Splash’s NFL Power Rankings: Week 13

Splash’s NFL Power Rankings: Week 13

by December 7, 2021 1 comment

Welcome back to the futile exercise of ranking the 32 NFL teams. As always, these will be updated weekly, so be sure to watch out as teams move up and down. If teams continue to win, they will rise. If teams continue to lose, they will fall. Similarly, a loss does not necessarily equate to a team being ranked lower than their opponent. Upsets in the NFL do happen, so trends will usually be needed for a team to drop many slots.

Numbers in parentheses refer to last week’s rankings.

No.32: Jacksonville Jaguars (-1)

Why is Urban Meyer still here? What is the point? The Jaguars do not have the personnel in the league, but they are routinely torched in every facet of being a competent NFL team. At this point, Trevor Lawrence is a victim of malpractice. The NFLPA will need to step in and advise players to not head to Jacksonville as long as Meyer is at the helm. It is disgusting.

No.31: Houston Texans (-1)

The Texans were blasted so ferociously that they actively decided to bench Tyrod Taylor for Davis Mills. The quarterback duo were both among the lowest graded of the week, and Week 13 is another loss for David Culley and the tank-bound Texans. If there is a bright side, the defensive line has pieces that could be built around in the future. If the Texans can add a blue-chip defensive prospect with their first-round pick in 2022, they could have a potentially sturdy defense.

No.30: Detroit Lions (+2)

It felt as if it would never happen, but the Lions were finally able to break their 11-game winless streak by knocking off the Minnesota Vikings. Jared Goff and Dan Campbell did their best to blow the game, but the Vikings ran prevent defense in the end zone, enabling Amon-Ra St. Brown to run untouched into the end zone before catching the game-winning touchdown. The Lions simultaneously won and kept the No.1 draft pick.

No.29: New York Jets (+0)

Sure, the Jets lost on Sunday, but Zach Wilson made progress. He had his second career passing grade above 65.0, tossing a pair of touchdowns. He had his highest passer rating in a game since Week 4. Wilson even added a rushing touchdown in a surprisingly exciting game. At this point in the season, the Jets just need to see growth from their young stars.

No.28: Atlanta Falcons (+0)

The final score did not do justice to how the Falcons folded on Sunday. Matt Ryan was poor for the fourth consecutive week. Marlon Davidson did have one of the highlights of the week by taking a Tom Brady pass back for a pick-six, but that was the lone bright spot on the defense. The offense was once again the Cordarrelle Patterson show. He should make the Pro Bowl.

No.27: Carolina Panthers (+0)

How do you get fired on your day off, Joe Brady? Brady went from being one of the hottest offensive minds to being an afterthought for an abysmal offense in Charlotte. This could be a power grab by Matt Rhule, but the Panthers do rank in the bottom 10 in many key offensive stats including points per game, yards per game, yards per pass, yards per run, and third-down efficiency.

No.26: Chicago Bears (-1)

Andy Dalton just threw another interception. Four of Dalton’s passes found an opponent on Sunday afternoon. David Montgomery had an exciting day, recording 141 yards and a rushing touchdown, but that is a minor victory for the hapless Bears. Despite their 4-8 record, the Bears are not quite out of the playoff picture. They are two games back of the Washington Football Team, but the Bears play just one more team that is currently above .500.

No.25: New Orleans Saints (-1)

Taysom Hill, as a passer, was an outright disaster on Thursday. As a rusher, he was PFF’s highest-graded player, rushing for over 100 yards. Like Dalton, Hill lofted four interceptions. Outside of Hill, the injury bug has decimated the entire Saints’ roster, and it even bit Hill on Thursday. The Saints will likely break their five-game losing streak next week, but the playoff ship is not out of reach just yet. Even if the Saints lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins in Weeks 15 and 16, they play the Jets, Panthers, and Falcons in the last five weeks. 8-9 might be just good enough to make the playoffs in the NFC.

No.24: Philadelphia Eagles (-1)

The Eagles answered the call, knocking off the Jets even with Gardner Minshew under center. Minshew had a competent day, throwing for 242 yards and tacking on a pair of passing touchdowns. The Eagles are just 0.5 games out of a wild card spot. After their Week 14 bye, they will have the opportunity to chase down the Football Team, playing them twice in three weeks. If the Eagles win both of those games, they will be heavily favored for the No.7 seed in the NFC.

No.23: New York Giants (-1)

Without Daniel Jones, it was quite a slog on Sunday. Mike Glennon even suffered a concussion, so it appears that Jake Fromm will get the start in Week 14. The Giants are only two games out of a playoff spot, but they have a comparatively tough schedule coming up. Without Jones, the Giants will likely not be competitive. The Giants have not had more than 302 yards of offense since October 10.

No.22: Seattle Seahawks (+4)

Russell Wilson made progress from his run of quite poor play. He had multiple big-time throws in a game for the first time since his injury. While the Seahawks do have three “easy” wins (Texans, Bears, and Lions) in their next four games, they have likely done irreparable damage to their playoff hopes. Even if those are guaranteed wins, the Seahawks only have a 7% chance of making the playoffs according to FiveThirtyEight.

No.21: Cleveland Browns (-1)

The Browns enjoyed a Week 13 bye. They welcome the battered Baltimore Ravens to town in Week 14, and a win would do wonders for the Browns’ playoff hopes. Baker Mayfield has been poor in recent weeks, and his list of injuries is not encouraging. The Browns need to make a statement in Week 14 and get back into the playoff race with a victory.

No.20: Denver Broncos (-3)

During the week, a Las Vegas Raiders fan made headlines for “correctly” flipping a coin 11 times to determine the Raiders’ first 11 games. The Broncos take this strategy and actively employ it for their gameplans. If they flip heads, they play a well-rounded game and dominate good teams. If they flip tails, they fold and add nothing productive to the week of football. Javonte Williams flipped heads this week. The rest of the team flipped tails.

No.19: Las Vegas Raiders (-3)

Speaking of the Raiders, that fan is now 11-1 as he had the Raiders beating the Football Team in Week 13. Despite Derek Carr’s best efforts to force the Football Team to commit pass interference on the final drive, the Raiders fell short in a game they were favored to win. As a whole, this is the kind of loss that the Raiders needed to avoid if they wanted to make the playoffs.

No.18: Minnesota Vikings (-4)

Does Mike Zimmer have a brain? In most weeks, this would be a joke, but Zimmer had one of the worst final play calls in the history of organized football. Rather than calling any logical defensive play, Zimmer let his team play prevent defense, letting the Lions get into the end zone and box out the Vikings’ defensive backs for a relatively easy touchdown. What a disaster.

No.17: Washington Football Team (+4)

The Football Team has rattled off four consecutive wins, including a pair of 17-15 wins. For the rest of the season, the Football Team has five NFC East showdowns coming. The Dallas Cowboys will be tough to knock off, but the Football Team needs to beat the Eagles to strengthen their hold on a playoff spot. With tiebreakers, the Football Team currently occupies the No.6 seed in the NFC.

No.16: Baltimore Ravens (-7)

Even if the Ravens had won in Week 13, they would be falling. Lamar Jackson had his second consecutive 35 passing grade, and the rest of the offense was mostly stagnant. The defense held together for three quarters, but it collapsed when it mattered. To compound matters, Marlon Humphrey is out for the season. The Ravens had one of the most depleted secondaries in the league even with Humphrey there. The Ravens will likely be in the playoff picture for the next few weeks, but they could lose out.

No.15: Pittsburgh Steelers (+4)

The Steelers did just enough on offense to knock off the Ravens in an instant-classic of a rivalry game. Diontae Johnson had a monster game, scoring a pair of touchdowns. T.J. Watt and Chris Wormley (a former Raven) brutalized the Ravens’ offensive line. Watt even influenced the last play of the game, pressuring Jackson to make an inaccurate throw to Mark Andrews.

No.14: Miami Dolphins (+4)

The Dolphins are on a five-game winning streak, and they have a reasonable chance to extend it to eight games with the Jets, Saints, and Tennessee Titans coming up. If they win each of those games, FiveThirtyEight gives the Dolphins a 41% chance of making the playoffs. Those odds would likely go up as the Ravens and Titans continue to suffer from their midseason injuries.

No.13: San Francisco 49ers (-5)

It is easy to make the “divisional game” argument, but the 49ers are significantly better than the Seahawks. There was no reason for the game to be close, but the Seahawks tripped over themselves as often as a team could, but the 49ers could not capitalize. Despite “forcing” a pair of red-zone turnovers, the 49ers ended up giving the Seahawks more points on a safety than their offense could score.

No.12: Cincinnati Bengals (-5)

Do the Bengals scout their opponents? In a tailor-made game for Joe Mixon, Mixon had a horrific game. He averaged under three yards per carry, and lost a fumble. The Ja’Marr Chase train hit a snag as he dropped a sure-fire touchdown, and it turned into an interception. In total, the Bengals endured a pair of scoring streaks in which they allowed 24 and 17 points consecutively. They blew all of the momentum they generated in a 22-0 run of their own.

No.11: Tennessee Titans (-1)

The Titans enjoyed their Week 13 bye. Health will be the issue for the rest of the season, but unlike the Saints and Ravens, most of Tennessee’s key injuries are short-term. A.J. Brown, Julio Jones, and Derrick Henry are not out for the season. The Indianapolis Colts are now only 1.5 games back in the division, but the Titans do hold the tiebreaker if they finish with the same record.

No.10: Los Angeles Chargers (+5)

Much like the Broncos, the Chargers flip a coin each week to determine their performance. In Week 13, it seemed to be a quarter-by-quarter thing. The Chargers had two phenomenal quarters and two atrocious quarters in the win. With the rest of the conference being unable to string together wins, the Chargers have a glowing opportunity to make the playoffs. They have games with the Giants and Texans in their next three weeks. There are zero excuses for these games.

No.9: Indianapolis Colts (+4)

The Colts took care of business against the Texans, trimming the Titans’ division lead. The Colts only have a 5% chance to win the division (per FiveThirtyEight), but the Colts are favorites to secure a wild card spot. Jonathan Taylor continues to be a breakaway freight train. Taylor is on pace for 1,763 rushing yards and 23 total touchdowns. The Colts can take advantage of four upcoming squishy fronts to have some dominating wins over good teams.

No.8: Dallas Cowboys (+4)

The Cowboys were the beneficiary of the Saints implosion. Micah Parsons continued to dominate, and he is beginning to enter the Defensive Player of the Year discussion. The offense was less than stellar, needing the explosive play to be productive, but they won nonetheless. Tony Pollard provided another explosive play, this time breaking off the Cowboys’ largest rushing touchdown in several seasons. The Cowboys are well-positioned to lock up the division in the coming weeks.

No.7: Los Angeles Rams (+4)

The Rams took care of business against the Jaguars. Odell Beckham scored his second touchdown in two weeks. Perhaps the most encouraging sign was a dominant performance from Aaron Donald. Donald steamrolled the interior of the Jaguars’ offensive line en route to a 95 PFF grade. The Rams have real competition this week with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. A win can open the division back up with four weeks to play.

No.6: Buffalo Bills (+0)

Throw this game out. Winds in Orchard Park made it virtually impossible for a consistent kicking game or passing game. To their credit, the Bills’ defense only allowed 14 points to one of the better rushing attacks in the NFL, but the offense sputtered. Josh Allen was unable to establish a rhythm with his receivers, and the Bills came up short on the final drive.

No.5: Kansas City Chiefs (+0)

The Chiefs’ defense continues to be one of the best in the league. There are still questions with the offense, but the Chiefs (theoretically) have the best quarterback, best play-caller, best wide receiver, and best tight end at their disposal. The Chiefs are still the scariest team in the NFL, and Patrick Mahomes is just one game away from launching into a supernova.

No.4: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+0)

Brady had one of his best games of the season, lighting up a hapless Falcons’ defense. While he did throw a pick-six before the half, that ended up being the least of his worries in an otherwise dominant performance. The Buccaneers lead the NFC South by three full games, and they can clinch the division with a win, a Panthers loss, and a Saints loss in Week 14.

No.3: New England Patriots (+0)

As mentioned in the Bills’ blurb, this game was fairly meaningless in terms of the conclusions one can draw from it. Mac Jones attempted three passes, the fewest by a winning quarterback in almost 50 years. The Patriots ended with a gaudy total of rushing yards, but much of their production came on a pair of long runs. The defense held up well, but they had an easier job than they would have had in normal weather conditions.

No.2: Green Bay Packers (+0)

The Packers were idle in Week 13. With the Vikings losing to the Lions, the Packers will have an opportunity to lock up the division on Sunday Night Football. To clinch, the Packers need the Vikings to lose on Thursday Night Football to the Steelers before the Packers take care of the Bears on Sunday. The Vikings are favored over the Steelers, but that has never stopped the Vikings from losing. Congratulations to the NFC North champion Packers.

No.1: Arizona Cardinals (+0)

To wrap up this week’s clinching scenarios, the Cardinals just need to beat the Rams on Monday night to book their playoff ticket. The Cardinals are holding on for dear life over the Packers for the NFC’s top seed, but the playoffs are pretty much locked. Kyler Murray returned to action in Week 13, and he threw just 15 passes in a rainy Chicago. Murray will likely need to do more for the Cardinals to knock off the Rams.

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I’m Ryan Potts. Some people affectionately call me Splash. I am renowned for being a misplaced Ravens, Cavs, Wings & Braves fan. Twitter: MrSplashMan19

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