NFL Analysis


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NFL Week 13 Power Rankings: Jaguars, Broncos Continue to Climb

Every Tuesday, we’ll provide updated power rankings. The rankings will be driven by who the teams are at the moment. Those stances will be centered on every team’s talent, reliability and current level of success. 

Betting markets will also influence our stances, as will each team’s path to contention within its conference. We’ll also be aware of each team’s looming schedule difficulty.

NFL Week 13 Power Rankings

1. Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)

Previous Rank: No. 1

Last Game: Eagles 37, Bills 34, OT

The Philadelphia Eagles have two fewer losses than anyone else in the league. That could change when they square off against two of the NFC’s three other contenders in the next two weeks.

Ultimately, Philadelphia has one of the league’s best rosters, and QB Jalen Hurts is the MVP favorite. Whether or not the Eagles finish as the conference’s top seed will largely be decided in the next two weeks.

Next: vs. SF, at DAL (SNF), at SEA, vs. NYG

2. San Francisco 49ers (8-3)

Previous Rank: No. 2

Last Game: 49ers 31, Seahawks 13

You could argue the San Francisco 49ers are the league’s best and most complete team. QB Brock Purdy is producing at an MVP-caliber level while the defense is giving up the league's fewest points per game. Few teams can win in as many ways as San Francisco. 

This week’s matchup in Philadelphia will determine who is the league’s best team, at least for now.

Next: at PHI, vs. SEA, at ARZ, vs. BAL (MNF)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-3)

Previous Rank: No. 4

Last Game: Chiefs 31, Raiders 17

The Raiders gave the Kansas City Chiefs an early scare, jumping to a 14-0 lead. The Chiefs then went on a 31-3 run, which is how champions respond to slow starts.

Kansas City’s defense has been a top-five unit all season, and QB Patrick Mahomes is the league’s best player. Mahomes’ pass catchers outside of TE Travis Kelce have been unreliable and the primary reason they’ve lost two games. That wide receiver group is holding Kansas City back.

Next: at GB (SNF), vs. BUF, at NE (MNF), vs. LV

4. Baltimore Ravens (9-3)

Previous Rank: No. 3

Last Game: Ravens 20, Chargers 10

QB Lamar Jackson has thrown for fewer than 200 yards in five games this season. That includes last week’s not-very-impressive win against the Chargers’ league-worst pass defense.

Jackson is one of the league’s best players, but the Baltimore Ravens’ running game and defense have driven most of their success. With TE Mark Andrews out injured, it’s difficult to see that changing. That again could be the difference for Baltimore come playoff time.

Next: BYE, vs. LAR, at JAX (SNF), at SF (MNF)

5. Dallas Cowboys (8-3)

Previous Rank: No. 5

Last Game: Cowboys 45, Commanders 10

The Dallas Cowboys have demolished seven below-average opponents by at least three scores. More times than not, the league’s best teams win multiple games by a considerable margin. QB Dak Prescott is playing at an MVP-caliber level while the Cowboys’ defense is giving up the fourth-fewest points per game. 

The schedule gets tougher for Dallas, which faces four teams in a row with playoff aspirations. That begins Thursday night against desperate Seattle.

Next: vs. SEA (TNF), vs. PHI (SNF), at BUF, at MIA

6. Miami Dolphins (8-3)

Previous Rank: No. 7

Last Game: Dolphins 34, Jets 13

The Miami Dolphins’ defense continues to improve weekly, which is great for the team's long-term prospects. The Dolphins face three more sub-.500 teams in a row through mid-December before closing out the season against three top-10 teams. 

The biggest knock on Miami is it loses to quality opponents. It will have the opportunity to change that narrative down the stretch. In the short term, the Dolphins could easily be 11-3 heading into their Week 16 game against Dallas.

Next: at WASH, vs. TEN (MNF), vs. NYJ, vs. DAL

7. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-3)

Previous Rank: No. 9

Last Game: Jaguars 24, Texans 21

The Jacksonville Jaguars vs. the Houston Texans could be one of the league’s best rivalries over the next decade. Jacksonville’s pass rush came up big late, which is often a requirement against high-end quarterbacks. 

QB Trevor Lawrence is the other reason the Jaguars sit alone on top of the AFC South. As long as Lawrence continues to play at a high level, Jacksonville has a path to the AFC’s top seed.

Next: vs. CIN (MNF), at CLE, vs. BAL (SNF), at TB

>> READ: Stroud vs. Lawrence Is Next Great Rivalry

8. Detroit Lions (8-3)

Previous Rank: No. 6

Last Game: Packers 29, Lions 22

Losing to a division rival in a short week isn’t the end of the world. What’s more concerning is the Detroit Lions played a similar game against the Bears in Week 11. Being outplayed by two sub-.500 teams in a row at home warrants some concern.

Ultimately, the Lions are a good — but not quite great — team that will continue to benefit from a manageable schedule.  

Next: at NO, at CHI, vs. DEN, at MIN

9. Houston Texans (6-5)

Previous Rank: No. 8

Last Game: Jaguars 24, Texans 21

QB C.J. Stroud is the real deal, and the Houston Texans were a few inches away on a 58-yard field goal attempt from taking Jacksonville to overtime.

Stroud has driven most of Houston’s success, but the defense is at least a league-average unit. Not only is Stroud ahead of schedule, but so is the Texans’ defense. 

If Houston gets into the playoffs, it will not be an easy out.

Next: vs. DEN, at NYJ, at TEN, vs. CLE

10. Buffalo Bills (6-6)

Previous Rank: No. 11

Last Game: Eagles 37, Bills 34, OT

The Buffalo Bills lost an absolute heartbreaker in Philadelphia, where Josh Allen showed he’s still one of the league’s best quarterbacks. The Bills are as dangerous as a 6-6 team can be and have a 101-point differential. The Ravens, Cowboys and 49ers are the only teams with a greater margin. 

If Buffalo gets into the playoffs, it is a wild card that could go the distance in a suddenly vulnerable AFC.

Next: BYE, at KC, vs. DAL, at LAC (Saturday night)

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4)

Previous Rank: No. 14

Last Game: Steelers 16, Bengals 10

Kenny Pickett threw for the most yards he’s had in a game all season (278) in his first outing without former offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

The Pittsburgh Steelers still only scored 16 points, but Pickett’s performance gives their offense some hope going forward. If Pittsburgh can transform into even a league-average offense, the Steelers are a playoff team.

Next: vs. ARZ, vs. NE (TNF), at IND, vs. CIN

12. Denver Broncos (6-5)

Previous Rank: No. 15

Last Game: Broncos 29, Browns 12

The Denver Broncos’ ascending defense has driven their five-game winning streak. What’s even more encouraging is that QB Russell Wilson’s offense played some of its best football early in the victory against the Browns. 

It’s not quite there yet, but Denver is inching closer to being a complete team.

Next: at HOU, at LAC, at DET, vs. NE

13. Cleveland Browns (7-4)

Previous Rank: No. 10

Last Game: Broncos 29, Browns 12

The Cleveland Browns’ defense has played well enough this season where a mulligan in Denver isn’t concerning. The Browns’ offense, on the other hand, has made Cleveland look a lot like the Jets during the past two weeks. 

The bigger problem is it’s hard to see that significantly improving, given the Browns' quarterback situation. In fact, 38-year-old Joe Flacco could be their best option at the position.

Next: at LAR, vs. JAX, vs. CHI, at HOU

14. Indianapolis Colts (6-5)

Previous Rank: No. 16

Last Game: Colts 27, Buccaneers 20

If the season ended today, Shane Steichen’s Indianapolis Colts would be the AFC’s seventh seed. Regardless of what happens from here, that’s the season’s biggest surprise. 

What’s more intriguing is Indianapolis has a manageable schedule for the rest of the season. Its Week 18 matchup against Houston could determine which AFC South rival gets into the postseason. No one expected that on opening day.

Next: at TEN, at CIN, vs. PIT, at ATL

15. Seattle Seahawks (6-5)

Previous Rank: No. 13

Last Game: 49ers 31, Seahawks 13

We’ve been talking about it for weeks: the Seattle Seahawks are in trouble. After its early season struggles, the Seahawks’ defense has been more of a positive than a liability. 

Seattle’s offense is one of the league’s most disappointing units. Simply put, QB Geno Smith isn’t having a good season after his Comeback Player of the Year campaign in 2022. It’s hard to see that improving in the next three weeks when Seattle faces the NFC’s three best teams.

Next: at DAL (TNF), at SF, vs. PHI, at TEN

16. Minnesota Vikings (6-5)

Previous Rank: No. 12

Last Game: Bears 12, Vikings 10

Josh Dobbs came back to earth Monday night, finishing with four turnovers behind a 10-point effort. After suffering narrow losses to the Broncos and Bears, the Minnesota Vikings have opened the door in the NFC Wild Card race. The Vikings enter their bye this week, then they’ll face two very beatable opponents on the other side of it.

Next: BYE, at LV, at CIN, vs. DET

17. Atlanta Falcons (5-6)

Previous Rank: No. 18

Last Game: Falcons 24, Saints 15

No one has any interest in taking control of the NFC South this season, but at least the Atlanta Falcons are trying. The Falcons have a talented roster that took care of business against underachieving New Orleans last week. 

If Atlanta can continue playing games where it doesn’t need much from QB Desmond Ridder, it can win this division given its schedule.

Next: at NYJ, vs. TB, at CAR, vs. IND

18. Green Bay Packers (5-6)

Previous Rank: No. 23

Last Game: Packers 29, Lions 22

The Green Bay Packers have won three of their past four, which puts them in the NFC Wild Card picture. Jordan Love hasn’t led a noteworthy offense, but he was exceptional in Detroit last week. 

A Sunday night matchup against Kansas City is a tall order, but Green Bay should be the favorite in the three games after that. If Love continues to play well while the Packers’ defense maintains consistency, Green Bay could overtake Seattle or Minnesota down the stretch.

Next: vs. KC (SNF), at NYG (MNF), vs. TB, at CAR

>>READ: Is Love the Packers' Next Franchise QB?

19. Los Angeles Rams (5-6)

Previous Rank: No. 21

Last Game: Rams 37, Cardinals 14

Matthew Stafford’s offense absolutely dismantled the Cardinals last week. That’s not a monumental feat, but it’s encouraging for a team that’s endured several injuries this season. 

The Los Angeles Rams don't have much on defense outside of Aaron Donald, but Stafford’s offense can keep this team alive late into the season given its schedule.

Next: vs. CLE, at BAL, vs. WASH, vs. NO (TNF)

20. Los Angeles Chargers (4-7)

Previous Rank: No. 19

Last Game: Ravens 20, Chargers 10

Sunday night’s game against Baltimore was closer than the score would indicate. In fact, Brandon Staley’s defense played one of the best games of his Los Angeles tenure. 

QB Justin Herbert’s offense, on the other hand, had very little success apart from WR Keenan Allen’s big night. This has been a nightmare season for the Los Angeles Chargers, who just can’t finish games. The Chargers may need to win out to have any chance of making the playoffs. 

Next: at NE, vs. DEN, at LV (TNF), vs. BUF (Saturday night)

>>READ: Time Is Running Out on Brandon Staley

21. New Orleans Saints (5-6)

Previous Rank: No. 17

Last Game: Falcons 24, Saints 15

If the Chargers are the most disappointing team this season, the New Orleans Saints are next if we remove teams with quarterback injuries. New Orleans has a good roster with few liabilities, so it should be running away with the NFC South. But it cannot finish drives nor close out games. 

After this week’s matchup with Detroit, New Orleans has three winnable games. If the Saints are going to take back the NFC South lead, they need to make a move soon.

Next: vs. DET, vs. CAR, vs. NYG, at LAR (TNF)

22. Chicago Bears (4-8)

Previous Rank: No. 24

Last Game: Bears 12, Vikings 10

The Chicago Bears are an unreliable, but dangerous team with Justin Fields under center. Since his return to action, Chicago took the Lions to the brink in Detroit and beat the Vikings in Minnesota.

The Bears’ defense has trended up since the middle of October. Chicago probably dug itself too deep of a hole to contend for an NFC Wild Card spot, but it isn't an easy out anymore.

Next: BYE, vs. DET, at CLE, vs. ARZ

23. Las Vegas Raiders (5-7)

Previous Rank: No. 22

Last Game: Chiefs 31, Raiders 17

It’s important to give credit when credit is due: the Las Vegas Raiders have been feisty under Antonio Pierce. Beating both New York teams isn’t a major feat, but they gave the Dolphins and Chiefs scares in the past two weeks.

Outside of the second half against Kansas City last week, the Raiders defense has blown expectations out of the water since Pierce took over. QB Aidan O’Connell’s offense, however, remains underwhelming.

Next: BYE, vs. MIN, vs. LAC (TNF), at KC

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)

Previous Rank: No. 20

Last Game: Colts 27, Buccaneers 20

The Colts were in control for most of their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, which wasn’t a major surprise. The Buccaneers’ defense has become less consistent as the year has worn on. 

QB Baker Mayfield’s offense continues to be the same middling unit with occasional upside as it has been all season. That said, Tampa is not out of the NFC South race because no one wants to take control of that division.

Next: vs. CAR, at ATL, at GB, vs. JAX

25. Tennessee Titans (4-7)

Previous Rank: No. 29

Last Game: Titans 17, Panthers 10

Rookie QB Will Levis had an encouraging NFL debut, but he hasn’t done much since. The Tennessee Titans are well-coached, and they have a premium defensive front.

However, they are in danger of going winless the rest of the season.

Next: vs. IND, at MIA (MNF), vs. HOU, vs. SEA

26. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)

Previous Rank: No. 26

Last Game: Steelers 16, Bengals 10

We’re giving them the benefit of the doubt for now, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the Cincinnati Bengals didn’t win another game this season.

That makes it clear that few teams are as reliant on its quarterback as Cincinnati is on Joe Burrow.

Next: at JAX (MNF), vs. IND, vs. MIN, at PIT

27. New York Giants (4-8)

Previous Rank: No. 31

Last Game: Giants 10, Patriots 7

The New York Giants have won two games in a row with Tommy DeVito under center. The Giants’ defense is the only thing that’s kept them in games all season.

If New York is going to steal any more wins, Big Blue’s defense likely will drive those efforts as well.

Next: BYE, vs. GB (MNF), at NO, at PHI

28. Washington Commanders (4-8)

Previous Rank: 28

Last Game: Cowboys 45, Commanders 10

The Washington Commanders have lost four of their last five, including two games to the Giants. Their pass defense is the worst in the league. That’s why they fired defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio after being demolished by Dallas last week.

If the Commanders are going to be even mildly competitive the rest of the way, it’s almost entirely on QB Sam Howell.

Next: vs. MIA, BYE, at LAR, at NYJ

29. New York Jets (4-7)

Previous Rank: No. 27

Last Game: Dolphins 34, Jets 13

The New York Jets' non-functioning offense has led to three blowout losses in their past four games. QB Tim Boyle is not an upgrade over Zach Wilson; he represents change for the sake of change. 

The Jets still have a championship-caliber defense, but this looks like a lost season more each week.

Next: vs. ATL, vs. HOU, at MIA, vs. WASH

30. Arizona Cardinals (2-10)

Previous Rank: No. 25

Last Game: Rams 37, Cardinals 14

The Arizona Cardinals are more dangerous with Kyler Murray, but he hasn’t been consistently exceptional since returning from injury. Arizona was dismantled by Matthew Stafford’s Rams last week.

That’s not a good sign considering some of the Cardinals’ upcoming opponents.

Next: at PITT, BYE, vs. SF, at CHI

31. New England Patriots (2-9)

Previous Rank: No. 30

Last Game: Giants 10, Patriots 7

You’d be hard-pressed to find worse quarterback play than what Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe put together last Sunday. The New England Patriots’ defense did its job, but their passing attack was unwatchable.

The next four games look grim for New England.

Next:  vs. LAC, at PIT (TNF), vs. KC, at DEN

32. Carolina Panthers (1-10)

Previous Rank: No. 32

Last Game: Titans 17, Panthers 10

QB Bryce Young has struggled so much through his first 11 games that head coach Frank Reich was fired on Monday. You could argue that move is a little rash, but it sums up how the Carolina Panthers’ season has gone.

Next: at TB, at NO, vs. ATL, vs. GB