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SQ NFL Power Rankings: Week 13

The Ringer

As the Chiefs continue to struggle, how far have they fallen among the NFL’s top teams?

My how the mighty have fallen. The Kansas City Chiefs were perched atop our power rankings just a few weeks ago, and as we go into Week 13 they have plummeted to 15. The offense has completely fallen apart. Alex Smith has returned to form and Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt have disappeared. 

And with all that said, they are still in it. At 6-5 and in the AFC West, they can still win the AFC West and earn a home playoff game. What teams now make up our top 10, find out below.

   Ranking (Change)

1 (-)

Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)

Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)

Every week we keep waiting to see if they will be a let down with the Philadelphia Eagles, and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be one, at least this regular season. The Eagles is a team with an explosive offensive and an imposing defense. The only thing more fun to watch than a great team is a great team that knows they’re great. The Eagles had no respect, and shouldn’t have, for the Chicago Bears this past week. They posed for pictures after scores. They did the electric slide on the sideline. It was amazing show of bleep you to the opponent, and I for one loved it. And when you’re first in the league in points scored at 31.9 and third in the league in points against at 17.4, this team is showing no signs of slowing down. (Adrian Nelson)

2 (-)

New England Patriots (9-2)

New England Patriots (9-2)

What can you say about New England that hasn’t already been said. They are a perennial powerhouse that simply overwhelms and outsmarts teams on a consistent basis. The scary part is that they’re getting better. After a start to the season where they struggled on defense, they have since found their way. They gave up 32.0 points per game in Weeks 1-4 and since then they have given up only 13.1 points per game in the seven weeks after that. For context, Jacksonville is the NFL’s number one scoring defense and they’ve given up 15.3 points per game. I don’t know how you beat this team, especially if they play at home. (Adrian Nelson)

3 (-)

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2)

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2)

It was a surprisingly close game between the Steelers and the Brett Hundley-led Packers on Sunday, but Pittsburgh prevailed on a Chris Boswell field goal as time expired. The 53-yarder, a Heinz Field record, gave the team their sixth consecutive victory. It’s not all sunny in the Steel City, however, as the defense certainly had its struggles against Green Bay, particularly the secondary. Hundley has shown flashes, but he shouldn’t be throwing for three touchdowns against the AFC leaders. On the bright side, Antonio Brown continued his assault on opposing cornerbacks. He has 313 yards and five TDs over the past two games. (Kyle Trapp)

4 (+1)

Minnesota Vikings (9-2)

Minnesota Vikings (9-2)

With the passing of every week, Case Keenum is further proving that he can be a quality starting quarterback in the NFL. Keenum has led the Vikings on a current seven game winning streak and to an impressive 9-2 record. Both Minnesota and NFL fans in general are wondering when Teddy Bridgewater will make a return; however, Keenum’s play is presenting an extremely difficult decision for Mike Zimmer, as he’s averaged 245.9 passing yards per game, with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions during their win streak. The Vikings have all but locked up a playoff berth at this point, as they now hold a three game lead over the Lions in the NFC North. (Ryan Grube)

5 (-1)

New Orleans Saints (8-3)

New Orleans Saints (8-3)

The Saints eight game win streak came to an end on Sunday, as they fell to the Rams by six points in Los Angeles. On the positive side of things, rising star Alvin Kamara continued his string of impressive performances, finishing with 188 all-purpose yards and two TDs. In the past few weeks, he may have overtaken Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette as Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite. On a more negative note, the defense struggled to prevent big plays for the second week in a row. This is a still a team that can beat you in a variety of ways, but the defense needs to right the ship soon. (Kyle Trapp)

6 (-)

Los Angeles Rams (8-3)

Los Angeles Rams (8-3)

In a battle between two of the NFC’s top teams, the Rams came out on top over the Saints by a score of 26-20. Aside from a big touchdown run by Alvin Kamara in the first quarter and a late TD pass from Drew Brees, the Los Angeles’ defense had a very impressive performance. They didn’t force any New Orleans’ turnovers, but they held Brees and one of the league’s best offenses in check. Speaking of offense, it was another ho-hum game for the Rams, the league’s second-highest scoring team. Jared Goff tossed for 354 yards and a pair of TDs, despite the absence of Robert Woods. If there was a Most Improved Player award, Goff might be the front-runner. (Kyle Trapp)

7 (-)

Carolina Panthers (8-3)

Carolina Panthers (8-3)

Carolina enters Week 13 riding a four-game win streak and will face New Orleans in a high stakes divisional showdown. A win would give the Panthers sole possession of first place in the NFC South and the inside track to a first round bye. They boast the third-best run defense in the league, which will be very helpful against the Saints’ potent ground attack. Further, Carolina’s offense has scored 35 or more in two straight, and will likely need another high scoring output to beat New Orleans and extend the win streak to five. (Nick Cardozo)

8 (-)

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4)

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4)

Blake Bortles may have had a solid fantasy performance on Sunday thanks to a pair of rushing touchdowns, but he didn’t do much through the air in a 27-24 loss to the Cardinals. The Arizona defense also bottled up Leonard Fournette, who rushed for less than 35 yards for the second time in three games. On defense Jacksonville wasn’t as stingy as they typically are, allowing former Jaguar Blaine Gabbert to toss a pair of scores, but they still managed a touchdown for the third time in the past four weeks. All in all, it wasn’t an awful loss for the Jags but it shows they haven’t quite reached their potential. (Kyle Trapp)

9 (-)

Seattle Seahawks (7-4)

Seattle Seahawks (7-4)

Despite key injuries on Seattle’s defense, the unit has remained solid, holding each of its last four opponents to under 300 yards of offense. The offense, on the other hand, has been as average as can be. Normally, Russell Wilson finds his groove around this time of year, but we’re still waiting on his blow up game. Next up is a showdown with the Eagles at home. A Seahawks win would make a huge statement around the NFL, while keeping them in the chase for a first round bye. (Nick Cardozo)

10 (+1)

Atlanta Falcons (7-4)

Atlanta Falcons (7-4)

Following a worrisome three game skid in which they averaged just 13.7 points per game and amid questions surrounding last year’s second-ranked offense, Atlanta has now won three straight and four of five, averaging 27.4 points per game over that stretch. Julio Jones finally delivered the game that fans and fantasy owners have been waiting for, hauling in 12 passes for 252 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Buccaneers. It was his third career game in which he topped 250 receiving yards; no other player in NFL history has more than one. If the Falcons can continue this hot stretch, they could be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time. (Ryan Grube)

11 (+1)

Detroit Lions (6-5)

Detroit Lions (6-5)

The Lions had their chances in what was by far the most entertaining Thanksgiving game, but ultimately came up a touchdown short against the Vikings. Matthew Stafford wasn’t his typical clutch self, but a sprained ankle suffered early in the fourth quarter could’ve affected him down the stretch. There are certainly some throws the veteran signal caller wishes he could have back, but it’s hard to pin the loss on him. Rather, look at the utter lack of a run game, as Detroit running backs managed just 40 yards on the ground. The Lions are right in the thick of the playoff race, but they need to work on their one-dimensional offense and a defense that isn’t stopping teams like it used to. (Kyle Trapp)

12 (+2)

Tennessee Titans (7-4)

Tennessee Titans (7-4)

Even if their numbers look average on paper, the Titans have now won five of six and are tied with Jacksonville for the AFC South lead. Tennessee prides itself on its rushing game, but the team has been inconsistent on the ground all season. DeMarco Murray is averaging just 3.5 yard per carry on the year, while Derrick Henry is averaging over a full yard more. The team has stayed loyal to Murray, but you’ve got to wonder if Henry would help the offense get rolling. The choice over who to give the bulk of the carries could end up deciding Tennessee’s fate this season, especially with some strong defense approaching on the schedule. (Nick Cardozo)

13 (+3)

Los Angeles Chargers (5-6)

Los Angeles Chargers (5-6)

The Chargers have proved they are legit contenders in the AFC West following their last two games, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 82-30. Not only has their defense been dominant by forcing eight turnovers in those two, but Philip Rivers’ play has also been stellar, as he’s picked apart the Bills and Cowboys’ secondaries en route to an average of 342.5 passing yards per game with five touchdowns to zero interceptions. If the Chargers’ defense and Rivers can keep up this level of play, then they could quickly take over the Chiefs’ top spot in the AFC West. (Ryan Grube)

14 (+1)

Washington Redskins (5-6)

Washington Redskins (5-6)

Washington delayed the inevitable with a win over the Giants on Thanksgiving night. Both teams played that game like they had a serious case of the itus (look it up), but Washington’s defense was just too much, or rather New York’s offense was just too inept. The Skins need to essentially win out in order to make the playoffs. The good news is that they don’t face a winning team the rest of the way out, with games against the Chargers, Cardinals, Broncos, and Giants. The bad news is that are second in the league with 14 guys on IR. You just can’t win consistently win the injury bug hits you that bad. (Adrian Nelson)

15 (-5)

Kansas City Chiefs (6-5)

Kansas City Chiefs (6-5)

At one point, it appeared the Chiefs would cruise to a first round bye in the AFC. Fast forward to now and they’ve dropped five of six, with just a one-game lead over the Chargers and Raiders in the AFC West. What exactly happened? According to Travis Kelce, the offense can’t figure out how to beat a Cover 2 defense. It seems simple, but when you consider the team is averaging 18 points per game since Week 5 after putting up 32.8 points per game before, the problem can’t be that straightforward. Luckily for the Chiefs, none of their remaining opponents currently have a winning record. Now is the time for Andy Reid to fix these issues, or else his team will miss the playoffs in a historic collapse. (Nick Cardozo)

16 (+1)

Baltimore Ravens (6-5)

Baltimore Ravens (6-5)

The Ravens have been the epitome of finding ways to win; their defense is second in the NFL in terms of points against(17.0), while their offense has struggled to put up points at times. They possess the last-ranked passing offense in the league(just 164.3 yards per game); however, their 10th-ranked rushing offense(116.8 yards per game) has bolstered the unit. Although they are currently 6-5 and tied for the final wild card spot in the AFC, Baltimore will need to show they can beat quality teams to secure a playoff berth for the first time since 2014, as none of their six wins have come against teams with a record above .500. (Ryan Grube)

17 (+1)

Buffalo Bills (6-5)

Buffalo Bills (6-5)

After a disastrous start by Nathan Peterman that had everyone questioning the competency of the Bills sideline and front office, rookie head coach Sean McDermott went back to quarterback Tyrod Taylor and the Bills where able to pick up a crucial road win in Kansas City. The move never made any sense, Taylor has played well and has the highest passer rating in Bills history. They blamed him for the struggles of a team with limited offensive weapons and a defense that was giving up tons of points. If they were going to go to Peterman they should have done it earlier, and given that the team was just 5-2 weeks earlier and competing for a playoff spot, it may not have been the right time to develop a potential future talent. With Taylor once again steadying the ship and the AFC devoid of talent, the Bills can make a playoff push. (Adrian Nelson)

18 (-5)

Dallas Cowboys (5-6)

Dallas Cowboys (5-6)

The Cowboys have plummeted in the power rankings since Zeke’s suspension. Coming into Week 13 and three weeks since Law & Order: NFL was canceled, the Cowboys have failed to break 10 points in a game.. And without Zeke and that offense moving the chains and controlling the clock, the defense has struggled too. They are giving up 30.7 points per game compared to the 22.2 points per game they were giving up beforehand. Dallas finds themselves on the outside of the NFC playoff picture looking in. They likely need to win out to get in, and with Elliot still having games left on his suspension, they likely won’t make it. (Adrian Nelson)

19 (-)

Oakland Raiders (5-6)

Oakland Raiders (5-6)

All the talk surrounding the Raiders this week has to do with Michael Crabtree’s fight with Aqib Talib and the ensuing suspensions that were handed down. What’s being overlooked is that the Raiders are just one game behind the Chiefs for the division lead. Oakland has some tough games on the horizon (@PHI, @LAC), but there’s reason for optimism. Since Week 5, Oakland is allowing just 95.7 rushing yards per game, compared to 124.6 yards per game over the season’s first five weeks. In addition, Derek Carr put together arguably his most efficient performance of the season in Week 12, and needs to take advantage of some soft secondaries down the stretch. The Raiders aren’t favorites to take the division, but to be this close after inconsistent play all season is more than they could ask for. (Nick Cardozo)

20 (-)

Green Bay Packers (5-6)

Green Bay Packers (5-6)

Following the end of the first quarter in Sunday’s game against the Steelers, Green Bay looked well on their way to a big upset win. Coming into the game as 14-point underdogs, the Packers led 14-6 after one and were tied with the 8-2 Steelers at the half. Although they would eventually come up short in a 31-28 defeat, Brett Hundley gave Packers’ fans optimism for the next two games before Aaron Rodgers is eligible to return from injured reserve. Hundley threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns; he’ll need to continue this play, as Green Bay is in must-win mode for their playoff hopes. (Ryan Grube)

21 (+1)

New York Jets (4-7)

New York Jets (4-7)

This season has been kind of a worst case scenario for the Jets. They started the season off … I guess you could say, kind of good (or at least not bad). They were above .500 five games into the season at 3-2 and Jets fans where wondering whether this team could potentially claw their way into the wildcard picture. That thought has been quickly snatched away as the Jets have lost five of the six games that have taken place thereafter. Now, sitting at 4-7, Jets fans are miserable and might not have a top five draft pick to comfort themselves with at seasons out. For New York’s sake, hopefully they can fair a bit better in the tank war. (Adrian Nelson)

22 (+3)

Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)

Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)

The Bengals may be winners of their last two contests, but a closer look shows a team struggling in multiple phases. The wins have come against the Broncos and Browns, who are both near the bottom of the league in offense, yet were able to gash Cincinnati on the ground. In fact, since their Week 6 bye, the Bengals are allowing 146 rushing yards per game. Now Le’Veon Bell comes to town, which doesn’t bode well for a Bengals team fighting for a wild card spot. Offensively, Cincinnati has no passing game to speak of, making an in-game comeback incredibly difficult to pull off. This team could be out of the playoff hunt as soon as next week. (Nick Cardozo)

23 (-)

Houston Texans (4-7)

Houston Texans (4-7)

It’s official— the Texans have wasted a once promising season. Sure, when Deshaun Watson went down the outlook was bleak, but continuing to trot out Tom Savage every week is a disservice to the talented players on this roster. In the last four games, Savage has turned the ball over 10 times, including three on Monday night, while managing just four touchdowns. It’s really anyone’s guess how an alternative quarterback (cough* Colin Kaepernick) would fare, but there has to be a better option out there. At least Houston has next season to look forward to, but it remains to be seen if Bill O’Brien will still be on the sidelines. (Kyle Trapp)

24 (+2)

Arizona Cardinals (5-6)

Arizona Cardinals (5-6)

Arizona should be thankful for Blake Bortles, following their surprise victory over the Jaguars, as his subpar play ultimately contributed to it. The win resulted in Blaine Gabbert’s first win with the Cardinals and showed that he can be a serviceable fill-in when called upon. Through his first two starts, Gabbert has averaged 249 passing yards per game, while posting a 5/3 touchdown to interception ratio. The win also kept Arizona in the playoff hunt for now; however, currently sitting at 5-6 and with ten wins likely securing the final wild card spot in the NFC, they will need to win out for a shot at a berth. And with match-ups against the Rams, Titans, Redskins, and Seahawks still remaining, the playoff picture might be out of the question for this injury-depleted Cardinals squad. (Ryan Grube)

25 (-4)

Denver Broncos (3-8)

Denver Broncos (3-8)

Another week, another loss, as Denver has now dropped a surprising seven straight games and their once elite defense has surrendered 29.4 points per games during this stretch. It won’t get any easier with the news of their top corner in Aqib Talib being suspended for their next game for his role in Sunday’s brawl involving him and Michael Crabtree. They aren’t out of the playoff hunt just yet, with the AFC West being one of the more open in terms of overall records. However, the Broncos need to focus on ending their current skid before they can even think about the playoffs. (Ryan Grube)

26 (+1)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)

After a three-game absence, Jameis Winston will return this week for Tampa Bay. The choice to play him now seems strange for a few reasons. The Buccaneers’ season is going nowhere, they just lost two starting offensive linemen, and Winston may be prone to a reaggravation of his shoulder. You’d think a team with its eyes on the future would choose to sit Winston, but the Bucs have other plans. Considering Winston hasn’t performed well this season and the team hasn’t broken 100 rushing yards in a game since Week 4, it’s safe to assume the offense isn’t going to suddenly blow up down the season’s stretch. (Nick Cardozo)

27 (-3)

Chicago Bears (3-8)

Chicago Bears (3-8)

The Bears were absolutely stifled by the Eagles on Sunday, as they managed just six rushing yards against Philadelphia’s dominant front seven. Mitchell Trubisky didn’t have much success through the air either, completing just 17 of 33 passes for 147 yards and tossing a pair of picks. On the other side of the ball, the Chicago defense was no match for Carson Wentz and company. It was a forgettable loss in a rebuilding season, and a predictable one at that. This just isn’t a team that can win games when the rushing attack is neutralized. (Kyle Trapp)

28 (-)

Miami Dolphins (4-7)

Miami Dolphins (4-7)

The uninitiated sports fan will wonder how a four win team with wins over the TItans and Falcons can be ranked lower than a team like the 3-8 Chicago Bears. The question is to look at how the Dolphins are winning and losing games. In wins, the Dolphins are outscoring their opponents by 3.8 points per game. In losses, the Dolphins are being outscored 18.4 points per game. That is staggering. Yes, the Dolphins may have stumbled and bumbled their way into a few lucky wins, this season, but on the whole, they’ve stunk, as is evident by their margin of victory. The Dolphins may not realize it coming off of a playoff berth last year, but they need to be in full rebuild mode. (Adrian Nelson)

29 (+1)

Indianapolis Colts (3-8)

Indianapolis Colts (3-8)

The Colts took a lead into the fourth quarter this past Sunday against Tennessee, but ended up falling short by a score of 20-16. The offense has failed to eclipse 270 total yards in each of the past two games, and Jacoby Brissett still has just nine passing touchdowns in 11 starts on the season. The only thing Indy has to look forward to the rest of this season is playing spoiler to other teams trying to make the playoffs. Even knowing Andrew Luck will (most likely) return next year, the roster still has plenty of holes to fill. (Nick Cardozo)

30 (-1)

New York Giants (2-9)

New York Giants (2-9)

All the news this week is centered around how the New York Giants have benched 2-time Super Bowl champion but current imitation of a senior citizen attempting to play quarterback - Eli Manning. After falling to 2-9 the Giants thought it wise to evaluate the young talent they have backing him up so they’ll turn to … wait, that can’t be right. I have to have the wrong link, let me check another link. Still says it. Let me go to twitter and check what Shefty has to say. Wow, so it’s real. The Giants will turn to Geno Smith at quarterback. Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. As a Skins fan, gotta say I’m loving this. (Adrian Nelson)

31 (-)

San Francisco 49ers (1-10)

San Francisco 49ers (1-10)

It looks like the Jimmy G era will officially begin in San Francisco. Coming off the best game of his young career, C.J. Beathard couldn’t replicate the success against the Seahawks, completing 22 of 38 passes for 201 yards and an interception before leaving the 24-13 loss due to injury. Garoppolo completed both of his passes, one for a touchdown, in garbage time, and he’s been named the starter ahead of the Week 13 matchup against Chicago. If the former Patriot can prove his limted sample size isn’t a fluke, 49er fans will have a lot to look forward to in 2018. (Kyle Trapp)

32 (-)

Cleveland Browns (0-11)

Cleveland Browns (0-11)

With every week, it’s looking more and more likely that this Browns team will become the second team in NFL history to finish a season 0-16, the other being the 2008 Lions. They’ve cycled through all three starting quarterbacks so far, none of them proving they can win a game. They have shown glimpses of hope on both sides of the ball and have often played their opponents tough; however they rank in the bottom half of the league in passing, rushing, and total yards per game, and points allowed to their opponents. Although they do get Josh Gordon back for his first NFL action since 2014, it’s looking like another number-one pick for Cleveland in the upcoming draft. (Ryan Grube)

Edited by Brian Kang.

How many points of the Chiefs averaged in games 6-11?
Created 11/30/17
  1. 15
  2. 18
  3. 22
  4. 27

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