NFL Power Rankings After Week 13
December 8, 2020
Week 13 of the NFL season felt like a return to normalcy, with far fewer COVID-19 issues impacting games. And with the ability to focus more on football, that meant that every team’s moves were placed under the microscope the way that they normally are. In this week’s NFL power rankings, find out where each team stands through Week 13 as teams look to play their best football heading down the stretch.
32. New York Jets (Last Week: 32)
The New York Jets invented a new way to lose in Week 13. Gregg Williams called an all-out blitz with seconds remaining, allowing the Raiders to throw a deep touchdown pass to drop the Jets to 0-12. Williams was promptly fired for his misguided call, and the Jets blew their first real shot at winning a game all season. On the bright side, the Jets still have a great chance at the top pick in the draft.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week: 31)
Jacksonville’s losing streak reached 11 consecutive games when they fell in overtime to the Minnesota Vikings. The Jaguars, like the Jets, were surprisingly competitive throughout the contest. But they could not make the plays they needed to when the game was hanging in the balance. But just taking part in a close game is an improvement for this Jaguars team, whose point differential eclipsed the -100 mark after their latest loss.
30. Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week: 30)
The Bengals’ offense is just impossible to watch given their current circumstances. Without Joe Burrow, the Bengals managed just 196 yards of total offense in their 19-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Without Burrow to provide the threat of a passing attack, defenses have been able to clamp down on Cincinnati’s running game. The result has been disastrous for a Bengals team that currently boasts the third worst record in the sport.
29. Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: 29)
Mike McCarthy’s Dallas Cowboys went on the road and were blown out by the Ravens on Tuesday night. The Cowboys defense we saw earlier this season made a return, as the team allowed 34 points to an inconsistent Ravens offense. Baltimore was able to gain 294 yards on the ground in the contest, which is a number usually reserved for college football games.
28. Atlanta Falcons (Last Week: 27)
Atlanta lost for a second time this season to a Saints team led by backup quarterback Taysom Hill. They did a decent job of defending the Saints with Hill at quarterback, allowing just 21 points in this game. But the Falcons offense was stymied by an elite Saints defense. With Atlanta failing to score a touchdown until the fourth quarter of the game, the team dug themselves too deep a hole to get out of, which has been the norm for them in 2020.
27. Detroit Lions (Last Week: 28)
The Detroit Lions managed to get back into the win column with a 34-30 win over the Chicago Bears. The result of this game was somewhat surprising, but not as surprising as how the Lions got the win. Putting up 34 points on the Chicago Bears defense is no easy task, but a 400 yard passing performance from Matt Stafford was a great catalyst for the Lions to get there. The Lions face another division foe next week in the Green Bay Packers.
26. Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: 25)
Philadelphia is finally going to be going with Jalen Hurts at quarterback. They put Hurts in at quarterback in the second half of their 30-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers, with Hurts providing a spark during the team’s comeback attempt. After the game, it was announced that Hurts would take over for Philly’s Week 14 home game against the Saints. At this point, he can’t be any worse than Carson Wentz.
25. Los Angeles Chargers (Last Week: 23)
All of the promise of this season for the Los Angeles Chargers appears to be dissipating. Their 45-0 loss to the Patriots in Week 13 was the most embarrassing result of the weekend. The Bolts gave up two special teams touchdowns, with a punt return and a blocked field goal both resulting in scores for the Patriots in the game. Anthony Lynn is simply overmatched from a coaching standpoint in most of the games he appears in.
24. Carolina Panthers (Last Week: 24)
Their bye week came late in the season, but the Carolina Panthers got some much needed time off in Week 13. Sitting at 4-8, the Panthers are tied for last place in the NFC South. But they will have a chance to pick up a win and drag themselves out of the cellar of their division when they place the Denver Broncos in Week 14. Expect both defenses to be on their game in that matchup.
23. Washington Football Team (Last Week: 26)
One of two surprising wins from NFC East teams in Week 13 came from the Washington Football Team. The Football Team opened as a double-digit underdog at the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Monday night clash. But Washington’s defense kept Ben Roethlisberger out of rhythm as they were able to seal a victory with a couple of late field goals. Washington remains tied for the best record in their division, with their playoff hopes very much alive at 5-7.
22. Chicago Bears (Last Week: 21)
A bad Chicago Bears season continued to get worse last week when the team lost 34-30 to the Detroit Lions. A win would have put the Bears at .500 on the season and more firmly in the playoff mix. But this loss dropped them to 5-7, and the Bears’ path to the playoffs looks grim at best at this point in time. After six straight losses, the Bears don’t appear deserving of a postseason spot anymore.
21. Denver Broncos (Last Week: 22)
Denver had an actual quarterback for its Sunday night game against the Chiefs this past week. And the Broncos made that game a competitive one despite losing 22-16. The defense employed a bend, but don’t break strategy as it allowed the Chiefs to get into the red zone before settling for field goals on numerous occasions. The offense was the issue once again for Denver, as they have scored more points than only one team this season: the Jets.
20. San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: 17)
San Francisco got walloped by the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football, but their circumstances are anything but normal at the moment. They are playing their home games in the home stadium of the Arizona Cardinals due to COVID restrictions in Santa Clara. While that isn’t an excuse for letting Josh Allen light them up the way he did, the team certainly played like one whose primary focus was not football.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (Last Week: 19)
It took a miracle, and one of the worst play calls of all-time. But the Las Vegas Raiders managed to get the better of the New York Jets in Week 13. Derek Carr’s connection with Darren Waller was the main highlight of this game for the Raiders, but the team can’t play that poorly again. Sitting one game out of the final playoff spot in the AFC, the Raiders have to be at their absolute best over the final four weeks to get into the tournament.
18. Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: 18)
Speaking of teams looking to get into the playoffs, the Minnesota Vikings moved back into wild card position with a win over the Jaguars in overtime. It certainly wasn’t pretty, but the Vikings got the job done to move to 6-6 on the year. They have won five of their last six after a 1-5 start and are currently in seventh place in the NFC. To stay there, they will have to win a tough road game against a Buccaneers team coming off of their bye.
17. New York Giants (Last Week: 20)
Somehow, one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now is the New York Giants. They stunned the Seattle Seahawks on the road as double-digit underdogs in Week 13. Their defense did the heavy lifting, holding Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense to just 12 points. The win put the Giants in first place in the division, and New York is tied for the third longest win streak in the league with four straight victories.
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16. Houston Texans (Last Week: 15)
Houston fell to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13, losing 26-20 at home to their 8-4 division rivals. The Texans have routinely followed up a nice with with a disappointing loss this season, and this game was no different. Houston is currently four games better than the Jets, but four games worse than the seventh seed in the AFC, putting them in the unenviable situation of being too good to tank but not good enough for the playoffs.
15. New England Patriots (Last Week: 16)
Bill Belichick might be doing his best ever coaching job this season with the Patriots. A team with so many players who opted out of the season, with a new quarterback, and he is still able to keep the team competitive. This past week, they demolished the LA Chargers by a score of 45-0. At 6-6, there is still some work to be done if the Patriots want a shot at the playoffs, but the fact that they are in the discussion at all is an accomplishment.
14. Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: 9)
Things appear to be going south quickly for the Arizona Cardinals. They have now lost three games in a row, falling from 6-3 on the season to 6-6. They were briefly at the top of the NFC West, but are now outside of the playoffs looking in. Kyler Murray threw for just 173 yards in the team’s 38-28 loss this past week against the Rams. And now the Cardinals face a tricky road game against the red-hot Giants in Week 14, where they could fall below .500.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week: 13)
Tampa Bay enjoyed a late bye week and did not have to take the field in Week 13. This Bucs team could be dangerous late in the season thanks in part to that late week off. If they come out rejuvenated after the bye, they could solidify a wild card spot and let their defense flex its muscles during a time of the season where defense becomes so valuable. They return from the bye with a home game against Minnesota next week.
12. Miami Dolphins (Last Week: 14)
The Dolphins hardly look like the 1972 Dolphins, who had the sport’s last perfect season. But they are simply getting the job done right now. Thanks to a stout defense, Miami is an 8-4 team after their 19-7 win over the Bengals last week. While rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is hardly lighting it up, the defense has made sure there is little to no pressure on him to perform as the Dolphins look to maintain playoff positioning in the crowded AFC.
11. Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: 11)
The Colts got a much needed win in Week 13 over the Houston Texans. That victory kept Indy in the seventh spot in the AFC with an 8-4 record. And the schedule is favorable for the Colts down the stretch for maintaining a wild card spot. They play the Texans and Jaguars once more in division matchups, and should be favored to win both of those games to give them a great shot at winning at least 10 games.
10. Cleveland Browns (Last Week: 12)
Don’t look now, but the Cleveland Browns are 9-3 this season. They took care of business on the road against a quality Titans team in Week 13, thanks to an offensive explosion in the first half. Cleveland got out to a 38-7 lead by halftime, with Baker Mayfield throwing four touchdown passes to set the tone for the Browns. While the division title is most likely out of reach, the Browns are closing in on a playoff spot quickly.
9. Buffalo Bills (Last Week: 10)
Buffalo went on the road to Arizona and beat the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night. The bizarre circumstances of the game did not pose a problem for Josh Allen, who threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns in the game. The Bills are still a game up on the Dolphins for first place in the AFC East. And they will have a chance to measure themselves against an elite team in Week 14 when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football.
8. Seattle Seahawks (Last Week: 5)
There isn’t much to say about the Seattle Seahawks other than that they laid an egg at home against the Giants. Russell Wilson and the potent Seattle offense could not come up with an answer for a Giants defense that is playing at a high level. And Seattle’s tendency to give up big plays in the running game ended up costing them in a big way. Back in second place in the NFC West, the Seahawks need to find answers quickly.
7. Los Angeles Rams (Last Week: 8)
The Rams continued their dominance of the Arizona Cardinals with a 38-28 win over them in Week 13. Jared Goff doubled the passing yardage of Kyler Murray and looked like the better player of the two in this game. The Rams earned their way back to the top of the division with that win, and host a .500 Patriots team on Thursday night with a chance to extend their advantage in the NFC West.
6. Green Bay Packers (Last Week: 7)
Green Bay was a score away from letting the Philadelphia Eagles complete a comeback against them in Week 13. But the Packers were able to slam the door shut on the Eagles in the final five minutes of action. Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams connected for another two touchdowns in the 30-16 victory for the Pack. It is safe to say that no team wants to deal with that duo come playoff time.
5. Tennessee Titans (Last Week: 4)
Tennessee fell to the red-hot Cleveland Browns in Week 13. The Titans gave up a whopping 38 first half points in that contest. But it should be noted that the Titans outscored the Browns by a 28-3 margin in the second half to make the game a seven point game by the end of it. Tennessee will need to do better when it comes to starting games against high-quality opponents. But you can’t knock the way they finished this past week.
4. Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: 6)
Baltimore destroyed the Dallas Cowboys with its running game in the Tuesday finale to Week 13. The Ravens rushed for 7.9 yards per carry and nearly 300 yards on the ground as a whole. Baltimore was fortunate to hold the Cowboys to just 17 points, as three missed field goals by Dallas made the scoreboard look better than it should have been. But the Ravens, despite their COVID issues and struggles against elite teams, are just a game out of the playoffs.
3. New Orleans Saints (Last Week: 3)
The best defense in the NFL right now might belong to the New Orleans Saints. They locked down the potent passing attack of the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13, riding Taysom Hill to a 21-16 victory. The Saints are hoping Drew Brees is on his way back from the cracked ribs that have sidelined him. But with or without Brees, this team has a defense that is more than capable of carrying it to a Super Bowl.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 1)
Pittsburgh suffered its first loss of the season in Week 13, falling in surprising fashion to the Washington Football Team. The Steelers were outscored 13-3 in the final quarter of that game, with their condensed schedule in recent weeks due to COVID-19 schedule changes seeming to get the better of them late. How they respond will be very telling, as Pittsburgh takes on the Bills next week.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: 2)
The Kansas City Chiefs won their seventh straight game by beating the Denver Broncos on Sunday night. While they weren’t able to find the end zone as often as usual, the Chiefs were able to move the ball and keep it away from Denver effectively. Patrick Mahomes seemed to have no issue with the Denver pass rush outside of the red zone, as the Chiefs now have a legitimate shot at the top seed in the AFC thanks to Pittsburgh’s loss.
NFL Betting FAQ
Who will be the one seed in the AFC?
Right now, NFL betting odds have the Chiefs as the favorite to land the top seed. They are at -167 odds to finish at the top of the conference, while the Steelers are at +125 to land at number one. With the Bills, Colts and Browns still on Pittsburgh’s schedule, sportsbooks seem to be of the mindset that the Steelers could lose again before the end of the regular season.
Will the Cardinals make the playoffs?
It is not looking good for the Cardinals to make the playoffs at this point in time. They are currently seeded eighth in the NFC, one spot from the playoffs. They are also scheduled to play games against the Giants, Eagles, 49ers and Rams. To finish above .500, they would need to win three of those games. The Cardinals are currently +144 to make it to the postseason.
Which team is a good longshot bet to win the Super Bowl?
Right now, a team like the Cleveland Browns might be worth a shot in the futures market. They are at +3000 to win the Super Bowl, but are playing some of the best football in the NFL. Their pass rush can slow down potent passing offenses, while their ability to run the football is matched by only the Baltimore Ravens this season. Teams are going to have a hard time dealing with Cleveland in the playoffs now that they have figured out those two facets of the game.