2011 NFL Power Rankings – Week 13

NFL Power Rankings 2011 Pre 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Playoffs

Our rankings heading into Week 13. Just 5 more games until the playoffs:

Rank Team Comment
1 Green Bay Packers The Packers kept perfection alive on Thanksgiving and have a two game lead to lock up home field advantage in the NFC. Their remaining schedule isn’t overly difficult, so the conversation of resting starters or go for perfection will pop up soon.
2 Baltimore Ravens The Ravens got another big win on Thanksgiving agains the 49ers. The defense looked stout even without Ray Lewis, sacking Alex Smith 9 times and allowing only 6 points.
3 San Francisco 49ers The 49ers lost the battle of the brothers but have one more chance this year to take on an elite team (Pitt). The 49ers can now focus on staying ahead of the Saints and getting a first round bye.
4 New England Patriots With a convincing 38-20 win over the so-called “Dream Team,” the Patriots maintained their two-game lead in the AFC East. Next up is hapless Indianapolis in what should have been a prime-time rivalry game, had Peyton Manning been capable of playing this season.
5 New Orleans Saints The Saints won big against the Giants and are focused on overtaking the 49ers to get a first round bye. All 3 Saints losses were on the road this year so the more home games they get come playoff time, the better.
6 Pittsburgh Steelers The Steelers struggled against the lowly Chiefs but manages to still get the win to keep pace with the Ravens. Troy Polamalu’s long-term health is starting to become a concern after suffering “concussion-like symptoms” during the game.
7 Dallas Cowboys The Cowboys barely got by the Dolphins on Thanksgiving, but the Giants lost too so they’re still the favorite to win the division.
8 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta took care of Minnesota and have won 5 of their last 6 games. They can’t afford to let up as they are at the heels of the streaking Saints.
9 Houston Texans Need any more evidence of the Texans curse? Backup Matt Leinart goes down for the season partway through a 20-13 win over the Jaguars, and more questions arise for Houston. A tough home game against Atlanta awaits the AFC South leaders.
10 Oakland Raiders Thanks to the upper-hand in the battle for field position–due in large part to their Pro Bowl kicker/punter combination–Oakland beat Chicago 25-20 and kept their lead in the AFC West. The Raiders travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins next week.
11 Detroit Lions Detroit didn’t play awful against Green Bay, but the loss drops them 4 games behind the Packers and into a 3 way tie for an NFC wild card bid. With Suh suspended for two games, the Lions have to play at New Orleans this week without him.
12 Chicago Bears If somehow backup QB Caleb Hanie could have thrown 2 instead of 3 INTs, the Bears probably get this win against Oakland. 4 of their last 5 games are very winnable, but the Bears need to dominate defensively so the pressure to win isn’t in Hanie’s hands. Could we have a McNabb siting in Chicago soon?
13 Cincinnati Bengals It took a 3rd & 4th quarter comeback for the Bengals to be the Browns, but they remain just one game back of Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
14 New York Jets In a back-and-forth struggle of a game, the Jets outlasted Buffalo 28-24 to sweep the season series against their in-state rivals. New York travels to Washington next week to take on the Redskins.
15 New York Giants The Giants could not stop Drew Brees and the Saints on Monday Night. They’ll have to get better quick if they want to weather their tough schedule and get into the postseason.
16 Denver Broncos Tebow Time struck again as the Broncos upset the Chargers 16-13 in the waning moments of overtime; Denver sits just one game back of division leader Oakland at this stage of the season. Next up is a road game in Minnesota.
17 Buffalo Bills Buffalo’s strong start is a distant memory now after a tough 28-24 loss to the Jets means that New York will hold any potential tie-breaker over the Bills. Buffalo hosts the Titans and Chris Johnson next week.
18 Tennessee Titans Chris Johnson rushed for 190 yards and the Titans beat the Buccaneers 23-17 to keep pace in the AFC South. Tennessee takes on a beleagured Buffalo squad next week.
19 San Diego Chargers Despite the talent of the Chargers, San Diego is sitting in last place in the AFC West after a 16-13 OT loss to Denver. Time is running out for SD to turn things around; they play Jacksonville on Monday Night Football next week.
20 Philadelphia Eagles It’s about time to close the book on the Dream Team. Mike Vick is still hurt, and a loss Thursday at Seattle might cost Andy Reid his job.
21 Tampa Bay Bucs Tampa Bay’s 4-1 start has been shattered by their current 5 game skid. A lot of work needs to be done with the defense, which ranks near the bottom in both run and pass defense.
22 Arizona Cardinals Arizona beat St. Louis to win 3 of their last 4 games. The Cardinals are likely to get QB Kevin Kolb back from injury this week, but considering their recent wins with their backup QB, will they be ready to plug Kolb right back in?
23 Seattle Seahawks Seattle, at 4-7, is second place in their division but have virtually no shot at the playoffs. The Seahawks need to figure out if Tavaris Jackson is the QB of the future there.
24 Miami Dolphins Miami put up a lot of fight on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas, but in the end they fell 20-19 to “America’s Team” on a last-second field goal. The Dolphins host Oakland next weekend.
25 Kansas City Chiefs The Chiefs held Pittsburgh to 13 points but only managed to score 9 themselves, falling on the Sunday Night Football stage. Kansas City travels to Chicago to play the Bears next week.
26 Carolina Panthers Carolina did what the rest of the league has done this year, beat the Colts. 3 of their last 5 games are against potential playoff teams so the Panthers can play the role of spoiler to finish out the season.
27 Cleveland Browns It looked like the Browns might get their second win in a row on Sunday, but a 2nd-half comeback doomed them yet again. They will have some tough decisions to make this offseason about players like Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis.
28 Jacksonville Jaguars The Jaguars knocked Matt Leinart out of the game but couldn’t capitalize as they fell to the Texans, 20-13. Next up for Jacksonville is a Monday Night Football match-up against the Chargers; a game they’ll play without fired former head coach Jack Del Rio.
29 Washington Redskins The Redskins got their first win since Week 4. Their best move would probably be to lose out and hope that Matt Barkley decides to go pro.
29 Minnesota Vikings The Vikings were without Adrian Peterson but competed decently against the Falcons. There really is no rush to get AP back and risk injury so now the season is all about getting Christian Ponder more experience.
31 St. Louis Rams St. Louis’ nightmare season continued with a loss to Arizona. If there was a reset button on the season, it’s hard to believe St. Louis would do this poorly again.
32 Indianapolis Colts The Colts fell to 0-11 with a 27-19 loss to this year’s #1 overall pick Cam Newton and Carolina. It won’t be long before Indianapolis figures to be making the #1 overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Commentary breakdown: Alex (AFC North, NFC East), Brian (AFC East/South/West), Pat (NFC North/South/West).

Alex Chalupka - Originally from the Baltimore-Washington area, Alex is a huge Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Terrapins fan who currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s also an Orioles fan and follows the NBA and other sports as objectively as possible. He enjoys writing about all sports and is the founder/editor of theSportsGeeks.com. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Brian Parker - Born in Maine, a state with no professional sports team, Brian Parker is nonetheless a huge statistics nerd and fan of the NFL and NHL, with some passing interest in the MLB. Regional ties see him as a Patriots and Red Sox fan, though a childhood of watching Patrick Roy tend the net as a Montreal Canadien puts him on the opposite side of his fellow New Englanders for that NHL rivalry. Brian has both an M.A. and a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Maine. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Pat Lussenhop - Pat was born and raised in rural Minnesota and is currently living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He graduated from St. John's University (MN) with a degree in psychology and went on to get his masters in school psychology at the University of Northern Iowa. He's a lifetime sports fan and follows basketball and football the most. His favorite teams include any team that has "Minnesota" in it's name and he enjoys sports statistics and any good sporting debates. - Follow him on Twitter here

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