In light of week 13 kicking off, I give you my edition of power rankings prior to this week’s action. The rankings take record into account, but also which teams are hot and able to keep winning. There are only the top 16 teams in the league listed. At this point, anyone ranked lower has very little chance at the postseason. So without further ado….
The 49ers have officially made Colin Kaepernick their starting quarterback. He brings a great running threat on roll-outs, and can throw accurately on the run. The guy has been waiting for his chance for awhile, and I’d say he’s taking advantage of it. Look for this solid team to go deep into the postseason.
This team has been lights out. Tom Brady is having his usual career-year, throwing 24 touchdowns to just three interceptions. What’s new is the surprising running game and a defense that is +24 in the turnover department. That’s good football.
The defense is strong. The running game is strong. Matt Schaub has been…strong. There really isn’t much of a weakness to this team. That’s why the wins keep on coming. Can’t wait to see them battle it out in Foxboro.
They may have just one loss, but they’re ranked number four after some close wins and some inconsistent play. Nevertheless, they’re not 10-1 for nothing. A fantastic year by Matt Ryan is going to lead the Falcons straight back to the playoffs in January.
Peyton Manning might lose out to Adrian Peterson for the Comeback Player of the Year Award, but just barely. He’s been every bit the quarterback we remember, and the offense is clicking on all cylinders, while the defense hasn’t missed a beat. Scary, when you think about it.
The Ravens have the opportunity to close out the AFC North with a win and a Bengals loss on Sunday. Whether that happens or not doesn’t take anything away from the great year the Ravens are having. Joe Flacco can be a little inconsistent, but give them credit for winning through injuries.
The Bears got Jay Cutler back from his concussion and proceeded to put a beat down on the NFC North rival Vikings. The defense is ranked high in every single category, and their running game is solid. A pair of bad losses to the Packers and 49ers, but they are still a very good team, home or away.
The only reason they are ranked higher than the Colts, is because right now, they’d beat the Colts. The Giants fell to the same fate. This may be the hottest team in the NFL, with the offense and defense making leaps and bounds during their three-game winning-streak. Look out for the “Red Rifle” and his weapons, as they look to make a magical December run.
Something about December, right? Their explosive win over the Green Bay Packers may have come in November, but give them credit: It was almost December at the time. Never discount Eli Manning and his troops, for as the postseason gets nearer, the Giants get hotter. Dangerous playoffs team here.
The Colts are finding ways to win football games. Andrew Luck is having a fantastic rookie season, and is leading the offense through the air. The defense has been stout, their one bad loss coming against the New England Patriots. They’ll get the first AFC wild card at this point, and don’t take them lightly in the playoffs. Lots of heart on this team.
11. Green Bay Packers
The Packers suffered an embarrassing loss against the Giants last week, and there’s no way to sugar-coat that. Aaron Rodgers is not going to let that define the season though, so look for some offensive fireworks the next couple of weeks. He is not one to be messed with. The Packers' defense remains an issue.
As the Falcons continue to win, they lose more hope of an NFC South title. That’s why there’s a wild card, folks. The Buccaneers are charging forward every week, as they ride the resurgent back of Josh Freeman. The offense has been outstanding, as points haven’t been an issue all year. The defense is a little inconsistent, though.
13. Seattle Seahawks
Well, it’s definitely hard to beat them in Seattle. Not so much anywhere else. Maybe Russell Wilson gets a little home-sick. Whatever the case, they need to find a way to win away games, since that’s what they’re looking at if they make the playoffs.
It’s hard to find a place for this team in the Power Rankings, because it depends on whether Ben Roethlisberger is playing. With him, they’ve been great. Without, terrible. The running game has dealt with a lot of injuries, and so has the defense. Heck with it, the offense has to. First things first, if they want to win, they need Big Ben.
They lost badly to the Bears last Sunday, but this is still a good team. Lots of promise with Christian Ponder, and who wouldn’t want to have Adrian Peterson, who has been the team's main workhorse. The defense is good, but I’m not sure if it’s playoff material.
They’re here because they’re still clinging to hope in a close NFC East race. The Giants only sit at 7-4, so the Cowboys could still make a run. But that has to start now, and the team's inconsistency has troubled fans. It seems they might be trending downwards. If they don’t win this week, say goodbye to the playoffs.
There you have it. Some toss-ups in the middle there, but these are the teams that still have hope in the postseason; for the most part, of course. The Redskins could always prove me wrong with a win over the Giants on Sunday, while the Jets could… never mind.
A lot of teams are heating up at just the right time. The postseason is always around the corner in the NFL.