Wednesday, November 27, 2013

NFL Power Rankings Week 13

1. Seattle Seahawks (10-1): Because the Broncos suffered an overtime loss to the New England Patriots, the Seahawks remain the unquestionable number one team in the power rankings. The Seahawks have not lost a home game since 2011, and even though the defense is gaining a large amount of attention, the offense ranks 2nd overall in points scored (27.8) and 3rd overall in rushing yards (147.9). If the Seahawks are able to obtain the number one seed in the playoffs, the home field advantage throughout the postseason will immediately lift this Seahawks team to the NFC Championship Game, or even the Super Bowl. Plus, Percy Harvin's return won't hurt...

2. New Orleans Saints (9-2): New Orleans close call against the Atlanta Falcons is somewhat worrisome, but then again, rivalry games are a completely different story from regular games, so it is difficult to weigh this narrow victory quite so heavily. Quarterback Drew Brees is having an MVP-caliber season in 2013, and even the defense is showing steady signs of improvement ever since they added Rob Ryan to the coaching staff. If there is any team in the NFC capable of knocking out the Seahawks from the playoffs, it would be the high-flying Saints offense.

3. New England Patriots (8-3): In a game against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football, Tom Brady once again got the best of Peyton Manning, as he erased a 24 point deficit, and the Patriots went on to win in overtime. Despite the terrible weather conditions, Tom Brady passed for 344 yards with 3 touchdown passes, culminating a passer rating of 107.4. In his past 3 games, Brady is averaging a passer rating of 116.8, especially after a spectacular performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots are starting to look like their former selves.

4. Carolina Panthers (8-3): The Carolina Panthers won their seventh game in a row last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. The Panthers were losing to Miami for almost the entirety of the second half, but for the second straight game, quarterback Cam Newton led an 80 yard drive down field for the game winning touchdown. Luckily, the defense is able to give Cam Newton and the offense the ability to succeed, where linebacker Luke Kuechly is a legitimate contender for Defensive Player of the Year.

5. Denver Broncos (9-2): The loss to the New England Patriots bumped the Denver Broncos down several spots in the power rankings. Peyton Manning no longer looked superhuman, the defense forfeited 31 unanswered points in the second half alone, and several short-term injuries will weaken the team as a whole. The Denver Broncos are playing the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend, so a win on the road would be sure to move this team up in the power rankings.

6. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2): The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Chargers last weekend in a 41-38 shootout, but luckily for the Chiefs, Denver lost to New England on Sunday Night, so the Chiefs are still tied for first in the division. To go along with the loss in San Diego, Kansas City suffered two key injuries to leading pass rushers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. The two pass rushers have combined for a grand total of 20 sacks in 2013, so the defense will have its hand full with Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense this weekend.

7. San Francisco 49ers (7-4): The 49ers beat the struggling Redskins on Monday Night, and for the first time since Week 1, quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw for three passing touchdowns, along with an additional 235 passing yards. At 7-4, San Francisco is three games behind the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West, but after losing two close games to Carolina and New Orleans, the San Francisco 49ers showed their resiliency by limiting the Redskins to just 6 points in Washington.

8. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4): After having a firm control of the AFC North, Cincinnati lost two straight overtime games to the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins. Cincinnati's dominant win over the Cleveland Browns last week is a good sign for Cincy's offense, even though star wide receiver AJ Green was limited to just two receptions for 7 yards and no touchdowns.

9. Arizona Cardinals (7-4): Following two losses to San Francisco and Seattle in Weeks 6 and 7, the Cardinals won four straight, where their most recent victory was a 40-11 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Arizona is flying under the radar in 2013, but similarly to last year, we predict the Cardinals to miss the playoffs after a solid start. In the next game, Arizona must travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles, and then to end the season, Arizona will play both Seattle and San Francisco in the last two weeks.

10. Indianapolis Colts (7-4): The Indianapolis Colts are officially the most inconsistent team in all of football. After beating San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver before the Bye, the Colts have lost to both the Cardinals and the Rams within the past two games. In those two games, the offense has been held to an average of 9.5 points per game, while the defense allowed an average of 39 points. Apart from a Week 16 at Kansas City, the Colts have a relatively easy schedule to conclude the regular season, so there is no doubt in my mind that the Colts will earn a spot in the playoffs despite their inconsistent play as of late.

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