need to find that urgency again.
6. Minnesota Vikings (PR: 7)
Record: 8-3 (6th in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Seattle Seahawks (away)
I was unsure whether or not to move Minnesota up, but I’m giving them the edge because I think Mike Zimmer is a better coach than LaFleur (more on that in a minute). Ever since their loss to the Bears, Kirk Cousins has been playing out of this world, and it has been complimenting a great season from Dalvin Cook. The secondary has not been good, but they have a good pass rush and run defense, so hopefully that covers up some mistakes. Oh yeah, and they need to prove they can beat a good team… well, that’s what Sunday is for.
7. Green Bay Packers (PR: 6)
Record: 8-3 (3rd in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: New York Giants (away)
What an ugly, ugly loss. That should not be happening when Aaron Rodgers is your QB, I don’t care who you’re playing. This was a rookie coach getting exposed, and Matt LaFleur will certainly need to go back to the drawing board after this one. Green Bay is still a good team, and they have the edge in the NFC North at this time, but that’s a game where the whole team will need to look in the mirror and ask themselves what they want to be this season.
8. Houston Texans (PR: 8)
Record: 7-4 (3rd in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: New England Patriots (home)
Watson still gets sacked way too much for my liking, but Houston boasts one of the most complete offenses in the AFC, but it tends to get held back by their suspect defense. Houston will get another chance at the AFC’s elite with a game versus New England on Sunday. Can Watson & co. solve the Patriots defense? Can the Texans defense limit New England’s offense like everyone seems to this season? Don’t want to be the team where Tom Brady & co. “solve” all their problems. Big, big test.
9. Kansas City Chiefs (PR: 9)
Record: 7-4 (4th in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: Oakland Raiders (home)
As the Chiefs return from their bye, Patrick Mahomes will be coming off of his worst game of 2019, and the Chiefs will be playing the 6-5 Oakland Raiders. A loss would lead to a tie in the division, and with their next game in New England, things could go south very quickly. However, remember, it’s after a bye week… and Andy Reid is one of the best at leading his team to a win after their bye week.
10. Buffalo Bills (PR: 11)
Record: 8-3 (5th in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: Dallas Cowboys (away – Thanksgiving)
The Buffalo Bills have won 8 games for just the fourth time since 2005, and are 8-3 for the first time since 1996. Things are really looking up, and their defense continues to excel, and Josh Allen is putting together some good games. Their remaining schedule is not easy, as they face Dallas tomorrow, and then Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New England, and the Jets to finish the season. 4 straight games of teams in playoff contention needed every win they can get, and a Jets team that might be around for something in Week 17 (plus divisional games are never easy)… they’ll make it… right?
11. Indianapolis Colts (PR: 13)
Record: 6-5 (8th in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: Tennessee Titans (home)
Of the 6-5 teams, I think the Colts are still the most complete and well-coached team. They’ll need Marlon Mack playing during the stretch run in order to be their best, but they’re a team built from the inside out, and can beat you in the trenches; I think that type of football does better as the season progresses. The Colts face a red hot Titans team on Sunday, a game with vast playoff implications. It’s a must-win for both sides.
12. Tennessee Titans (PR: 15)
Record: 6-5 (9th in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: Indianapolis Colts (away)
Break up the Tennessee Titans! They are becoming my favorite story in the league, and the magic is still there. Tannehill had a good game, and Derrick Henry looked really good. As I’ve said, the Titans schedule lines up perfectly for a team looking to climb into the playoff picture. Their final 5 games (IND, OAK, HOU, NO, HOU) will not be easy, but if they want to be in the playoffs, they have the opportunity to get there AND be the reason their foes fall. Just keep winning.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (PR: 14)
Record: 6-5 (6th in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: Cleveland Browns (home)
Benching Mason Rudolph when they did for Devlin Hodges is not a move all teams would make, but they did, and it paid off. Hodges was not spectacular, but he did enough, and did not lose the game like Rudolph was about to. Moving forward, Pittsburgh needs to ride their defense and do whatever is necessary on offense to not mess up. They have a rematch against the Browns this Sunday in a game each team needs to continue their playoff aspirations… oh yeah, and remember how last game ended?
14. Dallas Cowboys (PR: 12)
Record: 6-5 (4th in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Buffalo Bills (home – Thanksgiving)
I think Jerry Jones told you all you need to know about this team. I was telling Fredy on Monday that Stephen Jones is probably the only reason this team even functions (someone had to tell Jerry not to take Johnny Manziel and Paxton Lynch), as their talent is the reason Jason Garrett even has a job… how much longer that lasts, who knows. Huge game tomorrow, and every game will be huge up to their de facto NFC East Championship Game in Week 16 at Philadelphia.
15. Oakland Raiders (PR: 10)
Record: 6-5 (7th in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: Kansas City Chiefs (away)
Who saw that coming?? I thought the Raiders were figuring things out, and would put themselves in a good spot for their game this Sunday at KC… nope. The Jets DESTROYED them, completely making me reevaluate the Raiders moving forward… that’s what one game in the NFL can do to you. They still have a chance for the AFC West by winning on Sunday, but like the Packers, they’ll need to look in the mirror and ask what they want to be this season.
16. Carolina Panthers (PR: 18)
Record: 5-6 (10th in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Washington (home)
Yes the Panthers lost, but they did so in a competitive manner, and although they are now 5-6, they are still a team I would feel more comfortable betting on week-by-week than the next two teams you’ll see. They should have been in a better spot to win because of kicking, but hey, that’s the NFL nowadays. Kyle Allen rebounded after a pretty bad stretch of games, so hopefully that is something the team can rally around in the final weeks of the season. Their playoff hopes seem to be over, but fantasy owners, keep hoping McCaffery gets the ball (best draft choice I’ve ever made).
17. Los Angeles Rams (PR: 16)
Record: 6-5 (7th in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Arizona Cardinals (away)
I’ve been saying it for weeks and I won’t stop… this team stinks. This is what happened to Atlanta in 2017 after their Super Bowl loss to New England, but at least that team figured things out at the end and almost made a run to the NFC Championship Game (hey, not my fault they sucked in the red zone at the end, they had their chance). This Rams team has given me no hope this season, and with the money they have allocated to guys like Goff and Gurley… they better hope McVay finds that magic before they move into their new stadium next season.
18. Cleveland Browns (PR: 19)
Record: 5-6 (10th in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers (away)
Cleveland is rolling. They’re finally winning the games they’re supposed to. Yes, beating Miami is easier said than done, but for a team that was playing rather well against its competition, the Browns had the game wrapped up by halftime. With their offense full of weapons all producing, it shows just how scary they can be… like the Titans, a playoff run is possible, but with a much easier schedule… can they pull it off?
19. Philadelphia Eagles (PR: 16)
Record: 5-6 (9th in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Miami Dolphins (away)
Not to make excuses, but the offensive line is banged up, and the defense did do a good job containing Russell Wilson… but it was another loss from a team we expect more from given their past. I though Doug Pederson was one of the best coaches in the league entering this season, but I don’t see that magic right now. Wentz needs to figure it out. He’ll have some easy games moving forward to do so, but I am still not certain they’re ready for that Week 16 game versus Dallas (but to be fair, Dallas might not be either).
20. Chicago Bears (PR: 22)
Record: 5-6 (8th in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Detroit Lions (away – Thanksgiving)
Well, the Bears won… our prize? Getting to see them face the Lions tomorrow! Congrats, America! Turn on Charlie Brown, because no child should be subjected to watching Mitch Trubisky versus Jeff Driskel… don’t let that be their introduction to the NFL. In all seriousness, the Bears should win tomorrow, but after that… Cowboys, Packers, Chiefs, Vikings… that might be their last win. Can you believe they won 12 games last season?
21. Los Angeles Chargers (PR: 21)
Record: 4-7 (12th in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: Denver Broncos (away)
There has been a lot of talk the past week about the future of Philip Rivers and the Chargers team as a whole. Rivers has genuinely had a very good career, but has also been unlucky. Part of that is on him (see: final INT against KC), but have you ever seen the story of the 2010 Chargers? (watch: here). I think this season is lost, and I haven’t seen the odds, but I would not be shocked if the people in Vegas believe there is a better chance Tom Brady is the starter here next season (that’s what I call burying the lede, folks).
22. Jacksonville Jaguars (PR: 20)
Record: 4-7 (11th in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (home)
What did I tell you… don’t give up on Minshew Mania. The Jags were 4-5 coming off their bye week and had a chance to work themselves into the playoff picture with some wins against the Colts and Titans. Instead, they’re 4-7 and now at least 2 games behind everyone in the division with 5 games left. I don’t see a path to turning this around… unless… no, still too late, this team made their bed when they benched Gardner.
23. Arizona Cardinals (PR: 23)
Record: 3-7-1 (13th in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Los Angeles Rams (home)
The Cardinals have lost their last 3 games, but Kyler Murray has thrown for 7 TDs and 1 INT in those games, rocking a passer rating of 106.7. Not an easy schedule to finish 2019, but I’d tune in just to watch Murray.
24. New York Jets (PR: 28)
Record: 4-7 (13th in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: Cincinnati Bengals (away)
The Jets are on fire, and Sam Darnold is partying like he’s Joe Namath in 1969. You know what, if you win three straight games with the Jets, I think you earn a pass to do whatever the hell you want. The Jets are now 4-4 in games started by Darnold this season, and he has been awesome these past 3 games, boasting a passer rating of 117.6. The Jets face the Bengals and Dolphins the next 2 weeks, and then they go to Baltimore… anything is possible, right?
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (PR: 26)
Record: 4-7 (11th in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars (away)
The Jameis Winston Experience! The best show in America, folks. He might have thrown 2 more INTs, making it now 15 in his last 6 games, but he’s also thrown for over 300 yards in all of those games, as well as multiple TDs in 4 of them. Jimmy Johnson said on Sunday they were the best bad team to watch a year ago, and that has not changed. I think the league needs Winston more than they realize.
26. Atlanta Falcons (PR: 24)
Record: 3-8 (14th in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: New Orleans Saints (home – Thanksgiving)
Just like the Raiders, the Falcons brought us back to reality by losing this past Sunday. The Jameis Winston Experience can do that to you, we’ve all been there (see: Los Angeles Rams). Back to looking forward to 2020.
27. Denver Broncos (PR: 25)
Record: 3-8 (14th in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: Los Angeles Chargers (home)
Well, they gave up losing close in favor of getting blown up. So much for thinking an upset was possible against the Bills. Will we see Drew Lock this season? Maybe… other than that, don’t watch.
28. Detroit Lions (PR: 27)
Record: 3-7-1 (12th in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Chicago Bears (home – Thanksgiving)
I really thought Matt Patricia was making progress this season. After a 1-7 stretch their last 8 games, does he even make it to next season? If I were him, I’d tell Bob Quinn how great Kyle Shanahan is doing in Year 3 with the 49ers after 2 rough first seasons in San Fran and hope that saves his job… I’m only kind of joking. Should’ve never fired Jim Caldwell.
29. Miami Dolphins (PR: 29)
Record: 2-9 (15th in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: Philadelphia Eagles (home)
I mean you saw the game. Happy belated birthday Ryan Fitzpatrick!
30. New York Giants (PR: 30)
Record: 2-9 (15th in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Green Bay Packers (home)
They played the Bears close, but lost their 9th straight game. I’ve heard discussions about letting Eli play as a farewell… that might not be the worst idea.. in Week 17 (remember when Tony Romo got his “farewell” at the Mavericks season finale in 2017 and pretended to check in at the end of the game? You know what, yeah, someone call the Knicks, I need to see it now).
31. Washington (PR: 31)
Record: 2-9 (16th in NFC) | Week 13 opponent: Carolina Panthers (away)
A win is a win, even if its against the Lions. I’m happy for Dwayne Haskins, I think he gets too much disrespect. Hopefully he can find a way to escape D.C. before it’s too late.
32. Cincinnati Bengals (PR: 32)
Record: 0-11 (16th in AFC) | Week 13 opponent: New York Jets (home)
Guess who was just named the starting QB again… guess the Bengals saw all they needed with Ryan Finley. Hope Joe Burrow likes Skyline Chili.
Credit to photo above goes to George Walker IV of the Tennessean
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