There was probably less movement in the Top Ten this week than any other week this season. It’s not that there wasn’t interesting results: Washington Football Team ended the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 11-0 start, the Seattle Seahawks were shut down by the New York Giants, and the Los Angeles Rams outdueled the Arizona Cardinals. But as the sample size of the season increases, single game results will have a smaller impact on these rankings.
Basically, we know who the good teams are. Ordering them changes week-to-week, but is mostly nitpicking. For example, the Steelers didn’t lose any ground in my rankings this week, as they already held the #2 spot. Even though losing to a 4-7 team isn’t encouraging, they’ve still been a dominant team all season and are tied for the best record in the league.
On the other hand, losses by the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals weren’t one-offs, but rather continuations of trends over the past month.
Read on to see how Week 13’s results affected the Power Rankings.
Post-Week 13 Power Rankings
- Kansas City Chiefs (11-1) [Last Week: 1]
- Seven Straight Weeks at the Top: While the Chiefs needed to grind out the fourth quarter in 22-16 win over the Denver Broncos, they’re still the best team in the league. Especially with the Steelers loss in Week 13, Kansas City’s case as the best team in the league has never been clearer.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1) [Last Week: 2]
- Pittsburgh’s undefeated, 11-0 start came to an end with a a 23-17 loss to Washington on Monday afternoon. The Steelers don’t lose any ground, as I have had them as the second-best team in the NFL for a few weeks now. I don’t think this one loss changes much, as Pittsburgh is still just one of two teams with 11 wins and one of three teams with 10 wins.
- New Orleans Saints (10-2) [Last Week: 3]
- Green Bay Packers (9-3) [Last Week: 4]
- The Packers improved to 5-1 at home with a 30-16 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Aaron Rodgers has thrown an NFL-high 36 touchdown passes against just four interceptions.
- Buffalo Bills (9-3) [Last Week: 6]
- Buffalo prevailed 34-24 over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football, behind four touchdown passes from Josh Allen. The Bills improve to 9-3, which is important with the 8-4 Miami Dolphins breathing down their necks.
- Los Angeles Rams (8-4) [Last Week: 10]
- Two weeks ago, the Rams were here at #6 after beating the Buccaneers. Then, they fell to #10 with a loss to the 49ers. Well, now they’re back up, after beating the Arizona Cardinals 38-28 to earn a share of the NFC West lead.
- Seattle Seahawks (8-4) [Last Week: 5]
- Seattle’s offense stalled in a 17-12 loss to the New York Giants, with backup quarterback Colt McCoy starting the game. Seattle’s defense allowed 135 rushing yards by Wayne Gallman, and two touchdowns by Alfred Morris. For a team I once considered the best in the NFL, this is a new season-low.
- Arizona Cardinals (6-6) [Last Week: 7]
- Arizona has lost three straight, and four of their last five. That would be a five-game losing streak if not for DeAndre Hopkins’ miracle catch against the Bills. But looking more closely at the scores: with losses coming 34-31 to the Dolphins, 28-21 to the Seahawks, 20-17 to the Patriots, and 38-28 to the Rams, the Cardinals are a talented team that could be great with better defensive efforts.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) [Last Week: 8]
- Tennessee Titans (8-4) [Last Week: 9]
- The Titans found themselves down 38-7 at halftime against the Bills. Tennessee won the second half 28-3, but still lost the game 41-35. I still find Tennessee to be a better team than Cleveland. The Titans would win two out of three times over the Browns.
- Indianapolis Colts (8-4) [Last Week: 11]
- Cleveland Browns (9-3) [Last Week: 13]
- Although they fell apart in the second half, hanging 41 points on the Titans in a win was still one of the Browns’ most impressive performances of the season. While I’m sure Cleveland fans might find #12 a little low, it’s still a step forward for the likely playoff-bond Browns.
- Baltimore Ravens (7-5) [Last Week: 12]
- Lamar Jackson and the Ravens took care of business against the Cowboys, but will face an uphill battle to make the playoffs with four weeks to go.
- Miami Dolphins (8-4) [Last Week: 14]
- San Francisco 49ers (5-7) [Last Week: 15]
- New York Giants (5-7) [Last Week: 21]
- Biggest Winner of Week 13: The Giants shoot up five spots after their fifth win of the season. Beating Seattle 17-12 without Daniel Jones proved that New York can beat good teams by playing passionate defense. The Giants might just finish with seven or eight wins, and this is easily their highest ranking this season.
- Minnesota Vikings (6-6) [Last Week: 17]
- Sure it would be great if the Vikings didn’t need overtime to beat the Jaguars, but they still won. That makes five wins in six games for a Minnesota team that started 1-5. Don’t look now, but they’re in the playoff picture as a wildcard team.
- New England Patriots (6-6) [Last Week: 22]
- New England dominated the Los Angeles Chargers with a 45-0 victory last week. The Patriots are on the rise, but is it too little too late?
- Washington Football Team (5-7) [Last Week: 24]
- The Giants can’t celebrate leading the NFC East just yet, with a resurgent Washington team also sitting at 5-7. Washington beat the previously undefeated Steelers on Monday, instantly elevating their Power Ranking.
- Las Vegas Raiders (6-6) [Last Week: 16]
- If not for one of the worst defensive playcalls in NFL history, the Raiders would have lost to the 0-11 Jets. Not a good look.
- Carolina Panthers (4-8) [Last Week: 18]
- Atlanta Falcons (4-8) [Last Week: 20]
- Houston Texans (4-8) [Last Week: 26]
- Denver Broncos (4-8) [Last Week: 25]
- Denver lost, but gave the Chiefs a run for their money in a 22-16 defeat. The Broncos stingy defense can make almost any game close.
- Detroit Lions (5-7) [Last Week: 29]
- Los Angeles Chargers (3-8) [Last Week: 19]
- Biggest Loser of Week 13: I’ve persistently ranked the Chargers in the #18-20 range, citing that despite their record, they can play with any team in the NFL. After a couple losses by more than a score, including an embarrassing 45-0 loss to New England in Week 13, the Chargers take a tumble.
- Chicago Bears (5-7) [Last Week: 23]
- Also falling backwards is the Chicago Bears, after their sixth straight loss. From a talent standpoint, the Bears should be much higher. But it’s almost like they forgot how to win football games.
- Philadelphia Eagles (3-8-1) [Last Week: 27]
- Dallas Cowboys (3-9) [Last Week: 28]
- Jacksonville Jaguars (1-11) [Last Week: 30]
- With this week’s loss coming in overtime fashion to the Vikings, the Jaguars are closer than ever to breaking through for their second win of the season.
- Cincinnati Bengals (2-9-1) [Last Week: 31]
- New York Jets (0-12) [Last Week: 32]
- Eleven Straight Weeks at the Bottom: Holding on to defeat the Las Vegas Raiders just might have given the Jets a break from the #32 spot. But an unacceptable playcall that ultimately got defensive coordinator Gregg Williams fired cost the Jets a chance at their first win of the season.
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Travel and Hiking
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- Hike: Mount Beacon Fire Tower Out-and-Back
- Hike: Breakneck Ridge Loop
Header Photo Credit: Abbie Parr/Getty Images