Nov 24, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after a completed pass against the Denver Broncos during overtime at Gillette Stadium Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Week 13 Power Rankings

1.   Seattle Seahawks (10-1) - Their bye week came just in time to rest up before facing the Saints on Monday night. This is a likely NFC Championship preview, so be sure to tune in.  Previous Rank: 3

2.   New Orleans Saints (9-2) - They have a rough finish to the season, facing the Seahawks, Carolina twice, and the surging Rams and Buccs. If any team is ready for the challenge, it’s the Saints.  Previous Rank: 4

3.   Denver Broncos (9-2) - Sunday night’s loss to Brady and Co. will haunt Peyton for a long time. They put New England in a 24-0 at home and still couldn’t come up with the win. They must rebound quickly and prepare for the Chiefs in Kansas City this Sunday. A loss could doom them to the #5 seed for the playoffs.  Previous Rank: 1

4.   Carolina Panthers (8-3) - They’ve won seven games in a row and show no signs of slowing down. Cam is the heart and soul of this team and he’s hungry for his first postseason berth.  Previous Rank: 5

5.   New England Patriots (8-3) - After an abysmal start to Sunday night’s game, New England rebounded big time thanks to a stellar performance by Tom Brady. He went 34/50 for 344 yards and 3 TDs, throwing himself back into MVP discussion, and rightfully so. If the Pats can close out the season strongly against opponents with a combined 20-35 record, Brady could steal the award from Peyton like he stole Sunday’s game.  Previous Rank: 6

6.   Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) - Back to back losses for the Chiefs don’t bode well when an angry Peyton comes to town this week. A loss this week and they’re almost certainly out of contention for a bye to start the playoffs.  Previous Rank: 2

7.   Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) - The Bengals come off their bye week to play the Chargers in San Diego, who are fresh off their upset of the Kansas City Chiefs. Andy Dalton needs to take advantage of the Chargers’s weak secondary and put his recent mediocre performances behind him.  Previous Rank: 8

8.   Arizona Cardinals (7-4) - The beat-down they laid on the Colts showed the league that the Cardinals are for real. They still have a tough road to the playoffs, though, since their remaining schedule is the Eagles, Titans, Seahawks, and 49ers, all of whom are contenders for a playoff spot.  Previous Rank: 11

9.   San Francisco 49ers (7-4) - Kaepernick was an excellent 15/24 for 235 yards and 3 TDs. It took the Redskins abysmal defense to make the passing game look good and they still desperately need Crabtree back on the field.  Previous Rank: 13  

10.   Philadelphia Eagles (6-5) - They’ve won three in a row and are 2nd in the league in rushing and 9th in passing. They are stable at the quarterback position for once, but the 32nd ranked secondary will have to come up big this week against Larry Fitzgerald and the Cards.  Previous Rank: 12

11.   Indianapolis Colts (7-4) - After getting blown out by St. Louis, they barely beat Tennessee before getting wrecked again Sunday. After starting the season very well, they’re starting to fall apart and Andrew Luck is putting up pedestrian numbers.  Previous Rank: 7    

12.   Detroit Lions (6-5) - There’s no excuse for throwing four interceptions at home against a weaker opponent. This was a trap game for the Lions and they fell for it. It’s fortunate for them that Rodgers will be unable to play for the Packers this Thanksgiving when the two meet.  Previous Rank: 9

13.   Dallas Cowboys (6-5) - It wasn’t a pretty win, but they put themselves back in the division lead. There’s no way they should be ranked 29th in rushing when they have DeMarco Murray, but their offensive line is very hurt.  Previous Rank: 14

14.   St. Louis Rams (5-6) - They’ve not only won, but dominated two straight games against potential playoff candidates in the Colts and Bears. They have an incredibly tough end to the season, but this defense is getting some swagger that could go a long way.  Previous Rank: 20 

15.   Chicago Bears (6-5) - Even in a loss, Josh McCown had a decent day at the office. 36/47 for 352 and 2 TDs. His pick and fumble were killers, though, and Matt Forte was having a tough time running against the Rams defense.  Previous Rank: 10

16.   Tennessee Titans (5-6) - If the playoffs started today, the Titans would be the 6th seed in the AFC despite only winning two of their last seven games. They have two tough games on the road in Indianapolis and Denver so this defense will have to hold tight.  Previous Rank: 23

17.   Pittsburgh Steelers (5-6) - They beat up Jason Campbell and rolled right over the Browns to win their third straight game. They are miraculously back in the playoff hunt and have a critical game Thanksgiving night against the Baltimore Ravens.  Previous Rank: 19

18.   San Diego Chargers (5-6) - Rivers was a stud against one of the league’s best defenses, going 27/39 for 392 yards and 3 TDs. They have a shot to return to the postseason for the first time since 2009.  Previous Rank: 22

19.   Green Bay Packers (5-5-1) - Matt Flynn returned to the only place he can actually play football and rallied the Packers from an early deficit. He should be the starter on Thanksgiving against the Lions. Last time he started against them he went 31/44 for 480 yards and 6 TDs.  Previous Rank: 17

20.   Miami Dolphins (5-6) - Miami’s defense was no match for a determined Cam Newton, although they put up a good fight for the first half of the game. They have a very evenly matched end to the season, aside from the game against New England, so they could steal a wild card spot in December.  Previous Rank: 18

21.   Baltimore Ravens (5-6) - Justin Tucker had a big day against the Jets, accounting for 12 of the Ravens’ 19 points. They’re going to have to score more than that to beat the Steelers on Thanksgiving.  Previous Rank: 24

22.   New York Jets (5-6) - They’ve gotten embarrassed two weeks in a row and show no signs of righting the ship. They have a critical game against Miami on Sunday to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.  Previous Rank: 15

23.   New York Giants (4-7) - After virtually being eliminated from the playoffs Sunday afternoon, they have a chance to bounce back against the lowly Redskins in prime-time. They need a running game in order for Eli to be as effective as he was during his Super Bowl years.  Previous Rank: 16

24.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-8) - They’ve won three straight games and finally have some swagger. Mike Glennon finished with a passer rating of 138.4, to follow up his 137.5 performance last week.  Previous Rank: 28

25.   Buffalo Bills (4-7) - Playoff hopes are a little unrealistic for the Bills, but they have a chance to string together some wins against the Falcons, Buccs, and Jaguars before facing Miami and New England to close the year.  Previous Rank: 25

26.   Cleveland Browns (4-7) - The Browns instantly get worse with Brandon Weeden at the helm. It’s a shame since they may be competing for a playoff spot right now if Hoyer was still healthy. Jordan Cameron has been a complete non-factor since Hoyer’s injury.  Previous Rank: 21

27.   Oakland Raiders (4-7) - Matt McGloin had a decent game for his second start and almost beat the Titans. Regardless of the quarterback, the Raiders are in dire need of a running back that can stay healthy for the full season. Darren McFadden is way too injury prone to extend his contract and expect him to be the starter.  Previous Rank: 26

28.   Minnesota Vikings (2-8-1) - Christian Ponder played well in the tie against the Packers, likely securing the starting job for the rest of the season. They still should go after a quarterback in the draft and look to trade Jared Allen.  Previous Rank: 29

29.   Washington Redskins (3-8) - RG3 gets beaten up week-to-week as this offensive line is completely unable to protect him. The Giants defensive line is going to kill him this Sunday night.  Previous Rank: 27

30.   Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9) - The Jags already hit their win total from last season, and have a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time since 2010 when they play the Browns this Sunday.  Previous Rank: 32

31.   Atlanta Falcons (2-9) - Already guaranteed to be a losing season, this is the first on for Atlanta since 2007. They are desperate for a running game and their defense is in shambles.  Previous Rank: 31

32.   Houston Texans (2-9) - It doesn’t get much worse than loosing to the division-opponent Jaguars at home while only managing to score six points against them. They have the pleasure of playing New England this Sunday, who should extend their losing streak even if the Patriots started Ryan Mallett.  Previous Rank: 30

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