With just five weeks left in the 2021-22 NFL season, the best teams in the bunch are getting ready to lock up playoff spots, while the rest of the league scrambles to decide the ultimate 14-team playoff field.

The Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Green Bay Packers are flat-out great teams. You could probably throw the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, and Kansas City Chiefs in the mix of playoff locks as well, but these four teams have been susceptible to up-and-down play,

With some big results in Week 13, including the Patriots defeating the Bills in Buffalo, the Steelers knocking off the Ravens, and the Chargers blowing out the Bengals, there’s plenty of movement in this week’s Power Rankings. As the season goes on and the sample size increases, there’s less drastic swings in the rakings at this point in time, but still plenty of changes in order nonetheless.

Read on for my full Power Rankings, and if you’d like to debate or discuss any rankings, join the conversation with @SakSports on Twitter.

SEE ALSO: Last Week’s Power Rankings

Post-Week 13 Power Rankings

  1. Arizona Cardinals (10-2) [Last Week: 1]
    • The Arizona Cardinals prevailed once again to improve to an NFL-best 10-2, with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins returning to the field in a 33-22 win over the Bears in Chicago. Arizona’s defense picked off Andy Dalton four times, Murray didn’t have to do much but totaled three touchdowns including one on the ground, and James Conner rushed for 75 yards in another well-rounded victory.
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3) [Last Week: 2]
    • Tom Brady was 38-for-51 for 368 yards and four touchdowns as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cruised to a 30-17 victory over the Falcons on the road. Tampa Bay has bounced back from a two-game losing streak with a three-game winning streak, and has went 7-2 over their last nine games. The Buccaneers are the NFL’s highest-scoring team, averaging 31.4 points per game.
  3. New England Patriots (9-4) [Last Week: 4]
    • It may not have been the prettiest win, but Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots willed their way to a unique 14-10 win over the Bills through Buffalo’s wind, rain, and snow. Mac Jones was only called upon to throw the ball three times, completing two passes for 19 yards. Besides that, 222 rushing yards was the recipe needed to create some breathing room in the AFC East. The Patriots have the best record in the AFC, and on the heels of seven straight victories, have become the hottest team in the NFL.
  4. Green Bay Packers (9-3) [Last Week: 3]
    • Some may call the Green Bay Packers the best team in the NFC, but when push comes to shove, I would take both the Buccaneers and Cardinals in head-to-head matchups with Green Bay (and yes, I know the Packers already defeated the Cardinals this season.)
  5. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) [Last Week: 5]
    • Ever since the Kansas City Chiefs lost an embarrassing 27-3 game to the Titans to fall to 3-4, the team hasn’t lost a game. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have won five straight games after defeating the Broncos 22-9 on Sunday Night Football in Week 13. The Chiefs have not only grabbed command of the AFC West, but are now tied for the best record in the entire conference.
  6. Dallas Cowboys (8-4) [Last Week: 9]
  7. Buffalo Bills (7-5) [Last Week: 10]
    • Moving up three spots despite a loss is admittedly weird. Sure, losing close against a quality opponent has moved teams up in the past, but Monday night’s wacky weather game against the Patriots, a 14-10 loss, hardly tells how the Bills will play moving forward. Still, with a sea of mediocre teams, Josh Allen and the Bills can still be considered one of the better squads in the NFL.
  8. Baltimore Ravens (8-4) [Last Week: 6]
    • The Baltimore Ravens are a good team, but even as they sit tied for the best record in the AFC, I’m not sure they’re a great team. A great team wouldn’t have needed a last-second two-point attempt to beat a struggling Steelers squad. A great team also wouldn’t lose 22-10 to Miami or 41-17 to Cincinnati. I still like the Ravens chances this season, but with a 3-3 record in their last six games, something has to change if Baltimore wishes to make a deep postseason run.
  9. Los Angeles Rams (8-4) [Last Week: 8]
    • Matthew Stafford threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns as the Los Angeles Rams snapped a three-game losing streak with a 37-7 win over the Jaguars at home. Los Angeles is far from out of the dog house: the last time they beat a team that currently holds a winning record was Week 3 against the Buccaneers.
  10. Tennessee Titans (8-4) [Last Week: 7]
    • The Tennessee Titans, who had a bye in Week 13, get the benefit of the doubt and remain a Top Ten team despite back-to-back losses to the Texans, and Patriots. Tennessee already proved they can beat solid teams (the Rams and Saints) without Derrick Henry, and if they can return to that formula, the Titans can still be a dangerous team.
  11. Indianapolis Colts (7-6) [Last Week: 12]
    • Jonathan Taylor had another monster day with 143 yards and two touchdowns as the ground as the Indianapolis Colts steamrolled the Jaguars 31-0 in Jacksonville. Carson Wentz and the Colts are now 6-2 in their last eight games, with just narrow losses to the Titans and Buccaneers, surging in the second half of the season with a chance at a playoff spot.
  12. Los Angeles Chargers (7-5) [Last Week: 15]
    • Justin Herbert went off for 317 yards and three passing touchdowns, and the Los Angeles Chargers defeated the favored Bengals handily on the road, winning 41-22. The Chargers have alternated wins and losses for six straight games, with signature wins over the Steelers, Eagles, and now Bengals, but with losses to the Patriots, Vikings, and Broncos. Los Angeles can probably go to toe-to-toe with anyone: but only on a good week.
  13. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5) [Last Week: 11]
    • The Cincinnati Bengals have been hard to get a read on: they destroyed Pittsburgh 41-10, beat Las Vegas 32-13, but also lost to the Jets and Browns, all in the last two months. This week, Joe Burrow and the Bengals fell 41-22 to the Chargers, at home, losing a potentially key game in the AFC playoff race.
  14. San Francisco 49ers (6-6) [Last Week: 13]
    • The San Francisco 49ers three-game winning streak was halted by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks on Sunday. Jimmy Garroppolo and the 49ers were shut out in the second half after taking a 23-21 lead at halftime. San Francisco still retains a playoff position, but invites competition by dropping to 6-6 on the season.
  15. Minnesota Vikings (5-7) [Last Week: 14]
    • Allowing the Lions to win their first game of the season isn’t exactly a good look, but when you look at the Minnesota Vikings entire body of work, they’re not a bad team. Minnesota still hasn’t lost a game by more than one score this season, and has even beaten the Packers and the Chargers in recent weeks. But close losses add up, and Minnesota can’t afford many more if they want to make the postseason.
  16. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) [Last Week: 16]
    • Gardner Minshew did an incredible job in a spot start for the injured Jalen Hurts, completing 20-of-25 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. But as a team, the Philadelphia Eagles stock doesn’t go up too much for defeating the Jets 33-18 at MetLife Stadium: last week’s 13-7 loss to the Giants at the same venue still leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
  17. Washington Football Team (6-6) [Last Week: 21]
    • Just like last year, Washington Football Team is making a late push towards the postseason. This year, instead of grabbing the NFC East title with a losing record, Washington could qualify as an NFC wildcard team with eight or nine wins this season. Taylor Heincke and company overcame the Raiders 17-15 in Las Vegas to win their fourth straight game after a 2-6 start.
  18. Miami Dolphins (6-7) [Last Week: 20]
    • Mike Glennon and the Giants were the Miami Dolphins latest victim in a string of largely lackluster opponents, but that’s not the Dolphins fault. Miami has rattled off five straight wins, including an impressive one against the Ravens, to suddenly have an outside shot at the playoffs. Tua Tagovailoa continues to pass efficiently, completing 30-of-41 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
  19. Cleveland Browns (6-6) [Last Week: 17]
    • Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns had a bye in Week 13, and have alternated wins and losses for seven straight games. If this trend continues, Cleveland is due for a win in their next game, their second consecutive game against Baltimore.
  20. Denver Broncos (6-6) [Last Week: 19]
    • The Denver Broncos had seven more first downs and 137 more total yards than the Chiefs on Sunday Night, and limited Patrick Mahomes to no passing touchdowns. Still, two crippling interceptions thrown by Teddy Bridgewater ultimately doomed Denver in a 22-9 loss, as the Broncos squandered the chance to challenge Kansas City for the AFC West lead.
  21. Las Vegas Raiders (6-6) [Last Week: 18]
    • Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders couldn’t put many points on the board against Washington Football Team, and their defense allowed Washington to come back with 10 points in the fourth quarter, sinking Las Vegas to 6-6. The Raiders are 1-4 in their last five games, eclipsing 16 points just once in that stretch.
  22. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1) [Last Week: 23]
    • The Pittsburgh Steelers outlasted the Ravens 20-19, with Baltimore’s last-second two-point conversion attempt falling short, to improve to 6-5-1 on the season. But with a 1-2-1 record in the last four weeks, the win seems more like a one-off occasion for this Steelers team.
  23. New Orleans Saints (5-7) [Last Week: 22]
    • Switching from Trevor Siemian to Taysom Hill at quarterback didn’t immediately pay off, with Hill throwing four interceptions in the New Orleans Saints 27-17 loss to the Cowboys on Thursday Night Football. The Saints have now lost five straight games, winless without Jameis Winston as their starter.
  1. Atlanta Falcons (5-7) [Last Week: 28]
    • I didn’t really mean to move the Atlanta Falcons up, other teams just really deserved to move down. Atlanta is capable of a good game here and there, and even kept it close with the Buccaneers, trailing 20-17 at halftime before losing 30-17.
  2. Seattle Seahawks (4-8) [Last Week: 26]
    • Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks beat the 49ers 30-23 to snap a three-game losing streak and earn just their second home win of the season. Still, Seattle is 2-6 in their last eight games.
  3. Chicago Bears (4-7) [Last Week: 28]
    • Andy Dalton threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns leading to 22 Chicago Bears points, but also tossed four interceptions in a 33-22 loss to the Cardinals. Chicago’s season is long gone, but with how tough their schedule has been, it’s hard to separate the Bears shortcomings from their prowess of their opponents at times.
  4. New York Giants (4-8) [Last Week: 24]
    • Good teams don’t completely fold when their backup quarterback is forced to start, but the New York Giants aren’t exactly a good team. Mike Glennon completed 23-of-44 passes for a measly 187 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception. New York scored just three field goals in a 20-9 loss to the Dolphins in Miami.
  5. Carolina Panthers (5-7) [Last Week: 27]
    • The Carolina Panthers had a bye in Week 13, but after Cam Newton’s poor passing leading to the former NFL MVP being benched last week, coupled with running back Christian McCaffrey returning to IR, things aren’t looking great for the Panthers.
  6. Detroit Lions (1-10-1) [Last Week: 31]
    • Rejoice! The Detroit Lions are winless no more! After weeks of telling my readers the Lions weren’t the worst team in the league, Detroit backed me up by defeating the Vikings 29-27 on a last-second touchdown. Over their past four games (1-2-1) the Lions have only been outscored by a single point, showing their competitiveness.
  7. New York Jets (3-9) [Last Week: 29]
    • The New York Jets Week 13 bout with Gardner Minshew and the Eagles was shaping up to be a fun one, but after New York allowed Philadelphia to score on their first seven drives, things got out of hand quickly. Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson falls to 2-6 on the season as a starter.
  8. Houston Texans (2-10) [Last Week: 30]
    • Jonathan Taylor ran all over the Houston Texans defense as the Colts defeated their AFC South rivals 31-0. After being shutout for the second time this season and held to less than 10 points for the sixth time, Houston is the lowest-scoring team in the league, averaging just 13.7 points per game.
  9. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) [Last Week: 32]
    • The Jacksonville Jaguars were completely outclassed by the Rams in Los Angeles, falling 37-7 in a game where they were outgained 418-197. Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence still has just nine touchdown passes and ten interceptions through ten games.




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Header Photo: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

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