NFL Power Rankings: Week 13

Week thirteen was highlighted by an amazing Hail-Mary pass, a mega Jets comeback and a playoff buster. Thursday Night Football featured a Lions-Packers matchup. Trailing by 20 down, the Packers mounted a huge comeback leading up to the game-winning Hail-Mary bomb from Aaron Rodgers to Ricardo Rodgers to give the Packers the win, 27-23 over the Lions. Speaking of comebacks, the Jets trailing 20-10 heading into the fourth quarter stormed back to win 23-20 over the Giants.

The Carolina Panthers won a shoot-out against the New Orleans Saints, 41-38 to secure the NFC South and a playoff berth. Speaking of the NFC South, how about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? After handing the Atlanta Falcons their fifth straight loss, the Bucs have thrust themselves into the playoff picture. A big reason why is a Tampa Bay’s Top-10 offense and defense.

On a side note: The “supposed” Steelers-Colts rivalry isn’t much of a rivalry as the Steelers have outscored the Colts, 96-44 the past two meetings. Big Ben has shredded the Colts defense passing for 886 total yards and 10 touchdowns. In addition, his favorite target: Antonio Brown has feasted of Indianapolis’s secondary totaling 18 receptions, 251 receiving yards and five total touchdowns in two meetings.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals have won six straight games defeating the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Cardinals respectively. Here’s my favorite play:

One team remains undefeated: the Carolina Panthers at 12-0.

  1. Carolina Panthers (12-0): Minus the Panther non-existent defense, Carolina did just enough offensively to outlast the Saints, 41-38. Cam Newton passed for five touchdowns and 331 yards in the win. Compliment that with Jonathan Stewart’s 82 on the ground and Greg Olsen’s 129 in the air and you have a recipe of disaster for any defensive coordinator.
  2. Arizona Cardinals (10-2): Carson Palmer was filthy passing for 356 yards and two touchdowns on a hapless Rams defense. The unexpected help came from the hands of David Johnson who rushed for 99 yards and caught a rec touchdown in the Cardinals 27-3 drubbing of the Rams.
  3. Denver Broncos (10-2): Brock Osweiler hasn’t just silenced the doubters: he’s made them believers. Osweiler and the Broncos went to 3-0 with him at the helm blanketing the Chargers 17-3. He main target, Demaryius Thomas hauled in six catches for 66 yards and a touchdown in the win.
  4. Cincinnati Bengals (10-2): The Bengals are the Brown’s worst nightmare. Trust me, Cleveland knows as they were pummeled 37-3 to Cincinnati at home. A.J. Green joined the great Randy Moss as the only receivers to have 1,000 yards in each of their first five seasons. Green’s line: five catches for 128 yards and a touchdown in the win.
  5. New England Patriots (10-2): More like New England implosion. The Patriots lost back-to-back games for the first time since the 2013 season. Tom Brady struggled throwing two interceptions, including a pick-six and the Patriots defense and special teams unit surrendered 21 points to the Eagles. Philly triumphed New England, 35-28. Time to get healthy Pats.
  6. Green Bay Packers (8-4): A Hail-Mary for the win? Yeah, Green Bay will take that. A 27-23 win over the Lions feels good, but the trailing by 20 not so much. Much-needed win for the Packers but the only encouraging sign of this game was the emergence of Ricardo Richards being the tight end Aaron Rodgers needs hauling in eight catches, including the game winner along with 146 yards and a touchdown.
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5): The Steelers simply have the Colts number as they spanked them 45-10 on Sunday Night Football. Big Ben passed for 364 yards and four touchdowns. Antonio Brown, the NFL’s best receiver hauled in eight catches for 118 yards and three total touchdowns in the win. Pittsburgh has now outscored Indianapolis 96-44 in the past two meetings.
  8. Kansas City Chiefs (7-5): Five is good but six is even better. The Chiefs notched their six win blitzing the Raiders, 34-20. Kansas City forced Derek Carr into three interceptions including a pick-six. While their offense was lead by Alex Smith’s three total touchdowns and Jeremy Maclin’s 95 receiving yard, two touchdown day.
  9. Seattle Seahawks (7-5): Russell Wilson and the Seahawks have been fireball hot scoring 77 total points the past two games. Wilson has been a huge contributor with nine total touchdowns in that span. His favorite target: Doug Baldwin has stepped up in a big way hauling five total receiving touchdowns in this span as well. Seahawks defeated the Vikings, 38-7.
  10. Minnesota Vikings (8-4): The Viking have now been outscored 68-20 by teams they’ll meet in the playoffs (Packers and Seahawks). Adrian Peterson’s 18 rush yards along with Teddy Bridgewater’s inability to pass downfield. What’s worse? The Viking were murdered by Russell Wilson through the air: 274 passing yards and three scores, and with his legs: 51 rushing yards and a touchdown. Vikings lose big 38-7 to the Seahawks.
  11. New York Jets (6-6): J-E-T-S. New York belongs to the gang-green as they mounted a 23-20 comeback overtime win over the cross town Giants. Trailing 20-10 in the fourth, Brandon Marshall came alive hauling in twelve total receptions for 131 yards and the game-tying touchdown. Marshall has now notched an 1,000-yard season with each of the four clubs he’s played on (Dolphins, Broncos, Bears and Jets).
  12. Buffalo Bills (6-6): Tyrod Time in Buffalo equals a Houston royal broiling as the Bills beat the Texans, 31-20. Taylor accounted for four total touchdowns and “Shady” McCoy rushed for 112 yards as well. The Bills defense has only sacked the quarterbacks 18 times all year, but were great in this outing sacking Hoyer twice and forcing him into an interception in the win.
  13. Indianapolis Colts (6-6): Well Matt Hasselbeck is 40-years-old. He showed that against the Steelers on Sunday Night Football, throwing two interceptions and poor accuracy in the Colts 45-10 loss to the Steelers. He wasn’t alone as the Colts defense was M.I.A getting shredded for 522 total yards in the loss.
  14. Houston Texans (6-6): R.I.P Texans defense. One sack equal zero pressure on Tyrod Taylor and the Bills. That, in turn, equals a nightmare for Houston as they lost a close one 30-21. Offensively, Houston stayed hot as Brian Hoyer passed for 293 yards and three touchdowns. Cecil Shorts III and DeAndre Hopkins were solid too hauling in, 91 and 81, with a touchdown apiece.
  15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6): After the Bucs handed the Falcons their fifth straight loss, winning 23-19, they thrust themselves in the playoff picture. Then again, a Top-10 offense and defense will do that for you too. Doug Martin lead the cavalry Sunday rushing for 95 yards and a score in the win.
  16. Oakland Raiders (5-7): An Oakland Implosion sent the Raiders to (5-7) as Derek Carr threw three interceptions, including a pick-six and the team as a whole recorded three fumbles in their 34-20 loss to the Chiefs. The boys in silver and black were lackluster on defense especially in the red zone where Kansas City nearly scored at will.
  17. Washington Redskins (5-7): In what was easily the worst Monday Night Football game of the year, the Redskins lost late to the Cowboys. The Redskins struggled in the trenches as they rushed for just two yards a clip while their defense gave up four. Also Kirk Cousins was sacked thrice in a sloppy NFC East Matchup.
  18. New Orleans Saints (5-7): The Good News: The Saints offense has potentially some sparks as their offense showed signs of life: Brees’s three passing touchdowns and Ingram recorded a rushing score. The Bad News: They still lost 41-38 because their defense couldn’t stop a high-school football team, giving up 497 total yards.
  19. Atlanta Falcons (6-6): The Falcons are hibernating with the bears, losers of six straight. Especially their offense which has no clue how to score the football. The Falcons totaled just 19 points in their 23-19 loss to the Bucs. Wait, don’t they have Julio Jones? Or Devonta Freeman? I know, I know it hurts me too Falcons fans.
  20. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7): The Eagles are flying high again as their defense and special teams unit scored 21 points, pair that with the offense’s other two and you have a 35-28 win over a great Patriots team in Foxborough. Safety Malcolm Jenkins gets my game ball totaling seven tackles and a 99-yard pick-six early in the third in the Eagles win.
  21. Chicago Bears (5-7): You know you reached your all-time low when you lose to the San Francisco 49ers at home. The Bears fell 26-20 in overtime to the 49ers. Jay Cutler threw another pick-six. Nothing to see here. While 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert passed for 196 and ran for another 75 to pair with two scores against a lackluster Bears defense. Ouch.
  22. New York Giants (5-7): Eli Manning may have won Super Bowls but I can foresee zero in his future after his late fourth quarter interception into double coverage. Oh P.S. it was a fourth and five with the Giants winning 20-10. P.S.S. The Jets scored on that interception and later beat the Giants lost 23-20.
  23. Miami Dolphins (5-7): In a battle for the bottom of the AFC cellar, the Dolphins topped the Ravens, 15-13. Lamar Miller helped the fins rushing for 113 yards in the win. The Miami defense stood up too sacking Matt Schaub three times and picking him off twice, including a pick-six.
  24. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8): R.I.P Jaguars defense AGAIN. Jacksonville made Marcus Mariota look like a Probowler as he shredded them for 268 through the air and 112 on the ground along with four total touchdowns. All the while, Allen Robinson had a career day hauling in 10 receptions for 153 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. I guess there’s always next year. Jags fell 42-39 to the Titans.
  25. Detroit Lions (4-8): Back to reality and in a cold way. After leading 20-0 over the Packers, the Lions surrendered 27 straight including a hail-mary bomb for the win. The Lions defense as a whole forgot to tackle surrendering 313 to the Pack on Thursday Night Football. That defense really stops the momentum made by the offense as Detroit lost 27-23 to Green Bay in a heartbreaker.
  26. San Diego Chargers (3-9): Phillip Rivers: Meet Denver. Rivers was sacked four times, threw an interception and contributed to a four fumble day as the Chargers got spanked 17-3 to the Broncos at home. Their season is very likely over. So offseason positional needs: Offensive Line, Wide Receiver, and Defensive Line.
  27. Baltimore Ravens (4-8): Matt Schaub is breaking all kinds of records. This time, it’s the most consecutive games throwing a pick-six while starting. That’s all I got for you. Oh, the Ravens lost 15-13 to the Dolphins.
  28. Dallas Cowboys (4-8): Big W for the boys in blue. Darren McFadden (Yes, he’s still in the NFL) rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys 19-16 win over the Redskins on Sunday Night Football. Dan Bailey went 4-4 from field goal range including the 54-yarder to win it. The game ball as to go to linebacker who notched 13 tackles and a sack in the win.
  29. San Francisco 49ers (4-8): Blaine Gabbert had another solid outing throwing 196 and running for another 75 with a pair of scores in the 49ers 26-20 overtime win over the Bears. Navarro Bowman and the San Francisco defense was stout as well. Bowman recorded 14 total tackles and San Francisco picked off Jay Cutler for a pick-six in the win.
  30. Tennessee Titans (3-9): Two Words: Marcus Mariota. Mariota passed for 268 yards through the air with 112 on the ground and four total touchdowns as the Titans defeated the Jaguars, 42-39. Former Mizzou Alum, Dorial Green- Beckham was huge hauling five catches for 119 yards and a touchdown in the win.
  31. St. Louis Rams (4-8): My former high school, Bishop Miege could compete with the Rams and potentially beat them in a head-to-head matchup. Okay, maybe I’m stretching a bit, but in all honestly this Rams team is bad. A 27-3 beatdown to the Cardinals bad. Nick Foles proved he was a worthy trade investment for Jeff Fisher and his staff throwing for yet another interception and posted a 8.9 QBR rating at home. I know St. Louis’s top NFL draft choices: Quarterback, Offensive Lineman and Wide Receiver.
  1. Cleveland Browns (2-10): Is Jonny Manziel the starting quarterback for the Browns? Did they win? Of course not getting buried at home 37-3 to the Bengals. Austin Davis solidified his name in a list of 30-plus quarterbacks who couldn’t win in the cursed sports city of Cleveland, Ohio. Does Cleveland have a defense seriously? Because if so, a tackle or two would be nice.